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Studying Nursing in Nashville, TN: Nursing Program Information

Research nursing programs in Nashville, Tennessee, which currently has around five colleges and universities offering training in the field. To decide which one is right for you, read an overview of the degree options, requirements and admission policies for three of the schools located within five miles of the downtown area.

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Nashville Schools with Nursing Degrees

Nurses provide patient care by combining scientific acumen and communication skills. Nursing programs in Nashville, TN, provide the training needed to work as a nurse in hospitals and healthcare centers or to pursue an advanced research specialty. To get a better understanding of what training in this field entails, check out the coursework and clinical aspects of three universities' programs. Also included in this article is a table of school stats and some info on a couple of other area colleges.

  • Vanderbilt University, located about three miles from downtown Nashville, offers several nursing graduate programs. These include a master's degree, a post-master's certificate and two doctoral degrees in the field.
  • In addition to a master's degree, Tennessee State University offers both an associate's and bachelor's degree for aspiring nurses. The campus is also around three miles from central Nashville.
  • Yet another school located roughly three miles from Nashville's downtown area, Belmont University has numerous laboratory facilities to aid both undergraduate and graduate students in their nursing studies. A bachelor's and master's degree is available in nursing in addition to a doctoral program in nursing practice.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
  • Nursing Science
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

Comparison of Schools

All of the profiled schools give students the chance to study nursing in a big city environment, but they differ in many areas as well. Look over this table to get specifics on their costs, enrollment numbers, acceptance rates and much more.

Vanderbilt University Tennessee State University Belmont University
School Type 4-year, Private not-for-profit 4-year, Public 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 12,686* 9,027* 7,244*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $44,712* $7,112, in-state; $19,832, out-of-state* $30,000*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 70%* 98%* 88%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 13%* Open admissions* 83%*
Retention Rate (2014) 97%* 62%* 83%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2014) 93%* 42%* 70%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, a private institution in downtown Nashville, has a nursing school that offers graduate-level training across numerous specializations. Flexible formats, multiple entry options, post-master's certificates and dual degrees with the divinity school are some of the possibilities at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN).

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Students who already hold an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can pursue an MSN for specialized training qualifying them to work in midwifery, adult nursing, neonatal practice, palliative care, women's health or many other nursing subfields. The MSN program typically takes one year to complete and includes core nursing courses, classes in the desired specialization and electives in a related field, such as medicine, communications or business management. Students who hold bachelor's degrees in fields other than nursing can also apply to the program, but they must complete an additional year of prerequisite coursework before beginning the standard MSN program.

Post-Master's Certificate

Nurses who already hold an MSN can enroll in Vanderbilt's post-master's certificate program to update their knowledge or to gain experience with a different subfield of nursing. Applicants can choose from one of many specializations, including acute care nurse practitioner, informatics, women's health nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. The certificate in family nurse practice, for instance, trains MSNs in the issues specific to caring for children and adolescents. Enrolled students take lecture and laboratory courses and undertake additional clinical experience.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Vanderbilt's DNP program offers a terminal degree in practice to those who already hold a MSN and are interested in combining advanced scholarship with continuing clinical work. The program generally takes five semesters to complete, though some candidates may be able to transfer credits from their master's programs to finish the DNP in less time. All students complete a scholarly project that integrates coursework with clinical experience. Armed with the factual knowledge and analytic skills that this program provides, graduates often pursue leadership and management positions in hospitals and other healthcare settings that allow them to develop industry practices by applying evidence from new research.

Doctor of Science (Ph.D.) in Nursing Science

Advanced nursing students with interest in a research career can pursue Vanderbilt's Ph.D. program in nursing science, which trains leading scholars and university faculty members. Candidates must complete advanced coursework, pass written and oral qualifying exams and defend a scholarly dissertation.

Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University (TSU) offers more than 77 degree programs, including several vocational programs in nursing at its campus in downtown Nashville. The School of Nursing's undergraduate and graduate degree nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Nursing

High school graduates interested in nursing can apply to TSU's 2-year associate's degree nursing program, which will prepare them to work as registered nurses (RNs). They will take classes in science, medicine and practical nursing. After completing the A.A.S program, graduates can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam to be licensed as RNs. In addition to nursing classes, students will take courses in English, psychology and biology.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

TSU's BSN degree offers in-depth study of the core tenets of nursing practice, from anatomy and pharmacology to practical patient care techniques and communication principles. The program generally takes four years to complete and graduates are eligible to take the RN licensure exam. In addition to the nursing core, students must take general education courses and five semester hours of electives.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Experienced nurses can apply for Tennessee State University's 2-year master's program to deepen their knowledge of a particular area of nursing. Enrolled students take coursework in general nursing and an area of specialization, as well as completing a major thesis or project at the end of their degree program. Graduates may consider working as family nurse practitioners, nurse educators or holistic nurses.

Belmont University

The Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing at Belmont University features many healthcare community partners and state-of-the-art facilities. One such facility, the Healthcare Simulation Center, is an innovative environment that allows nurses to experience real clinical circumstances.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This four year program combines nursing courses and general education. Students can expect to take courses such as pathophysiology, health assessment, nutrition for healthcare, the aging adult and adult health nursing. At the culmination of the degree, students will complete a senior practicum and capstone project. Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX.

Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner

The master's program at Belmont is meant for those students with a bachelor's degree in nursing. The curriculum has core courses in addition to specialization classes in the student's area of focus. Students who go to school full time can complete the master's program in one year; those who attend part time will finish in two years. Common coursework includes informatics, primary healthcare, theoretical foundations and pharmacology

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal clinical practice degree building upon a master's degree education. Graduates can become leaders in the field of clinical healthcare. Topics of study may include foundations of clinical scholarship, health care policy, health care finance, biostatistics and evolution of health care outcomes.

Other Schools

Nursing degree programs are also available at Lipscomb University, located about five miles from downtown Nashville, and at Aquinas College, situated around six miles away.

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