In order to meet the demand for advanced practice nurses in the state, registered nurses in Tennessee are increasingly seeking their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Tennessee-based RNs who have completed their Associate's Degree or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree can choose from full-time or part-time MSN programs as well as in-person or online classes and a number of different specializations, putting an MSN degree within reach for hard-working nurses across Tennessee.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Tennessee

Nurses considering applying to an RN to MSN program in Washington will likely encounter the following admissions requirements:

  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or professional letters of recommendation
  • Application forms that may include a personal statement or essay
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses; for example, Austin Peay State University in Nashville requires completion of a general undergraduate-level statistics course
  • GRE scores may be required at some schools

RN to MSN Courses

There are three kinds of RN to MSN programs in Tennessee: a version for ADN-educated RNs, which allows them to earn a BSN simultaneously, an accelerated MSN program designed for RNs with an ADN or a Bachelor's degree in another field which does not earn the student a BSN simultaneously, and a version for those who already hold a BSN and now want to attain an MSN degree. MSN students often have the option of moving into a specialized track that leads to a particular advanced nursing career once they have completed their general education courses. These specialties may include Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Nurse Administration, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia and others.

As part of their MSN program, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • Conceptual & Theoretical Foundations of Nursing
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Health Policy, Finance & Economics
  • Nursing Research with Statistical Applications

Online RN to MSN Programs in Tennessee

Online MSN programs provide RNs with the flexibility of working toward their MSN wherever and whenever it works best for their schedule, and often allow the student to continue working full- or part-time while completing their course of study. Convenient and often affordable options, online programs also usually include an in-person clinical requirement that can be completed on campus or in the student's local area. Several schools in Tennessee, such as Vanderbilt University, offer hybrid programs that combine online study with on-campus coursework or practicums required at specific times throughout the semester or quarter. Often these programs offer on-campus time on the weekends or evenings to accommodate working RNs' schedules.

Featured Online School

East Tennessee State University in Johnson offers an ACEN-accredited, fully online RN to MSN program. The program is offered to RNs who have completed their BSN or have completed a Bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. ETSU offers specialty concentrations in Nursing Administration, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education and the Family Nurse Practitioner. All of the MSN programs are offered on a full-time or part-time basis and students may start in the fall, spring or summer semesters. The length of time it takes to complete the MSN program varies depending on specialization chosen and whether the student has chosen a full- or part-time program.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program varies depending on both the school and the student. Full-time or part-time study, online or in-person courses, and specialization chosen can all impact how quickly the coursework can be completed. For example, the University of Memphis offers their MSN Nursing Administration program on a four semester full-time schedule or a six semester part-time schedule. Students can begin the program either in the spring or fall. Union University based in Jackson also offers full- or part-time options for their online RN to MSN Education program, with all students beginning study in the fall semester.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of an RN to MSN program in Tennessee varies from school to school, and also depends on whether the student is going to school full- or part-time and taking online or in-person courses. For instance, tuition for graduate level nursing programs at Carson-Newman University is $600 per credit hour, and tuition for the MSN program at Vanderbilt University is currently $1,454 per credit hour. It's important to keep in mind that tuition costs do not include additional course fees, or out-of-pocket expenses like books and course materials. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so make sure to check on the current costs with your school of choice before making your final program decision.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Tennessee

An MSN degree is a gateway to a variety of career opportunities for RNs in Tennessee. From administrative and management positions to educator and direct patient care roles, the MSN-educated nurse has a number of career paths to choose from. The following are just a few nursing careers that require an MSN:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

In addition to a wealth of career advancement opportunities, completing an MSN degree delivers increased earning potential for RNs in Tennessee. The mean annual wage for MSN-educated nurse practitioners in Tennessee is around $93,790. That is a significant increase over the mean annual wage for a registered nurse in Tennessee, which is around $58,410. Nurse practitioner is only possible career path for MSN-educated registered nurses, but any MSN-required career will come with a significantly higher salary than an ADN- or BSN-required RN position.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

There are more than 5 different RN to MSN programs offered within the state of Tennessee, some of which offer traditional in-class learning, while others offer online distance education. Taking an online program can offer candidates the opportunity to finish their degree from just about anywhere, and the freedom to work around personal and professional responsibilities. Imagine being a clinical nurse leader, or a pain management nurse or even a nurse executive, these are just some of the title that you can aspire to once you have completed your MSN degree.

Austin Peay State University
School of Nursing
601 College St
Clarksville, TN 37044
East Tennessee State University
College of Nursing
365 Stout Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-7051
Tennessee State University
School of Nursing
3500 John A Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209
Union University
Online Campus
School of Nursing
1050 Union University Dr
Jackson, TN 38305
University of Memphis
Loewenberg College of Nursing
3720 Alumni Ave
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2020
Vanderbilt University
School of Nursing
461 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 343-8876