Becoming an LPN in Tennessee

Tennessee ensures safe patient care by licensing health professionals, enforcing standards, and educating the public about quality health care. As part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), additional licensure is not required for other NLC state nurses to practice in Tennessee. Nurses licensed outside of the NLC can become licensed by endorsement, while new applicants can apply by examination. The state’s nursing jobs are on the rise according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction—LPN jobs are expected to increase by 28% per year by 2024.

 

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2017 Best LPN Programs in Tennessee

Tennessee has almost 20 approved nursing programs offering the required curriculum for licensure. These programs are made of private nursing schools, community colleges, and vocational high schools in both large and small cities across the state. Over the last few years, we've been collecting data from NCLEX-PN testing. To help you decide on which school is best for you, we've compiled a ranked list of the top 5 LPN schools in the state of Tennessee. For more information on school rankings, see our Methodology Page.

To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Tennessee click here.

Tennessee LPN Licensing Requirements

Tennessee requires individuals seeking to become an LPN in the state to attend a Board-approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX.

Board of Nursing Applications:
https://tn.gov/health/article/nursing-applications

Keep in mind that this is a physically demanding job. Physical strength and endurance challenges are part of being an LPN—patients may require moving, machinery may need to be pulled and pushed to its destination, and long periods of standing are inevitable.

Tennessee is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact which means that nurses in compact states must register a primary state of residence, but can work in multiple compact states without additional licensure.

As part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), nurses working in other NLC states do not require an additional license to practice in the state of Tennessee. Although, LPN's outside of the NLC area can apply for a Tennessee license by endorsement if he or she has completed an equivalent state-approved nursing program and passed the NCLEX-PN or State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE). To apply for licensure, the applicant must submit the following:

  • Application and licensure fee ($115).
  • Headshot (passport-style) photo.
  • Nursing diploma or official transcript from state-approved nursing program.
  • Criminal background check.

Foreign applicants, seeking to work as an LPN in Tennessee, must submit his or her official school transcripts or a Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation. The applicant must also submit a headshot (passport-style) photo, Declaration of Citizenship, and submit to a criminal background check.

Licensed LPN's in Tennessee are required to submit proof of competence within 30 days of a written request by the board, and each licensee must maintain evidence of compliance for 4 years from when the requirements are completed. Acceptable competencies include:

  • Employer evaluation.
  • Peer letter providing evaluation of nursing performance.
  • Patient letter giving evidence of relationship.
  • Nursing Contract renewal.
  • Self-evaluation based on competence standards.
  • Continuing national certification.
  • Documenting 2 nursing goals and how those were met.
  • Letter from an agency where volunteer hours were logged.
  • Teaching documentation from a nursing school
  • Evidence of 5+ hours continued education.
  • Published article relevant to nursing
  • Completion of a nursing refresher course.
  • Completion of comprehensive orientation program.
  • Official transcript showing two hours nursing credit.
  • Successful retake of NCLEX

Learn more about Tennessee LPN Jobs & Employment Outlook.

LPN Salary in Tennessee By Area

The table below lists career information collected by the BLS for licensed practical nurses in Tennessee. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Nashville, Davidson, Murfreesboro, Franklin6,150$19.18$39,900
Memphis2,740$19.95$41,500
Knoxville2,540$18.09$37,620
Chattanooga1,690$17.21$35,810
Johnson City1,120$16.76$34,870
Jackson930$15.98$33,230
Clarksville860$19.45$40,450
Kingsport, Bristol, Bristol860$16.35$34,010
Morristown480$16.13$33,560
Cleveland420$17.71$36,840

For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Tennessee LPN to RN/BSN programs page.

