Entry Level ADN, BSN, & MSN Programs in Nashville, TN

For aspiring nurses with no prior training or experience, an entry-level training program is the best place to find out if a career in nursing is right for you. In the Nashville area, there are a few options for entry-level nursing programs, including LPN to RN programs, Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, and one direct-entry Master of Science in Nursing program. Each of these programs trains students for their first professional job in the nursing field.

LPN to RN Programs

Many licensed practical nurses decide to pursue their RN license in order to earn a higher wage and take on more patient care responsibilities. LPN to RN programs help practical nurses do just that and earn either their ADN or BSN in the process. Tennessee College of Applied Science offers an LPN to BSN program in a hybrid online/on-campus program that can be taken on a full- or part-time basis to accommodate working practical nurses.

ADN Programs

The ADN degree is offered at many community colleges and vocational schools and generally takes around two years to complete. These programs provide basic nursing education and prepare students to take the NCLEX licensing exam. One example of these programs is found at Nashville State Community College, which places students in clinical settings in middle Tennessee for clinical practice hours.

Direct-Entry BSN Programs

BSN programs are becoming more popular entry points to the nursing profession as more employers are seeking candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher education level. BSN programs take longer to complete than ADN programs and generally include additional general education courses as well as a more in-depth nursing curriculum. Belmont University, as an example, offers a traditional BSN program as well as an accelerated BSN program that allows students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject to earn the BSN in just 16 months of full-time study.

Find out more about Tennessee Accelerated BSN Programs

Direct-Entry MSN Programs

A less common entry point to nursing is the direct-entry MSN program, which is generally offered to students who have completed a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and would like to earn a master’s-level education in nursing. The direct-entry MSN program at Vanderbilt University program includes three semesters of study for the bachelor’s level degree in nursing, followed by three semesters or more of the master’s-level study of nursing.

Find out more about Tennessee Accelerated MSN Programs

Nashville RN Program NCLEX-RN Pass Rates

NCLEX-RN Students Total6454,114
NCLEX-RN Students Passed5573,606
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate86.3%87.7%

Top Ranked Accredited Nursing Programs in Nashville

Listed below are the top nursing schools in Nashville based on our RegisteredNursing.org RN program rankings for Tennessee out of 47 other accredited programs offered in the state:

  • Cumberland University - #13
  • Lipscomb University - #18
  • Nashville State Community College - #9
  • Vanderbilt University - #10
  • Volunteer State Community College - #19
SchoolContact Information

Belmont University

1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 460-6781

Cumberland University

  • BSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Tennessee Program: #13 of 47
McFarland Hall, 500 Park Avenue
Lebanon, TN 37087
(615) 547-1393

Fortis Institute in Nashville

3354 Perimeter Hill Dr.Suite 105
Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 320-5917

Lipscomb University

  • BSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Tennessee Program: #18 of 47
1 University Park Dr
Nashville, TN 37204
(800) 333-4358

Marian University

4220 Harding Road, S&E Building, Ste. 500
Nashville, TN 37205
(866) 892-4355

Nashville State Community College

  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Tennessee Program: #9 of 47
120 White Bridge Pk
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 353-3333

Tennessee State University

3500 John A Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 963-5000

Trevecca Nazarene University

333 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200

Vanderbilt University

  • MSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Tennessee Program: #10 of 47
461 21st Ave. South
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-4400

Volunteer State Community College

  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Tennessee Program: #19 of 47
1480 Nashville Pike
Gallatin, TN 37066
(615) 452-8600

RN to BSN/MSN Programs in Nashville, TN

If you are a working nurse with a valid RN license and an ADN degree, there are specially designed programs in which you can earn a higher nursing degree in a shorter amount of time than a traditional BSN or MSN program. So-called “bridge” programs because they provide a bridge between one degree and the next, RN to BSN/MSN programs can put your dreams of a new career in nursing within reach.

RN to BSN Programs

RN to BSN programs can be completed in as little as one year of study, and are often offered in an online format to accommodate working nurses. For RNs in Nashville, there are several online options, as well as an RN to BSN program at Tennessee State University that offers admission in the summer semester and is completed in one calendar year.

Learn more about Tennessee RN to BSN Programs

RN to MSN Programs

Nurses who want to become advanced practice nurses may be interested in RN to MSN programs, such as the one offered at Vanderbilt University, which is in a modified block format that features concentrated blocks of time on campus supplemented with online conferencing and recorded lecture delivery and can be completed in two years of study.

Learn more about Tennessee RN to MSN Programs

SchoolContact Information

Chattanooga State Community College

4501 Amnicola Highway
Chattanooga, TN
(423) 697-4400

Dyersburg State Community College

1510 Lake Rd
Dyersburg, TN
(731) 286-3200

Pellissippi State Community College

10915 Hardin Valley Rd
Knoxville, TN
(865) 694-6400

Tennessee State University

3500 John A Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209

Vanderbilt University

461 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 343-8876

APRN & Nurse Practitioner Programs in Nashville, TN

For nurses who are serious about advancing their careers in the nursing field, an advanced practice degree is a next step. These programs, which include traditional MSN, graduate certificate programs, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees, prepare nurses for careers as nurse leaders, nurse practitioners, administrators, and educators.

MSN Programs

MSN programs prepare nurses for careers as nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nursing specialties and generally allow students to specialize their studies along a particular career track. Tennessee State University offers an MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner program that includes coursework on nursing theory, research, health policy, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, and family health nursing and 600 hours of clinical practice.

Find out more about Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Programs

Post-Master's Certificate Programs

Nurses who have already earned their MSN but would like to learn a new advanced practice specialty can seek out a post-graduate certificate program. These programs offer master’s-level specialty nursing courses that prepare nurses with their MSN for certification exams in a new specialty. For example, Belmont University offers a 24-credit hour post-master’s certificate program in the family nurse practitioner role.

Learn more about Tennessee Post-Master's Certificate Programs

DNP Programs

The highest level of advanced practice nursing education is the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. DNP programs may be designed for nurses with BSN degrees or MSN degrees. Belmont University offers both types of DNP programs, offered in a hybrid format with intensive classes held during four weekends each semester and supplemented by online coursework.

Learn more about Tennessee DNP Programs

SchoolContact Information

Belmont University

DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 460-6000

Tennessee State University

3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 963-5000

Vanderbilt University

MSN ProgramsDNP ProgramsPost-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
461 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-4400

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

MSN Programs
461 21st Ave. South
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-4400