East Tennessee State University Nursing School Review

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) was founded in 1911 and has over 15,000 students, both graduate and undergraduate. The University has a Main campus and the Veterans Affairs (VA) campus that houses the College of Medicine.

The school boasts computer network access in every office, classroom, building, and residence hall. There are also 57 computer labs on campus and at remote sites, available for student use.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This program is for students beginning their nursing career. Students enroll in pre-nursing, complete core requirements, and then take five semesters of major courses to complete the degree.

After graduation, students will receive their BSN degree and be eligible to take the licensing exam for Registered Nurses (RNs).

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – BSN

LPNs looking to earn a BSN can take either the traditional BSN program or the accelerated LPN – BSN program. LPNs can be admitted into the BSN program with advanced standing by taking Transition to Professional Practice for LPNs in place of Foundations of Nursing Practice and Foundations Practicum, and otherwise taking the remainder of the BSN program.

LPN students may take the BSN program full time or part time, and may be eligible for credit for prior nursing studies.


Currently licensed RNs and those that will be licensed in the next 6 months may apply to the RN to BSN program that begins each fall semester. This online program is either full time for three semesters or part time for five semesters, and two of the courses require limited meetings on campus.

Dual Degree RN – BSN

Anyone who has begun an Associate RN program in the previous 9 months at Northeast State Community College or Walters State Community College can take this part time program that begins every summer. Students must enroll at ETSU at least four weeks prior to classes starting.

Accelerated Program

This program is for students who have a prior bachelor’s degree in another subject. Students can enter the accelerated BSN program after taking Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Intro to Microbiology, and Probability and Statistics.

This program takes five semesters.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

This program allows students to specialize and enter advanced practice nursing. The MSN program has specialization options in Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Administration, and Clinical Nurse Leader.

The Administration option is offered as a combination of online and classroom courses. The Psychiatric/Mental Health and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner courses are only offered when there are enough students enrolled to support them.

To be eligible to apply to the MSN program, students must hold a BSN degree, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, GRE scores, an RN license, professional references, and a resume.

MSN – Regents Online Degree Program (RODP)

This program is the result of collaboration between the Tennessee Board of Regents system Colleges of Nursing, to ensure nursing shortages are being filled.

Students may take online programs in Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education and Nursing Informatics by applying to East Tennessee State as their home school, and to the RODP.

To apply, students need to have a bachelor’s degree and an RN license, a 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement that includes professional experience, and career goals, a resume, and the reason for applying to a graduate program.

Certificate Programs

There are two certificate programs available at East Tennessee State.

The post-master’s certificate is for RNs with an MSN degree, who want to take the national Nurse Practitioner certification exam. This post-master’s certificate is available for Adult Nurse Practitioners, Gerontological Nurse Practitioners, Family Nurse Practitioners, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners.

Also available is the non-degree certificate program for Healthcare Management or Gerontology Graduate. These are offered in cooperation with the College of Public Health.

To apply, students must have an RN license, an MSN degree, and a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program offers concentrations in Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Executive Leadership.

This program is designed to have most of the coursework completed online. Students will attend one or two on-campus intensives each semester.

The DNP program is available full time or part time, and is open to both BSN and MSN graduates.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing

For the nurse-scientist, this program is offered with on-campus and online classes, and as a full time or part time course of study. Students must either have an MSN degree or a BSN with a master’s degree in a related field of study.

Non-Degree Options

Students with a bachelor’s degree may enroll in graduate level nursing courses without being admitted into a formal degree program.

If the student chooses to apply to a degree program at a later date, they may petition for transfer of credit of these graduate courses, provided they earned a grade of B or higher, and do so within four to six years of completing the course for a certificate program, within six years for a master’s degree program, and within seven years for a doctoral program.

East Tennessee State University
807 University Parkway
Johnson City
, TN 37614-1700