Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Programs

Nurse practitioners are finding more and more demand for their specific skill sets and Tennessee is no different than the rest of the country in need. As the health care system evolves and our population grows and ages, the need for nurse practitioners is at an all-time high. The key reason for this comes from the fact that NPs can do most of the same functions as a physician, but they are paid slightly less. Tennessee pays very well compared to many states with a median income of just under $90,000 a year for those that have been in the field for a little while. You will likely start at a lower wage, but your employer, previous experience and other factors could start you off at this income, or higher.

Per the last update, Tennessee saw a total of 391 medical school graduates in 2011. The male to female split was 50% meaning that the work force has a very even distribution of professionals of both genders than just about any other state. Some states require nurse practitioners to have a physician overseeing them for diagnosing, treating and prescribing to patients. In Tennessee, NPs only need oversight when prescribing medication to their patients. This gives practitioners in the state more freedom when it comes to taking care of their patients.

Employment is well represented throughout the state with the highest percentage of jobs relative to overall population being found in Jackson, Johnson City and Kingsport. The other side of the coin, Clarksville, Morristown and Cleveland have the lowest representation based on these numbers. You will likely find the highest median salaries in Memphis, Chattanooga and Johnson City. If you are looking for the go to employers for this position, look to Baptist Memorial Hospital – Memphis, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Jackson-Madison County General Hospital or Methodist University Hospital. Each of these employers will give you a solid career upon graduation but you may want to look at trying to get a job once you earn your registered nursing credentials to build a better relationship and more time with them as you work towards your MSN.

You will also find plenty of help through the Tennessee Nurses Association. TNA has been representing nurses and helping them in a number of ways since 1905. With annual conventions, social networking, nursing practice and continuing education and a robust career center, everything you need will be found within the association.

Financial Aid

Finding a way to pay for college, or pay of loans after graduation can be one of the most stressful parts of any higher learning. Fortunately, Tennessee has a number of options to help make the financial stresses on students and graduates much less weighty.

The Tennessee Graduate Nursing Loan-Forgiveness Program offers an additional education for nurses that become teachers and administrators in the Tennessee nursing education programs. You must be a Tennessee resident and U.S. citizen and have an unencumbered TN Nursing license and be enrolled in a master’s or post master’s degree in a nursing educational program. Entering into four years of work in the field means that you will not need to pay back any of the money that was used for your education. You may also want to look at the scholarships offered by the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education. You will find a number of grants, scholarships and endowment funds that can help you cover the cost of part or all of your education.

Colleges

The University of Tennessee Knoxville

Located in Knoxville you will find a well-respected, attractive and technologically advanced campus as you work towards your graduate degree. There are almost 30,000 students attending the college, 6,000 of which are graduate students. The gender split is right down the middle and the average first time freshman high school GPA sits at 3.89. 85% of freshman stay with the school and 66% graduate from UTK. With over 100 countries represented by the students and a large faculty, you can be sure that your discussions will open your eyes to the world.

Baptist College of Health Sciences

Located in Memphis, provides a science based education in a Christian atmosphere to prepare you to work in diverse practice environments. With a focus on providing an education that combines competency and compassion, you will have a unique take on what is needed in the ever changing health care field.