Nursing Schools in Nashville, Tennessee

Discover nursing schools in Nashville, Tennessee with popular institutions, diverse programs, and endless opportunities to make a difference in patients' lives. Programs

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While renowned for its contributions to the music industry, the bustling metropolis of Nashville, Tennessee, has much more to offer than just a vibrant music scene.

In recent years, Nashville has become a hub for top-notch nursing education and numerous healthcare opportunities, attracting aspiring nursing professionals eager to make a difference. As part of Nashville's broader community health improvement plan, there are initiatives that may contribute to a supportive environment for nursing students, ensuring their seamless integration into the city's vibrant healthcare landscape.

Whether aspiring to become a registered nurse (RN), a nurse practitioner (NP), or even delving into nursing research and administration, nursing schools in Nashville, Tennessee offer comprehensive curriculums designed to equip students with the necessary expertise and competence required in today's dynamic healthcare landscape.

Nursing Schools in Nashville

1. Belmont University

Belmont University's nursing program is known for its strong focus on hands-on learning and clinical experiences. Students benefit from state-of-the-art simulation labs and close mentorship from experienced faculty, preparing them to excel in various healthcare settings. Students in the BSN degree program undergo a demanding curriculum, strategically crafted to expand their knowledge and ready them for a successful transition to entry-level nursing practice. The program comprises a blend of general education, prerequisite/introductory, and upper-level nursing courses.

  • BSN: 128 credits, 8 semesters
  • Accelerated BSN: For admission to the Second Degree BSN program at the College of Nursing, all applications and credentials from second-degree candidates are exclusively processed through Nursing Central Application Service (NursingCAS).

Belmont University also offers MSN, DNP, and Post Graduate APRN Certificate programs for established nurses. All nursing programs at Belmont are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 

2. Fortis Institute in Nashville

Fortis Institute offers nursing programs designed to provide students with essential clinical skills and theoretical knowledge. The school's practical approach to nursing education ensures graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce and positively impact patients' lives.

  • ADN: Aimed for LPN or LVN students aiming to become an RN, consider the Fortis ADN program. This path allows licensed practical or vocational nurses to get academic credit for previous coursework from an approved PN/VN education program.
  • LPN: The Fortis curriculum combines traditional classroom instruction, lab work, and hands-on skill development. After finishing the practical nursing (PN) program successfully, students need to apply for the NCLEX-PN examination to become licensed as practical nurses.

The associate nursing program at Fortis Institute in Nashville is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 

3. Lipscomb University

Lipscomb University's nursing program emphasizes the integration of faith and nursing practice. With a commitment to compassionate care and service, students are equipped with the skills to provide holistic healthcare while fostering a strong sense of community.

  • BSN: 128 credit hours, in-person main campus, $19,412 per semester, excluding other fees

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Lipscomb University is accredited by the ACEN. 

4. Marian University

Marian University's Leighton School of Nursing's Nashville campus offers nursing programs focusing on personalized education and small class sizes. The university's faculty members provide individual attention, ensuring students receive a quality education and support throughout their nursing journey.

  • Accelerated BSN: 16 months of online and on-site study, $895 per credit hour for 2nd degree students, $425 per credit hour for adult program courses

Marian University's ABSN program is accredited by the CCNE. 

5. Nashville State Community College

Nashville State Community College's nursing program offers a solid foundation in nursing theory and clinical skills. The college's strong partnerships with local healthcare facilities provide students with ample opportunities for hands-on learning and practical experience.

  • AAS: 24 months, $176 per credit hour up to 12 hours and $38 per credit hour for additional hours above 12 (In-State Tuition)

The A.A.S. degree in Nursing comprises both classroom and clinical experience. It covers various aspects such as fundamental nursing, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical-surgical and intensive care for adults, family nursing (including maternal and child care), mental health nursing, and community health nursing.

The associate-level nursing program at NSCC is accredited by the ACEN. 

6. Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University's nursing program promotes diversity and inclusivity in nursing education. Students benefit from a supportive learning environment and access to cutting-edge research, preparing them to be leaders in the nursing profession.

  • BSN Traditional
  • RN to BSN: fully online, 2 to 3 semesters, flexible class schedules 
  • MSN: FNP, Holistic Nursing

The BSN and MSN level programs at TSU are accredited by the ACEN. 

7. Trevecca Nazarene University

Trevecca Nazarene University's nursing program emphasizes the integration of faith and service into nursing practice. Students are equipped with the skills to provide compassionate care, and the university's emphasis on community engagement fosters a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

  • BSN: 4 years, full-time, $14,295 per semester

The BSN program at TNU is accredited by the ACEN. 

8. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University's School of Nursing is renowned for its nursing education and research excellence. With access to top-notch faculty and world-class facilities, students receive a comprehensive nursing education that prepares them for leadership roles in healthcare.

  • MSN: 3 semesters of pre-specialty course, followed by the declared specialty
  • DNP: The DNP program presents an advanced curriculum with post-master's study paths in Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Systems Practice, and Executive Leadership (5 to 6 semesters long). BSN graduates can also enter the program, choosing specializations like Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner/Emergency Nurse Practitioner tracks.
  • Post-Master's Certificate: To acquire a PMC in nurse-midwifery or a nurse practitioner specialization, students must accomplish a minimum of 500 supervised hours in direct patient care.

All of Vanderbilt University's nursing programs are accredited through the CCNE. 

9. Volunteer State Community College

The college's commitment to affordable and accessible education makes it an excellent choice for aspiring nurses in the Nashville area. The program also equips students for a registered nursing career by offering foundational skills, knowledge, and proper nursing care through pre-nursing education courses. Graduates are geared towards delivering holistic nursing care across the lifespan and in diverse healthcare settings.

  • AAS: $221 per credit hour (In-State), $770 per credit (Out-of-State)

VSCC's associate in nursing program is accredited by the ACEN. 

Types of Nursing Programs in Nashville

Many different types of nursing schools, certificates, and diplomas are available. However, the most common programs obtained by nursing professionals include:

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Graduate Nursing Programs

When choosing a nursing program in Miami, it's essential to conduct thorough research on each school to ensure it matches your personal preferences and professional goals.

Studying in Nashville, Tennessee

Studying nursing in Nashville, Tennessee, offers a unique and enriching experience for students aspiring to enter the healthcare field. It's an ideal city for those looking to also work as a nurse after graduation, with reasons why Nashville is a great place to be a nurse, given its status as home to some of the best nursing employers in the United States.

 Here's what to expect:

  • Renowned Nursing Schools: Nashville is home to several well-regarded nursing schools and universities that offer a wide range of nursing programs. These institutions boast experienced faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and a strong commitment to providing quality nursing education.
  • Hands-on Clinical Experiences: Nashville nursing programs emphasize practical learning and hands-on clinical experiences. Students can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and community and preventive health care centers, gaining valuable real-world experience.
  • Diverse Healthcare Landscape: Nashville's healthcare landscape exposes students to various medical specialties and patient populations. This diversity allows nursing students to witness and participate in treating various medical conditions, enhancing their clinical skills and knowledge.
  • Interprofessional Collaboration: Nashville's healthcare community promotes interprofessional collaboration, enabling nursing students to work alongside physicians, pharmacists, therapists, and other healthcare professionals. This collaborative approach fosters a comprehensive understanding of patient care and enhances communication and teamwork skills.
  • Cultural Richness: Nashville's cultural scene provides a dynamic backdrop to nursing education. Students can immerse themselves in music, arts, and entertainment, contributing to a well-rounded and fulfilling educational experience.
  • Supportive Learning Environment: Nashville's nursing schools are known for their supportive learning environments, with faculty and staff dedicated to helping students succeed. Students can access academic resources, mentorship programs, and counseling services to support their educational journey.
  • Opportunities for Community Engagement: Nashville's nursing programs often emphasize community engagement and service. Nursing students have opportunities to participate in health fairs, outreach programs, and volunteer activities, fostering a sense of social responsibility and a deeper connection with the local community.
  • Professional Networking: Nashville's robust healthcare industry provides nursing students with ample networking opportunities. The city's numerous hospitals, medical centers, and healthcare organizations offer students potential job placements and the chance to build valuable connections in the nursing field.
  • Clinical Research Opportunities: Nashville is home to several medical research institutions, offering nursing students exposure to cutting-edge research and clinical trials. Participation in research projects allows students to stay updated on the latest healthcare advancements.
  • Work-Life Balance: Despite its bustling environment, Nashville offers a balance between academic pursuits and leisure activities. Students can enjoy the city's vibrant music scene, parks, outdoor activities, and cultural events, promoting well-being and relaxation.

Overall, studying nursing in Nashville offers a fulfilling and transformative educational journey. Students not only receive quality nursing education but also immerse themselves in a vibrant city with rich cultural experiences and abundant opportunities in the healthcare field.

Tips to Improve Your Admission Chances to Nursing Programs

Earning a place in nursing programs in Nashville requires a detailed and systematic approach. By meticulously preparing your application and highlighting your dedication to the nursing profession, you can significantly boost your chances of acceptance.

