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RN Nursing Programs in Tennessee - TN

How to Become a Registered Nurse in Tennessee

The fastest way to become licensed as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee takes two years via a hospital-based diploma program. But, these programs are rare. Almost all RNs in the state take one of two college-based options, both of which require a year of prerequisite course work before application: a two year Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN) program, or a four year Bachelor’s Degree, Nursing (BSN). IN both an ADN and a BSN, classes begin with entry-level nursing concepts and skills and progress towards advanced knowledge of patient diagnosis, treatment and care, as well as nurse management skills. A BSN takes studies in all of these areas further, to prepare students for positions of seniority, and additionally provides more time for elective study and specialization.

The final test, in both an ADN and a BSN, is the NCLEX-RN. Administered by Pearson Vue for a $200 examination fee, the test is a comprehensive examination of a nurse’s skills and knowledge. It requires a criminal background review and application to the Tennessee Board of Nursing at a nominal fee, and around 92 percent of graduates of Tennessee nursing education programs pass the test on their first try and become ready to enter the work force as a Registered Nurse.

RN Salary and Jobs in Tennessee

Registered Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals in Tennessee, and also one of the most in-demand. With a growing and aging population, they should be in demand for years to come. With high demand, it follows that RNs are paid well in Tennessee—around $61,000 annually (according to BLS.gov) plus benefits is the average salary for a full time RN in a Tennessee city like Memphis or Nashville. Close to two-thirds of RNs in Tennessee work in hospitals, with the other third working at retirement homes, private clinics, physician’s offices, government health organizations, and other health care facilities. Although there are diverse employment opportunities for Tennessee Registered Nurses, the majority of them work with doctors and lesser-qualified nurses to devise and maintain patient care plans for multiple patients. Certainly, working as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee presents a dynamic and fluctuating workplace that rarely becomes monotonous.