Tennessee State University Nursing School Review

Tennessee State University (TSU) was founded in 1912 as an agricultural and industrial school, and became a university in 1951. TSU has two campuses, the main one along the Cumberland River, and the Avon Williams downtown campus in the heart of Nashville.

One of the nation’s most prestigious historically black universities, TSU has nine colleges and schools, and offers 45 baccalaureate programs and 24 master’s programs, as well as several doctoral programs.

Nursing Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN)

This program is designed to prepare students to provide entry level patient care. It is offered at the main campus and also at the Volunteer State Community College campus. Students that successfully complete this program are allowed to sit for the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam.

To apply, students will need to be a high school graduate or equivalent, with a GPA of 2.5 or above. They also need to have taken high school Chemistry (or the college equivalent) and complete the pre-nursing admission exam. They will also need to take Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Microbiology/Bacteriology, before being admitted to the program.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to AASN

This program is for the LPN who wishes to become an RN. The requirements are the same as for the traditional AASN program, plus the student will need to prove they have a current LPN license. Students will receive credit for 8 hours of prior nursing education.

This program is offered at the Avon Williams campus.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This program leads to a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students who finish will be able to take the RN licensing exam.

Students may apply to the BSN program after they’ve completed 61 credit hours of general education and University requirements. They will need to have a grade of at least a C in each class, at least a 2.8 GPA, and have completed all science classes. They will also need to take the BSN A2 Admission Assessment Exam.


Students with an LPN license may apply for this program. They must complete the BSN core classes of Nursing Assessment, Pharmacology, English Composition, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology/Bacteriology, Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and a Humanities elective.

They must also have a GPA of at least 2.5, taken Chemistry with a grade of C or better, taken the pre-admission nursing exam, and worked as an LPN for a year.

After taking the LPN Transition course, students will have a chance to challenge Adult Health Nursing. If successful, they will get credit for Fundamentals of Nursing and receive 6 credit hours.


Currently licensed RNs who have at least a 2.5 GPA, have at least a C grade in all courses, and have completed at least 60 credits of core classes may apply for the BSN program.

Students will receive 30 credit hours for their knowledge and nursing experience, which will be added to their transcript after they successfully complete the first two semesters of the program.

RN to BSN courses may be offered in a traditional classroom format, online, web enhanced, or in real time video.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN degree is offered either as a land-based program, or through the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP).

The MSN program offers concentrations in the areas of Nursing Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Holistic Nurse Practitioner. Graduates of these programs are eligible to become certified in their field of study. These same concentrations are also offered as post-master’s certificates.

Students taking the MSN program through the RODP have the choice of the following concentrations for their MSN degree: Nursing Informatics, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, or Family Nurse Practitioner.

To apply for the MSN program, students need to have a BSN degree, an active RN license, current RN work experience, and at least a 3.0 GPA. The post-master’s programs require students to hold an MSN degree to apply.

Tennessee State University
3500 John a Merritt Blvd.,
TN 37209