Best Nursing Schools in Tennessee

Updated on January 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Tennessee offers highly-ranked nursing programs with excellent academics and job placement rates
  • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing are top-ranked in the state
  • Southern Adventist University School of Nursing has exceptional NCLEX pass rates
  • Lincoln Memorial University Caylor School of Nursing offers the most affordable tuition

Tennessee offers numerous highly-ranked nursing programs across the state that prepare students for licensure and careers in various nursing specialties. The following nursing schools stand out for their excellent academics, hands-on training, and job placement rates.

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Location: Nashville, TN

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Avg SAT Score: 1490

Tuition: $49,816

Avg Salary: $67,490

Website: https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu

Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing is nationally ranked among the top nursing schools. Its BSN program provides rigorous training through both coursework and clinical rotations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The school achieves exceptional NCLEX-RN pass rates and job placement.

University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing

Location: Knoxville, TN

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Avg SAT Score: 1210

Tuition: $12,724 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $59,540

Website: https://nursing.utk.edu

The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s College of Nursing is the #1 nursing school in Tennessee. Its BSN and MSN programs include advanced clinical training at UT Medical Center. Graduates consistently find nursing positions across Tennessee and the country.

Belmont University School of Nursing

Location: Nashville, TN

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Avg SAT Score: 1170

Tuition: $35,760

Avg Salary: $62,750

Website: https://belmont.edu/nursing

Belmont University’s School of Nursing emphasizes evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning across its BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. Undergraduate students complete over 1,000 hours in clinical and simulation learning. Graduates have 100% job placement rates.

Southern Adventist University School of Nursing

Location: Collegedale, TN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Avg SAT Score: 1080

Tuition: $29,848

Avg Salary: $58,650

Website: https://www.southern.edu/academics/academic-sites/nursing

Southern Adventist University’s School of Nursing emphasizes whole-person care while training students for RN and APRN licensure. The BSN program includes an innovative clinical appeals simulator to develop clinical judgment. Graduates achieve exceptional first-time NCLEX pass rates.

Union University School of Nursing

Location: Jackson, TN

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Avg SAT Score: 1110

Tuition: $30,950

Avg Salary: $55,650

Website: https://www.uu.edu/programs/nursing/

Union University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited BSN, MSN, and DNP programs deeply rooted in Christian ideals. Undergraduates complete over 1,000 hours of clinical experience across diverse healthcare settings. The school achieves outstanding NCLEX pass rates for both first-time and repeat test takers.

King University School of Nursing

Location: Bristol, TN

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Avg SAT Score: 1030

Tuition: $29,800

Avg Salary: $52,410

Website: https://www.king.edu/academics/schools/school-of-nursing

King University’s School of Nursing emphasizes evidence-based practice across its BSN and MSN programs. Undergraduates benefit from the school’s relationships with regional healthcare providers for exceptional clinical training opportunities to build nursing skills. Graduates consistently find nursing positions across Northeast Tennessee.

Cumberland University School of Nursing

Location: Lebanon, TN

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Avg SAT Score: 990

Tuition: $23,500

Avg Salary: $50,330

Website: https://www.cumberland.edu/department-of-nursing/

Cumberland University’s School of Nursing offers an accelerated BSN program for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Students benefit from clinical placements across diverse healthcare settings, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Graduates report high satisfaction in job preparation.

Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia

Location: Madison, TN

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Tuition: $38,500

Avg Salary: $165,000

Website: https://www.mtsa.edu

The Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia offers an intensive 27-month nurse anesthesia program to train Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Students receive 12,000+ hours of clinical training across surgical areas using state-of-the-art simulation labs and real-world hospital rotations. Graduates have 100% job placement with high salaries.

Lincoln Memorial University Caylor School of Nursing

Location: Harrogate, TN

Rating: 5.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Avg SAT Score: 1010

Tuition: $21,870

Avg Salary: $45,150

Website: https://www.lmunet.edu/caylor-school-of-nursing/index.php

Lincoln Memorial University’s Caylor School of Nursing emphasizes servant leadership in its BSN and MSN programs. Undergraduate students train across the University’s medical center, simulation labs, and other regional healthcare facilities. Graduates report feeling prepared for nursing licensure exams and clinical practice.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top 2 nursing schools in Tennessee?

The top 2 nursing schools in Tennessee are Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing. Both achieve exceptional rankings among nursing schools nationally for their rigorous academics, clinical training opportunities, and graduate outcomes.

Which Tennessee nursing school has the highest NCLEX pass rates?

Southern Adventist University School of Nursing achieves some of the state’s highest first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates consistently at 95-100% for BSN graduates over the past decade. This reflects the program’s emphasis on developing clinical reasoning and nursing judgment across real-world training settings.

Which Tennessee nursing school is cheapest?

Lincoln Memorial University’s Caylor School of Nursing offers the most affordable tuition among accredited nursing schools in Tennessee at $21,870 annually. Students benefit from clinical placements across LMU’s medical center and regional providers to build hands-on skills.

What Tennessee nursing school has the best DNP program?

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is ranked the #1 nursing school in Tennessee and top 10 nationally for its doctoral-level nursing programs. The DNP program offers specializations like Nurse Anesthesia, Family Nurse Practitioner, and more with advanced clinical training opportunities.

Does University of Tennessee offer an accelerated BSN program?

Yes, the University of Tennessee Knoxville has an accelerated second degree BSN program for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. This intensive 15-month option includes the same rigorous nursing curriculum and clinical hours as the traditional BSN.

Which Tennessee nursing school has the highest acceptance rate?

Union University School of Nursing has the state’s highest nursing program acceptance rate at 79% annually. This reflects the school’s holistic review approach to admit motivated students committed to nursing practice in alignment with Union’s mission.

Where do Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia graduates find jobs?

As the premier nurse anesthesia school in Tennessee, MTSA graduates are highly recruited across the country with 100% job placement rates. Top employers include Vanderbilt Medical Center, Mayo Clinic hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, and other nationally ranked healthcare systems.

Does Belmont University offer an online nursing program?

Yes, Belmont University School of Nursing offers an online RN-to-BSN program for licensed RNs seeking to advance their nursing degree. Coursework covers leadership, research, community health, and nursing specialty content to prepare graduates for expanding roles.

How much do nurse practitioners make in Tennessee?

The average nurse practitioner salary in Tennessee is $110,000 annually. This reflects the state’s high demand for primary care providers with an aging population across rural areas. NPs deliver quality, affordable care as independent practitioners.

What is the hardest nursing school to get into in Tennessee?

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has the lowest acceptance rate at just 11% annually, making it the most competitive nursing school for admissions in Tennessee. Exceptional academics, clinical facilities, and job placement power Vanderbilt’s nursing program rankings.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.