Admission Requirements

  • Complete Required Prerequisite Courses

    • Undergraduate: Ensure you have completed courses such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy.
    • Graduate: Hold a relevant bachelor's degree in nursing or a related field. RN to MSN options are available for those with an associate degree.
  • Achieve a Strong GPA

    • Undergraduate: Aim for a minimum GPA of 3.0 in high school and prerequisite courses.
    • Graduate: Maintain a GPA significantly above 3.0 in your undergraduate studies.
  • Prepare for Standardized Tests

    • Undergraduate: Study for exams like the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills).
    • Graduate: Some programs may require advanced tests like the GRE.

Experience Requirements

  • Gain Relevant Experience

    • Undergraduate: Volunteer in healthcare settings and engage in leadership activities through community service or student organizations.
    • Graduate: Work in professional nursing roles and obtain advanced certifications in specialized areas.

Application Components

  • Personal/Statement of Purpose

    • Undergraduate: Write a personal statement detailing your passion for nursing and career objectives.
    • Graduate: Craft a statement of purpose outlining your professional experiences, career goals, and educational motivations.
  • Resume

    • Undergraduate: Include your educational background, volunteer activities, and relevant certifications.
    • Graduate: Update your resume with work history, certifications, and any publications.
  • Letters of Recommendation

    • Undergraduate: Obtain letters from educators, employers, or healthcare professionals who can attest to your potential and character.
    • Graduate: Secure recommendations from nursing supervisors or professional peers who can vouch for your qualifications and readiness for advanced studies.

Pre-Application Activities

  • Campus Visits: Tour the facilities and meet faculty to assess the learning environment.
  • Admissions Consultation: Get personalized advice from admissions staff.
  • Interview Preparation: Practice responses to common interview questions.

Application Checklist

  • Documentation: Ensure all transcripts, test scores, and personal documents are complete and meet program standards.
  • Application Fee: Confirm that payment has been made.
  • Interview Readiness: Thoroughly prepare to articulate your qualifications and aspirations.

Thoroughly preparing each section of your application and meeting all requirements can significantly improve your chances of being accepted into a program that aligns with your career goals. Always review the specific application criteria for each program to ensure you meet their standards.

How to Choose a Nursing School

The criteria for selecting a nursing school depend on individual preferences, although it will vary by individual, a survey by allnurses revealed the top 11 reasons nursing students chose their programs:

  1. Cost
  2. High NCLEX Pass Rate
  3. Location
  4. Academic Reputation
  5. Availability of Financial Aid and Scholarships
  6. Length of Time to Obtain Degree
  7. Flexibility of Schedule
  8. Curriculum
  9. Campus and Surroundings
  10. Nursing Clinicals Location
  11. Availability of Online Courses

Ultimately, prospective students should assess their needs and pick schools that best fit them.

11 Reasons Why Nursing Program Accreditation Matters

When considering nursing schools in Nashville, accreditation is a key factor. Here's why it matters:

  • Maintains High Standards: Accredited programs adhere to stringent criteria in curriculum, faculty, resources, and clinical training.
  • Required for Licensure: Graduation from an accredited program is necessary for licensure in most states.
  • Improves Employment Opportunities: Employers typically favor graduates from accredited programs.
  • Provides Robust Exam Preparation: These programs thoroughly prepare students for the NCLEX-PN, NCLEX-RN, and APRN NP exams.
  • Facilitates Credit Transfers: Credits earned at accredited programs transfer more easily between institutions.
  • Enhances Professional Standing: Graduates from accredited programs enjoy a stronger professional reputation.
  • Unlocks Financial Aid: Many scholarships and financial aid options are only available to students in accredited programs.
  • Offers Superior Clinical Experience: Accredited programs provide high-quality clinical training.
  • Essential for Certification: Accreditation is required for pursuing advanced and specialty certifications.
  • Meets Regulatory Standards: Accredited programs comply with federal and state educational requirements.
  • Ensures Comprehensive Education: National accreditation guarantees extensive educational quality, while state approval ensures local compliance.

For nursing students in Nashville, selecting an accredited program is crucial. The primary accrediting bodies are

Understanding the Costs of Nursing Programs: Key Considerations

Grasping the financial implications of pursuing a nursing degree is vital. When looking at nursing programs in Nashville, consider these key expenses:

Tuition Fees

  • Resident vs. Non-Resident Rates: Public schools typically offer lower rates for in-state students, while out-of-state students often pay more.
  • Online Program Expenses: Generally cheaper, though tech fees might still apply.
  • Per Credit Hour Costs: Vary by school, degree level, and whether the institution is public or private.

