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Several of Knoxville’s colleges and universities offer accredited nursing programs. These programs run the gamut from brief certificates to intensive bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees. The breadth and quality of nursing education make Knoxville a great place to launch one’s nursing career.

Types of nursing roles
Aspiring nurses may choose from several different nursing roles. A certified nursing assistant (CNA) fills a junior nursing role that only requires completion of a short eight- to ten-week certificate program, followed by a state-administered examination. A licensed practical nurse (LPN) must complete a 12- to 18-month certificate program and pass the NCLEX-PN, a national licensure exam, before beginning practice. A registered nurse (RN) has three prelicensure education options in Tennessee: a two-year associate’s degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, or a direct-entry master’s degree. RNs must also pass a licensure examination, the NCLEX-RN, before beginning practice.

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Nursing careers in Knoxville
Knoxville’s major hospitals, like University of Tennessee Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, are constantly in the market for newly minted nurses. Knoxville’s smaller healthcare providers frequently hire through nurse staffing coordinators like MedPro Staffing. Nursing compensation grows dramatically with level of education. For example, Knoxville’s CNAs and LPNs, who typically hold only a certificate, earn a median annual salary of $22,820 and $35,220, respectively. The city’s RNs, who must hold a degree, earn $53,970 per year on average. BSN-educated RNs often earn top-quartile pay of $60,000 and above. MSN-educated nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists take home $87,780 and $145,130 per year, respectively.

For those individuals considering nursing education in Knoxville, we have compiled below a complete list of local colleges and universities with accredited nursing programs.

Featured Schools

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Knoxville nursing schools by NCLEX score

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville
1100 Liberty Street | Knoxville, Tennessee 37919
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 95.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
527 Andy Holt Tower | Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 94.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pellissippi State Community College
2731 West Lamar Alexander Parkway | Friendsville, Tennessee 37737
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.1% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2018)
Roane State Community College
276 Patton Lane | Harriman, Tennessee 37748
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Tennessee Wesleyan University
9845 Cogdill Drive | Knoxville, Tennessee 37932
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 91.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Harriman
1745 Harriman Highway | Harriman, Tennessee 37748
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 89.9% NCLEX pass rate (2015 through 2018)
South College - Knoxville Parkside
400 Goody's Lane | Knoxville, Tennessee 37922
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
South College - Knoxville
3904 Lonas Drive | Knoxville, Tennessee 37909
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville Certificate in Practical Nursing 95.0% 2009 to 2018
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Bachelor of Science in Nursing 94.0% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Post-Master's Certificate: Nurse Anesthesia
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pellissippi State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.1% 2012 to 2018
Roane State Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.9% 2009 to 2018
Tennessee Wesleyan University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 91.1% 2009 to 2018
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Harriman Certificate in Practical Nursing 89.9% 2015 to 2018
South College - Knoxville Parkside Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.1% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
South College - Knoxville Certificate in Practical Nursing
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program