Practical nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in Tennessee. Projections Central estimates a 19 percent growth in job openings for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) between 2012 and 2022. To support this demand, schools in Tennessee offer LPN programs at the certificate, diploma and associate degree levels. For prospective students, the most important questions to ask include which level of program makes the most sense, and which school provides the best chance to grow, graduate and get hired. Read details about LPN programs in Tennessee, explore colleges in the state, and learn what it takes to earn (and keep) a practical nursing license.
Finding an LPN Program in Tennessee
LPN programs in Tennessee are available through vocational schools and community colleges. The search tool below offers students searching for LPN programs and schools in Tennessee crucial information for their education research including information about tuition rates and number and location of programs.
Licensure Requirements for Tennessee LPNs
Tennessee requires all nurses, including licensed practical nurses, to hold a current license in order to practice. Here’s what nursing graduates can expect when they go through the process.
- Must earn the high school diploma or equivalent
- Must graduate from an approved LPN program
Education and Training Requirements
Those who want to become an LPN in Tennessee must graduate from an approved nursing program; if they attend school outside the state, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the curriculum has the same substantial course of study as what would be found in an approved program in the state of Tennessee. When seeking licensure, the graduate will complete the required application; part of this application must be completed by an official of the school that granted the diploma or degree. The director of the program will also have to certify, with a signature, that the required photograph of the applicant is really that of the student who attended classes in the nursing program.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
- Complete the formal application, including ensuring completion of all the areas required from the director of the nursing program just completed.
- Have the application notarized by a notary public.
- Include a recent photograph, taken within six months of the application date, signed by the student and the nursing program director.
- Submit to fingerprinting.
- Sign a citizenship affidavit.
- Submit the proper fees:
- $90 for LPN examination
- $100 for reexamination
- $25 for temporary permit (if applicable)
- $10 state regulatory fee
- $38 fingerprinting fee
Tennessee is part of the nationwide compact agreement, which currently includes 25 states. This agreement means that a nurse who acquires his or her license in the state of Tennessee is considered in good standing in the other 24 states, and they are allowed to practice in those states. Nurses who claim their legal residence in Tennessee should apply for their license in Tennessee, even if they intend to work in another state. As long as all the licensure requirements in Tennessee are met and upheld, the other compact agreement states will honor the license.
LPNs in Tennessee can renew their license either with a paper application or online. Renewal is required every two years; the due date is the last day of the birth month of the nurse. For instance, a nurse whose birthday falls on January 15 would have a due date of January 31 for renewal.
LPNs are required to meet standards of competency in order to renew their license. This includes at least two of the following:
- Satisfactory employer evaluation
- Satisfactory peer evaluation
- Proof of a satisfactory patient/nurse relationship
- Have a contract renewal or continuing contract
- Provide a written self-evaluation
- Provide evidence of current national certification
- Identify two nursing goals and detail how those goals were met
- Provide a letter from an agency where volunteer hours were completed
- Documentation of education in a nursing program
- Proof of five contact hours of continuing education
- Copy of a published article written by the nurse
- Satisfactory completion of a nursing refresher course
- Successful completion of a nursing orientation program
- Transcript proving two hours of nursing credit
- Evidence of successfully passing NCLEX-PN on a retake.
The renewal fee is $90. The fee is nonrefundable.
Salary for LPNs in Tennessee
Qualified licensed practical nurses in Tennessee can expect to earn an annual wage commensurate with their experience. They’ll also benefit from the added bonus of not paying state income tax, since the state doesn’t have one. Here’s what those working in Tennessee earn compared to national salaries:
|Annual Wage (25th percentile)||$32,060||$35,780|
|Annual Wage (Median)||$36,000||$42,490|
|Annual Wage (75th percentile)||$40,840||$49,450|
|Year||Annual Wage (25th percentile)||Annual Wage (Median)||Annual Wage (75th percentile)|
Tennessee LPN Employment Trends
According to Projections Central, LPNs in Tennessee can expect robust 19 percent job growth from 2012 to 2022. There are currently 22,750 LPNs employed in Tennessee, with an additional 990 added every year. In fact, Tennessee continues to experience a nursing shortage, and health care organizations are aggressively trying to find, hire, and retain qualified nurses.
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Western Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||1,870|
|North Central Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||1,830|
|South Central Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||1,490|
|Eastern Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||1,150|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 Employment of LPNs in Tennessee
Source: Projections Central