Primary care is an area of great importance in Tennessee, due in part to the state’s large amount of rural communities that are underserved by medical doctors. Nurse practitioners are an important part of the primary care system in this state, and can help fill that gap. If you’re looking for a way to advance your nursing career, learn more about nurse practitioner programs in Tennessee. Request program information from the TN nursing schools listed to learn more.
As legislators begin to realize the importance of nursing professions, you can expect to see an increase in the educational resources available to those in this field. A local college recently received a large grant to expand their nursing simulation lab. As an advanced nursing student, you can practice complex procedures in the lab without posing any risk to real patients.
The Tennesseean notes that nurse practitioners are becoming an increasingly important part of the health care industry in Tennessee. Close to one-third of Tennessee’s counties are medically underserved areas, and there simply aren’t enough doctors to serve these areas. An increase in nurse practitioners is one answer.
When you start your career in this field, you may enjoy a wide scope of practice. According to the Memphis Flyer, Tennessee nurses are making progress in their attempts to secure full freedom of practice.
To become a successful nurse practitioner, you must get practical experience and theoretical training in many different areas of nursing. Accredited nursing programs can give you the training you need. As a graduate student, plan on earning approximately 30 to 40 credits. If you want to earn a doctoral degree in nursing (DNP), you may spend four to seven years in school completing roughly 60 credits.
The core courses for a nurse practitioner curriculum tend to be fairly similar between Tennessee schools. Core courses for all advanced nursing students include Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Policy, Nursing Research, and Advanced Nursing Theory. Courses that are meant to prepare you for the role of nurse practitioner include Family Health Nursing, Advanced Physical and Health Assessment, and Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics.
Furthermore, you should plan on spending quite a bit of time in various clinical settings. Master’s degree programs usually require about 600 hours of clinical work, while doctoral degree programs require approximately 1,000 clinical hours.
Scholarships and grants can go a long way in making your education more affordable. The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation offers loan forgiveness to graduate-level nurses working in specific settings. Students in the eastern half of the state may apply for financial aid through the East Tennessee Foundation.
After you complete your nurse practitioner degree in Tennessee, you must turn your registered nursing license into an advanced practice license. Through the Tennessee Board of Nursing, you can take your nurse practitioner exam and apply for extended practice rights.
The job outlook in Tennessee is promising, so this could be an excellent place to start your career. O*Net expects job openings for nurse practitioners to increase by 36 percent through 2022.
Salaries in Tennessee are, generally speaking, fairly close to the national average. Per O*Net, the average salary for a Tennessee nurse practitioner is $90,100 per year.
Are you ready to increase your scope of practice and meet the health care needs of Tennessee? If so, you may find what you’re looking for in a nurse practitioner career. Take the first step by contacting nurse practitioner schools in Tennessee listed on our site today.