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Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

Roughly twenty Tennessee schools offer an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) program, including a dozen of the state’s community colleges. All ADN programs are focused on preparing students for initial licensure as a registered nurse (RN). There are several advantages to pursuing the ADN pathway, and Tennessee offers a number of promising career opportunities upon completion.

Advantages of the ADN pathway
One of the ADN pathway’s biggest advantages is its short length. An associate’s degree program requires just two years of study, versus the four years required to complete a prelicensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. Many ADN graduates later pursue their BSN degree through a part-time RN-to-BSN program at a local college. Associate’s degree programs are also designed with the flexibility to accommodate students’ schedules. For example, many campuses offer evening classes.

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Nursing employment opportunities in Tennessee
Upon completion of an ADN program, graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination. Tennessee has numerous employment opportunities for newly minted RNs. The state employs nearly 58,000 registered nurses, with over 70% concentrated in the top four cities. Nashville employs the most RNs of any Tennessee city (17,560), followed by Memphis (11,650), Knoxville (6,860), and Chattanooga (6,140). The state’s RNs earn a median annual salary of $56,000; nurses in Nashville and Memphis earn $59,000 on average.

For those considering the ADN pathway to a nursing career, we have profiled below all of Tennessee’s prelicensure associate’s degree programs. You’ll find them grouped by metropolitan area and ordered by students’ recent NCLEX test scores.

Featured Schools

Chattanooga

Chattanooga State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Southern Adventist University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Chattanooga State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 96.8% 2009 to 2012
Southern Adventist University
Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.8% 2009 to 2012

Knoxville

Pellissippi State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96.6% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2012)
Roane State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Pellissippi State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 96.6% 2012 to 2012
Roane State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.6% 2009 to 2012

Memphis

Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 98.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Concorde Career College - Memphis
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 98.8% 2009 to 2012
Concorde Career College - Memphis
Associate's Degree in Nursing

Nashville

Columbia State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Tennessee State University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Nashville State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 80.0% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2012)
Fortis Institute - Nashville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Columbia State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.0% 2009 to 2012
Tennessee State University
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.9% 2009 to 2012
Nashville State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 80.0% 2012 to 2012
Fortis Institute - Nashville
Associate's Degree in Nursing

Other Tennessee cities

Motlow State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 98.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Lincoln Memorial University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Cleveland State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 95.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Jackson State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 95.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Dyersburg State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Northeast State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Walters State Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Motlow State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 98.4% 2009 to 2012
Lincoln Memorial University
Associate's Degree in Nursing 96.4% 2009 to 2012
Cleveland State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 95.7% 2009 to 2012
Jackson State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 95.2% 2009 to 2012
Dyersburg State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.8% 2009 to 2012
Northeast State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.4% 2009 to 2012
Walters State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.1% 2009 to 2012
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