Tennessee provides nursing students with a wide variety of nursing education opportunities, and just as many venues for employment. For those students seeking a doctoral program, Vanderbilt University in Nashville offers an MSN with almost twenty specialties, and they also provide a doctoral program and an MSN/MBA joint degree. The University of Tennessee in Knoxville also provides a PhD in nursing with a focus on scientific inquiry and theory development. They also provide students with the ability to earn a BSN and an MSN with a thesis or non-thesis option. The University of Tennessee in Memphis provides the BSN, an MSN with six specialties, and the choice between a PhD or the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). If you’d prefer to study in the Tennessee mountains, East Tennessee State University in Johnson City also provides the BSN, an MSN and provides a doctoral program as well. Beyond these advanced degrees, beginning nursing students can earn LPN and RN diplomas and associate degrees at a number of nursing programs located throughout the state.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $15,000 and $80,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Many of the top employers in Tennessee are health care organizations, and a few of these businesses maintain nationwide and worldwide facilities. Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, located in Knoxville, is a charitable nonprofit organization made up of a number of facilities including Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee, Baptist Hospital West, Baptist Hospital for Women, Baptist Hospital of Cocke County and Baptist Senior Health Centers. Hospital Corporation of America in Nashville maintains 191 hospitals, 82 surgery centers and other affiliated facilities in the U.S. and Europe. Those facilities employ over 180,000 people. IASIS Healthcare Corporation, headquartered in Franklin, owns and operates fourteen general, acute-care hospitals, one behavioral hospital and three ambulatory surgery centers in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Texas and Utah. Nearly 10,000 people are dedicated to providing patient care through IASIS community-based hospital networks. Headquartered in Brentwood, LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest hospital companies focused on non-urban healthcare, with 53 general acute care hospitals in nineteen states. Methodist Healthcare is one of the largest private not-for-profit health care systems in the country with more than 1,600 licensed beds and 10,000 Associates. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis is a world-renowned institution that requires a superior, diverse and well-trained group of clinicians, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, administrators and information technology specialists. Saint Thomas Hospital Services, based in Nashville, is a five-hospital healthcare ministry that includes Saint Thomas and Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville. Williamson Medical Center is a 185-bed hospital dedicated to serving the health care needs of the communities surrounding Franklin. Finally, Community Health Systems (CHS) Professional Services Corporation, located in a suburban community just south of Nashville, owns, operates or leases 77 hospitals in 22 states, with an aggregate of more than 8,900 licensed beds. In more than 85 percent of the markets served, CHS-affiliated hospitals are the sole provider of healthcare services. These are just the largest health care employers in Tennessee. This state also maintains many smaller facilities for nursing graduates to explore in cities and towns such as Brownsville, Sevierville, Morristown and more.