University of Tennessee Health Science Center Nursing Program Review

When the University of Tennessee began in 1911 in Memphis, it was dedicated to health science education and research. It began to add new programs in health sciences. Today the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is made up of six colleges, and enrolls nearly 2700 students.

UTHSC has a main campus in Memphis, satellite campuses in Knoxville and Chattanooga, and healthcare related facilities scattered throughout Tennessee.

Nursing Programs

The schedule of the College of Nursing is based on terms that are 20 weeks long. The Summer/Fall term runs July through December, and the Winter/Spring term goes from January through May.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program is a full time, 3 to 5 term course of study to prepare nurses for advanced practice. Students will choose a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia, Acute Critical Care Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

MSN – Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

This program is designed for students that have a bachelor degree in a field other than nursing. It is designed to train students to become certified as CNLs and to become licensed as Registered Nurses (RNs). This program is mostly taught face to face in the classroom, and takes two years to complete when taken full time.

Applicants will be judged based on prior scholastic preparation and achievement, interview results, professional recommendations, a personal statement, and standard test scores.

In order to be eligible to apply, students must have completed the prerequisite courses of Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, and Statistics. It is also recommended that students take Lifespan Development/Psychology, a Humanities elective, Nutrition, Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to MSN

Students that have a BSN degree and are already licensed as an RN can pursue an MSN degree with a CNL concentration. This is offered as a full time, one year option, or a two year, part time option. Classes are either online or in a traditional classroom. Students will need to have completed a Statistics course before they may take the graduate level Quality Management course.


This program is for students that are graduates of an associate or degree nursing program, and hold a current RN license. Students that complete this program will earn an MSN with a CNL concentration. Before entering the program, students must have taken 60 credits of general education courses.

This program is taught face to face or online. Students who take it full time will finish in two years, and part time students will take three years. Students must complete a Statistics course before they may take the graduate level Quality Management course.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program is taught online. Students will need to come to campus four times a year, for 5 to 7 days each time. Students may focus on concentrations in Acute Critical Care, Primary Care, Gerontology, Forensic Nursing, Psychiatric/Family Nurse Practitioner, and Public Health Nursing.

Students must have a BSN degree or an MSN degree to be able to apply to the program. They must also have an RN license, a GPA of over 3.0, transcripts, and recommendations.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing

This program for nursing scientists is offered through the College of Graduate Health Sciences. This allows students to work not only with nursing faculty, but also with students and faculty from other medical disciplines during their studies.

This program is offered either full or part time. To be eligible to apply, students must have an RN license, a baccalaureate degree, and either an MSN or be eligible to enroll in an MSN program. Students may begin their PhD courses after receiving an MSN degree. They must also have a 3.0 GPA, a GRE combined score of at least 1000, and letters of recommendation.

Research Programs

The faculty of the College of Nursing has secured funding from NIH, public and private sources, foundations, and corporations for extensive research projects.

There are numerous research opportunities at UTHSC. Some of the recent faculty projects include investigating gene-environment interactions leading to obesity in first year kidney transplant recipients, predicting glucose intolerance and cardiac risk in minority youth, and investigating the efficacy of newly developed assays in diagnosing preeclampsia.

Continuing Education (CE)

The Continuing Education unit at the College of Nursing has been accredited to provide CE programs by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). CE is available not only in traditional, face-to-face classes, seminars and conferences; but also online, via CD-ROM, video, and interactive television. This allows health care professionals to maintain their educational requirements with educational opportunities of the highest quality.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center
920 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163