Nursing Schools in Knoxville, TN with Degree Program Information

There are 7 schools within 50 miles of Knoxville that have nursing degree programs. Read an overview of 3 schools' programs, requirements, and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Knoxville Schools with Nursing Programs

Several schools in the Knoxville area offer nursing degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This article looks at 3 that are no more than a 50-minute drive from downtown and the programs they have available. Information about each school that a prospective student should know, such as total enrollment, tuition and the graduation rate, is included here in a table. At the end of the article is a brief paragraph regarding several additional Knoxville-area schools that offer nursing programs.

  • Just two miles from downtown Knoxville, the University of Tennessee offers bachelor's, master's and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in nursing as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
  • About 16 miles from the city center, students can attend Pellissippi State Community College for a traditional or LPN bridge-to-RN associate's degree in nursing.
  • Roane State Community College, about 35 miles west of Knoxville, is another 2-year college offering an associate's nursing degree.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals who are looking for a school need to consider many factors. The following table showcases some important statistics in a format that allows for easy comparison.

University of Tennessee - Knoxville Pellissippi State Community College Roane State Community College
School Type 4-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 28,321* 11,168* 5,626*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large suburb Distant town
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $12,970 in-state; $31,390 out-of-state* $4,180 in-state; $16,156 out-of-state* $4,143 in-state; $16,119 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 93%* 94%* 98%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017) 77%* N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 86% full-time; 55% part-time* 53% full-time; 41% part-time* 57% full-time; 49% part-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 70% (students beginning in 2011)* 27% (students beginning in 2014)* 30% (students beginning in 2014)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Established in 1971, the University of Tennessee - Knoxville (UTK) College of Nursing has provided nursing programs that are fully accredited by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Along with degree programs, the school offers graduate certificates in nursing. Students with a master's degree in nursing can seek additional skills by earning a graduate certificate in one of several different concentrations, including administration, anesthesia, women and children's health, family nurse practitioner, and mental health.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The BSN degree program is designed to train students in the essential skills and behaviors necessary for effective nursing. Emphasis is given to health maintenance and restoration, human behavior, and family relationships in respect to personal health. Both a traditional 4-year and an accelerated 12-month program are available. Courses cover nursing practice, pathophysiology, adult healthcare, mental health maintenance, and pediatric care. Furthermore, a registered nurse who holds a diploma or associate's degree in nursing can enroll in the RN to BSN track. This program offers nursing courses online, allowing students to complete courses around work schedules.

Master of Science in Nursing

This graduate study program prepares students for advanced practices in nursing, including administration, technology applications, and management of resources. Graduates are qualified to assess policies in healthcare delivery, collaborate in research across multiple disciplines, and fulfill leadership roles in providing and evaluating healthcare. Students are able to select a nurse anesthesia concentration.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP program now offers four BSN-DNP options and an MSN-DNP track. Total credits for these programs range from 41-76 hours of study. BSN-DNP concentrations include family nurse practitioner, nurse executive, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and pediatric nurse practitioner. Over the course of their selected program, students can expect to study epidemiology, nursing policy, healthcare economics, bioethics, and research. For the MSN-DNP, students must also complete a practice immersion and a capstone project to meet the program's required 41 credit hours. Furthermore, 1,000 post-BSN clinical hours are required by each of the five DNP options.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The PhD program with a major in nursing is completed through online coursework and on-campus meetings for professional development, presentations, classes, exams, and seminars. The final dissertation must demonstrate the incorporation of research and theory into advanced nursing practices. Graduates of the program can develop and implement healthcare policies, advocate for ethical healthcare principles, fulfill leadership roles as nurse scientists, and conduct research with other professionals across multiple disciplines.

Pellissippi State Community College

Founded in 1974 as a technical school, Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) today features career-training degrees and certificates, transfer degrees, and continuing education programs. PSCC's nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN.) The program emphasizes safe, ethical, and collaborative nursing practices across the lifespan, with training available at the Magnolia Campus in Knoxville and the Blount County Campus in Friendsville, about 23 miles from the city.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

This program is open to those new to nursing and to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) seeking RN licensure. The 5-semester traditional format includes a summer semester between the first and second year. Pre-nursing courses create a knowledge foundation in anatomy, physiology, psychology, microbiology, and college-level algebra. Core learning takes place through classes, labs, and clinical practice, which feature nursing fundamentals and the delivery of nursing care from prenatal through adulthood.

LPNs in the bridge-to-RN program begin their studies during the summer semester with a transitional course on the therapeutic nursing care of adults and children. When this course is completed, students are ready to enter the traditional program at the start of its second year. All graduates are prepared to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to become an RN.

Roane State Community College

The nursing program offers courses at 3 separate sites, including the Knoxville Health Sciences Center, the Oak Ridge Branch Campus, and the Roane County Main Campus. It is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

This 2-year intensive program prepares students for careers as RNs through classroom, lab, and clinical experiences. The curriculum requires 66 credit hours, including courses in psychology, child and adult health, pharmacology, psychosocial nursing, and nursing practice transitions. An LPN Career Mobility option is also available for students who have an active Tennessee practical nurse license; however, this program is not offered every year. After completing the nursing program, graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Other School Options

Aspiring nurses might also consider Carson-Newman College, a private Christian school in nearby Jefferson City, which awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. An AAS in Nursing program is also offered at Walters State Community College, located less than 50 miles away from downtown Knoxville in Morristown. About 60 miles away in Harrogate, there are associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs available at Lincoln Memorial University.


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