Top 5 Tennessee RN to MSN Degree Programs + 3 Online Options

by Danielle, NurseJournal.org   

It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. They have to be empathic, hardworking, caring and excellent critical thinkers. They also have to be willing to be on their feet for extended periods of time and deal with some of life’s real hardships. Furthermore, a nurse must be fully committed to her own professional development, which is a requirement to ensure that they are able to retain their license as a Registered Nurse (RN). Many RNs decide to study on towards their Master of Nursing in Science (MSN) degree, as this allows them to have far greater knowledge and to gain additional responsibilities at work. Furthermore, it allows them to gain certain specializations that fit the fields that they are most interested in.

Those who hold an MSN degree are also highly sought after by potential employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected growth of 20% over the next few years in the demand for nurses. This is due to the aging population, which means more people require care and also that a substantial portion of the existing workforce is approaching retirement age. It is also due to the fact that health needs are becoming increasingly complex. However, there is now a drive for medical facilities to employ as many MSNs as possible, which is another incentive to study towards this degree.

If you want to achieve your MSN, it is very important that you choose the school that is right for you. As many of the programs are now available online, geographical location often becomes less important. Hence, you could live in Delaware and study at a school in Texas for instance.

Let’s take a look, therefore at the top 5 MSN nursing schools in Tennessee and what they offer. Hopefully, this will empower you to choose the school that best suits your needs.

1. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing was established in 1973. They have always been at the forefront of developing nursing professionals with the best possible qualifications. This has allowed them to influence the environment of health care on a national and even global level. Students are expected to enhance the quality of life of all the people they serve, be they individuals, families or entire communities.

Campus: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Type: Public
Accreditation: CANAEP, CCNE
Tuition: $797 per credit for out of state students and $436 per credit for in state students
Minimum time commitment: 48 to 85 credits
Online availability: No
Degree requirements: GPA of 3.0 or above, GRE, transcripts, personal statement, resume, interview, letters of recommendation, BSN, valid and unencumbered RN license, clinical experience
Programs: BSN to MSN with nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist specialization
School website: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing

At the College of Nursing of the University of Tennessee, students can achieve an MSN degree that prepares them to become Clinical Nurse Leaders. Furthermore, students are encouraged to continue their education towards a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Within this doctorate degree, students will choose a specialization of acute care, adult gerontology, family psych and mental health, family nurse, nurse anesthetist, neonatal nurse or pediatric nurse practitioner.

  • Campus: Memphis, Tennessee
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CANAEP, CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,620 per credit for out of state students and $700 per credit for in state students
  • Minimum time commitment: 33 to 80 credits
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: GPA, personal statement, transcripts, interview, letters of recommendation, BSN, undergraduate statistics class, full and unencumbered RN license
  • Programs: Direct entry MSN, RN to MSN, BSN to MSN
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. Belmont University School of Nursing

At Belmont University, students can take part in graduate nursing degrees. This prepares them to become advanced nurse practitioners. Students are encouraged to continue on to study towards their doctorate degree, or to take part in post-master’s certificates. Students can study towards a Family Nurse Practitioner specialization.

  • Campus: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $545 per credit for all students
  • Minimum time commitment: 41 credits
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: GPA of 3.0 minimum, transcript, GRE, letters of recommendation, personal statement, full and unencumbered RN license, interview, clinical experience
  • Programs: BSN to MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. Southern Adventist University School of Nursing

At the Southern Adventist University School of Nursing, students are provided with a learning environment that is based on science and Christian values. The value is on academic excellence, but the school also ensures that personal and professional growth is always fostered. This allows students to better meet the healthcare needs of families, individuals and the communities they serve. Their MSN program has recently been named among the best in the nation.

  • Campus: Collegedale, Tennessee
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: NLNAC
  • Tuition: $774 per credit for all students
  • Minimum time commitment: 38 to 48 credits
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: GPA of 3.0, GRE, transcripts, interview, letters of recommendation, BSN, undergraduate statistics class, full and unencumbered RN license, clinical experience
  • Programs: RN to MSN, BSN to MSN
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

At Vanderbilt University School of Nursing students are prepared to become skilled and experienced APNs (advanced practice nurses). Their role is to ensure access to quality health care is greatly increased regardless of where someone lives or what their social standing is. They offer a range of flexible study options to allow students to work towards their MSN. Furthermore, they pride themselves on offering some of the greatest opportunities in terms of clinical practice experience to their students.

  • Campus: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ACME
  • Tuition: $1,126 per credit for all students
  • Minimum time commitment: 39 to 65 credits
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Transcript, GRE, letters of recommendation, personal statement, BSN and interview
  • Programs: Direct entry MSN, RN to MSN, BSN to MSN with specializations in psychiatry & mental health or in oncology
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid


Nurse Journal Comments and Discussion