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Tennessee’s broad network of nursing schools has produced a successful and well-established nursing workforce. The state employs well over 100,000 nurses in a broad range of nursing roles, including certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Nursing employment in Tennessee
The size of each nursing profession in Tennessee varies significantly. There are nearly 29,000 CNAs and 21,000 LPNs employed in the state. These are junior nursing roles responsible for basic day-to-day care of sick, disabled, and elderly patients. The state is also home to 57,000 RNs and almost 7,000 APRNs. These registered nurses fill more senior roles, planning patient care in consultation with physicians.

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Tennessee nursing schools
With well over 100 accredited nursing programs in the state, Tennessee offers a wide variety of nursing class sizes. Size may vary both at the overall school level and at the specific program level. There are unique advantages to both large and small nursing programs. For example, large nursing schools offer a greater variety and frequency of classes, allowing students to tailor their education to their schedule and interests. Small nursing schools offer a more personalized learning environment, where students enjoy more intimate interactions with their classmates and professors.

To aid those seeking a career in nursing, we have profiled below many of Tennessee’s best nursing schools. You’ll find them organized by class size within each major city.

Featured Schools

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Chattanooga

Southern Adventist University
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 140 students during the 2018 period
Chattanooga State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 132 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 16 students during the 2018 period
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 78 students during the 2018 period
Chattanooga College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 20 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
Southern Adventist University Associate's Degree in Nursing 140 students
Chattanooga State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 132 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 16 students
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Bachelor of Science in Nursing 78 students
Chattanooga College Certificate in Practical Nursing 20 students

Knoxville

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 140 students during the 2018 period
Pellissippi State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 82 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 76 students during the 2018 period
Roane State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 70 students during the 2018 period
South College - Knoxville Parkside
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 50 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee Wesleyan University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 39 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Harriman
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 32 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Bachelor of Science in Nursing 140 students
Pellissippi State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 82 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville Certificate in Practical Nursing 76 students
Roane State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 70 students
South College - Knoxville Parkside Bachelor of Science in Nursing 50 students
Tennessee Wesleyan University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 39 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Harriman Certificate in Practical Nursing 32 students

Memphis

University of Memphis
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 258 students during the 2018 period
Baptist College of Health Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 144 students during the 2018 period
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 96 students during the 2018 period
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 70 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Memphis
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 58 students during the 2018 period
Concorde Career College - Memphis
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 33 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
University of Memphis Bachelor of Science in Nursing 258 students
Baptist College of Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing 144 students
University of Tennessee Health Science Center Accelerated Second Degree BSN 96 students
Southwest Tennessee Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 70 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Memphis Certificate in Practical Nursing 58 students
Concorde Career College - Memphis Associate's Degree in Nursing 33 students

Nashville

Vanderbilt University
Direct Entry MSN: 167 students during the 2018 period
Belmont University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 146 students during the 2018 period
Cumberland University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 112 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Dickson
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 96 students during the 2018 period
Marian University - Nashville
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 94 students during the 2018 period
Middle Tennessee State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 91 students during the 2018 period
Columbia State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 74 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Nashville
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 59 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 56 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 47 students during the 2017 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 38 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 45 students during the 2018 period
Lipscomb University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 37 students during the 2018 period
Fortis Institute - Nashville
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 31 students during the 2018 period
Nashville State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 27 students during the 2018 period
Trevecca Nazarene University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 5 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
Vanderbilt University Direct Entry MSN 167 students
Belmont University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 146 students
Cumberland University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 112 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Dickson Certificate in Practical Nursing 96 students
Marian University - Nashville Accelerated Second Degree BSN 94 students
Middle Tennessee State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 91 students
Columbia State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 74 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Nashville Certificate in Practical Nursing 59 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro Certificate in Practical Nursing 56 students
Tennessee State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 47 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 38 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville Certificate in Practical Nursing 45 students
Lipscomb University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 37 students
Fortis Institute - Nashville Associate's Degree in Nursing 31 students
Nashville State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 27 students
Trevecca Nazarene University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 5 students

Other Tennessee cities

East Tennessee State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 246 students during the 2018 period
Union University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 170 students during the 2018 period
Four Rivers Regional Practical Nursing Program
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 136 students during the 2018 period
Lincoln Memorial University
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 128 students during the 2018 period
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 95 students during the 2018 period
Jackson Regional Practical Nursing Program
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 125 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee Tech University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 115 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Elizabethton
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 107 students during the 2018 period
Walters State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 106 students during the 2018 period
Dyersburg State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 100 students during the 2018 period
Austin Peay State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 98 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Morristown
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 85 students during the 2018 period
Jackson State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81 students during the 2018 period
Cleveland State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 75 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Livingston
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 72 students during the 2018 period
Motlow State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 71 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Paris
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 68 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee Valley Regional Practical Nursing Program
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 57 students during the 2018 period
Northeast State Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 53 students during the 2018 period
Appalachian Regional Practical Nursing Program
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 47 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Athens
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 45 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Crossville
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 42 students during the 2018 period
Freed-Hardeman University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 40 students during the 2018 period
University of Tennessee at Martin
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 39 students during the 2018 period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hohenwald
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 37 students during the 2018 period
Carson-Newman University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 35 students during the 2018 period
King University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 33 students during the 2018 period
South Central Regional Practical Nursing Program
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 32 students during the 2018 period
Lee University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 29 students during the 2018 period
Bethel University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 27 students during the 2018 period
Tusculum University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 26 students during the 2018 period
Martin Methodist College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 15 students during the 2018 period
Milligan College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 13 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
East Tennessee State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 246 students
Union University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 170 students
Four Rivers Regional Practical Nursing Program Certificate in Practical Nursing 136 students
Lincoln Memorial University Associate's Degree in Nursing 128 students
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 95 students
Jackson Regional Practical Nursing Program Certificate in Practical Nursing 125 students
Tennessee Tech University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 115 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Elizabethton Certificate in Practical Nursing 107 students
Walters State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 106 students
Dyersburg State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 100 students
Austin Peay State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 98 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Morristown Certificate in Practical Nursing 85 students
Jackson State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 81 students
Cleveland State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 75 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Livingston Certificate in Practical Nursing 72 students
Motlow State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 71 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Paris Certificate in Practical Nursing 68 students
Tennessee Valley Regional Practical Nursing Program Certificate in Practical Nursing 57 students
Northeast State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 53 students
Appalachian Regional Practical Nursing Program Certificate in Practical Nursing 47 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Athens Certificate in Practical Nursing 45 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Crossville Certificate in Practical Nursing 42 students
Freed-Hardeman University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 40 students
University of Tennessee at Martin Bachelor of Science in Nursing 39 students
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hohenwald Certificate in Practical Nursing 37 students
Carson-Newman University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 35 students
King University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 33 students
South Central Regional Practical Nursing Program Certificate in Practical Nursing 32 students
Lee University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 29 students
Bethel University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 27 students
Tusculum University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 26 students
Martin Methodist College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 15 students
Milligan College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 13 students