Top Ranked Tennessee LPN Programs

1

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Nashville

100 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37205 - (615) 425-5500 - Visit Homepage

Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) takes the lead in providing premier workforce development programs throughout the state. . TCAT-Nashville provides competency-based training through traditional and distance learning that is economical and accessible to all residents of the state. The Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

Overall Score: 96.80 - Request Info on Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Nashville
2

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville

1100 Liberty Street, Knoxville, TN 37919 - (865) 546-5567 - Visit Homepage

Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT)-Knoxville is located in Knoxville, Tennessee. TCAT-Knoxville is the premier provider of workforce development programs throughout the state. The practical nursing program prepares graduates with the background and skills to give knowledgeable, basic nursing care to patients with varying degrees of physical needs.

Overall Score: 93.70 - Request Info on Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville
3

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Oneida/Huntsville

355 Scott High Drive, Huntsville, TN 37756 - (423) 663-4900 - Visit Homepage

Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT)-Oneida/Huntsville is located in Huntsville, Tennessee. TCAT-Oneida/Huntsville provides competency-based training through both traditional and distance learning, providing high-quality training that is economically accessible to all residents of the state, while also providing premiere workforce development.

Overall Score: 92.90 - Request Info on Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Oneida/Huntsville
4

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Dickson

740 Hwy 46 S, Dickson, TN 37055 - (615) 441-6220 - Visit Homepage

Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT)-Dickson is located in Dickson, Tennessee. TCAT-Dickson is committed to education that promotes diversity, that is economical and accessible to all residents of Tennessee, and that provides the highest-quality of student instruction, utilizing both traditional coursework and distance learning, ensuring student success.

Overall Score: 92.50 - Request Info on Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Dickson
5

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Livingston

740 High Tech Drive, Livingston, TN 38570 - (931) 823-5525 - Visit Homepage

The Practical Nursing Program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Livingston prepares graduates to confidently conquer the (NCLEX-PN), used to obtain nursing licensure in Tennessee. Practical Nursing is an entry level nursing program and graduates are prepared with the background and skills to give knowledgeable care to patients.

Overall Score: 92.50 - Request Info on Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Livingston

Continued List of All Programs in Tennessee

RankedProgramScoreDetails
#6 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Morristown
821 W Louise Ave, Morristown, TN 37813
(423) 586-5771 Visit Homepage
91.50Request Information
#7 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Athens
1635 Vo-Tech Dr, Athens, TN 37303
(423) 744-2814 Visit Homepage
91.30Request Information
#8 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Jackson
2468 Technology Center Drive, Jackson, TN 38301
(731) 424-0691 Visit Homepage
90.50Request Information
#9 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Pulaski
1233 East College Street, Pulaski, TN 38478
(931) 424-4014 Visit Homepage
90.30Request Information
#10 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hohenwald
813 West Main Street, Hohenwald, TN 38462
(931) 796-5351 Visit Homepage
89.60Request Information
#11 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Elizabethton
426 Tennessee 91, Elizabethton, TN 37643
(423) 543-0070 Visit Homepage
88.70Request Information
#12 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Memphis
550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, TN 38105
(901) 543-6100 Visit Homepage
87.70Request Information
#13 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Paris
312 S. Wilson Street, Paris, TN 38242
(731) 644-7365 Visit Homepage
86.60Request Information
#14 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Ripley
127 Industrial Drive, Ripley, TN 38063
(731) 635-3368 Visit Homepage
86.10Request Information
#15 Chattanooga State Community College
4501 Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37406
(866) 547-3733 Visit Homepage
84.10Request Information
#16 Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville
716 E McMurry Blvd, Hartsville, TN 37074
(615) 374-2147 Visit Homepage
81.80Request Information

Programs Not Included In Rankings

ProgramDetails
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Crossville
910 Miller Avenue, Crossville, TN 38555
(931) 484-7502 Visit Homepage
Request Information
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Harriman
1745 Harriman Highway, Harriman, TN 37748
(865) 882-6703 Visit Homepage
Request Information
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro
1303 Old Fort Pkwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
(615) 898-8010 Visit Homepage
Request Information

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