Additional Nursing School Costs

  • Books and Supplies: Costs can range widely, covering everything from textbooks to medical tools.
  • Tech and Lab Fees: Necessary for online or hybrid courses to facilitate digital learning.
  • Miscellaneous Fees: May include application, graduation, and other administrative charges.
  • Living Expenses: Important for those who need to move or reduce their work hours.
  • Certification and Licensing Fees: Essential for post-graduation professional certification.
  • Opportunity Costs: Potential income loss due to fewer work hours while studying.

To handle these costs effectively, explore various financial strategies as detailed in the Best Ways to Pay for Nursing School.

Nursing Salaries: What to Expect

Nursing salaries can fluctuate significantly due to factors like educational qualifications, professional experience, location, specialty, and the type of healthcare institution. This guide delves into the salary ranges for different nursing degrees and sheds light on potential earnings for nurses in Tennessee.

LPN Earning Potential

  • National LPN Average - Hourly $29.23
  • National LPN Average - Annual: $60,790.00
  • Tennessee LPN Average - Hourly $24.25
  • Tennessee LPN Average - Annual: $50,430.00

RN Earning Potential

  • National RN Average - Hourly $45.42
  • National RN Average - Annual: $94,480.00
  • Tennessee RN Average - Hourly $37.61
  • Tennessee RN Average - Annual: $78,240.00

ADN RN vs. BSN RN Earning Potential

  • Average ADN Hourly Salary: $39.00
  • Average ADN Annual Salary:  $80,321.00
  • Average BSN Hourly Salary: $49.00
  • Average BSN Annual Salary:  $102,263.00

Graduate-Level Prepared Nurses (MSN/DNP RN/APRN) Earning Potential

Nurse Anesthetist Earning Potential

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $102.98
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $214,200.00
  • Tennessee Mean Hourly Wage: $93.65
  • Tennessee Annual Wage: $194,790.00

Nurse Practitioner Earning Potential

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $61.78
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $128,490.00
  • Tennessee Mean Hourly Wage: $49.86
  • Tennessee Mean Annual Wage: $103,720.00

Nurse Midwife

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $63.26
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $131,570.00
  • Tennessee Mean Hourly Wage: $49.72
  • Tennessee Mean Annual Wage: $103,430.00

Nurse Administrator 

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $64.64
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $134,440.00
  • Tennessee Mean Hourly Wage: $59.71
  • Tennessee Mean Annual Wage: $124,190.00

Listed as Medical and Health Service Managers on BLS. 

Nurse Educator

  • National Mean Annual Wage: $86,530.00
  • Tennessee Mean Annual Wage: $84,810.00

All Tennessee specific salary data from the BLS. 

For detailed information on salary potential based on location, degree, or specialty, refer to the Nursing Salary Guide.

Final Considerations

Starting your nursing education is an important milestone for a successful healthcare career. Nashville, TN offers a variety of top-tier programs designed for both new and experienced nurses. These institutions combine rigorous academics, innovative research facilities, and hands-on clinical experiences in a lively and supportive setting.

As you weigh your options, consider factors such as program diversity, accreditation, tuition fees, and financial aid availability. Engaging with admissions counselors, visiting campuses, and talking to current students can provide valuable insights. Making an informed decision will help you build a solid foundation for a fulfilling nursing career in Nashville.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does Nashville's diverse population impact nursing practice?

Nashville's diverse population presents nursing students with opportunities to develop cultural competency. Interacting with patients from various ethnic backgrounds and cultures enhances students' ability to provide patient-centered care and communicate effectively with a diverse patient base.

How do nursing schools in Nashville integrate technology and innovation into nursing education?

Nashville's reputation as a hub for healthcare innovation influences nursing education. Schools may incorporate the latest healthcare technologies, telemedicine practices, and simulation labs to prepare students for modern healthcare settings. Schools may provide nursing students access to mobile apps and digital resources like drug guides, medical calculators, and interactive learning modules to enhance their education. Students will also be able to practice using electronic health records to access patient charts and document patient information throughout their clinical placements.

How do nursing schools in Nashville address the healthcare needs of underserved populations?

Nashville nursing schools prioritize addressing social determinants of health in underserved populations through innovative service-learning programs, community-health placements, and interprofessional education. By engaging with vulnerable communities, nursing students understand their unique challenges and develop cultural competence and empathy in delivering equitable and accessible care. Community-based research and health promotion education further empower students to advocate for health equity and social justice. Through these comprehensive approaches, nursing schools in Nashville prepare future nurses to be compassionate advocates and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system for all.

Editorial Team / Admin

Julia Liou has 4 years experience as a RN and specializes in Postpartum/Public Health.

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