How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Tennessee

Tennessee map

Licensed practical nurses are an incredible asset to the medical field, and becoming one provides a rewarding opportunity.

If being an LPN is your dream – or a stepping stone to a higher position in the medical field – your first step is to choose an LPN program to support your dreams.

Below you will find five great Tennessee LPN schools for your consideration.

5 Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in Tennessee

How do you choose the best LPN school in Tennessee?

You start by comparing five of your top options.

1. Tennessee College of Applied Technology

Tennessee College of Applied Technology Logo

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology offers an LPN program that takes three semesters or 12 months to complete.

It requires a full-time commitment to complete the 1296 clock hours, and classes are held during the day.

Tuition and fees for the program come to $6,544, while textbooks and supplies are estimated to cost approximately $2,608.

This brings the total cost of the program to be about $9,152, not including additional expenses, such as room and board.

2. Chattanooga College

Chattanooga College Logo

If you need more flexibility with your schooling, Chattanooga College offers an LPN program with both morning and evening classes available.

It requires 82 credits that can be completed in 12 to 18 months, allowing you even greater flexibility.

Tuition and fees for this program typically run about $10,690, not including room, board, and additional expenses.

However, keep in mind that college tuition can vary from year to year.

3. The Healthcare Institute of Tennessee

The Healthcare Institute of Tennessee Logo

The Healthcare Institute of Tennessee also offers flexibility with its LPN program.

You can choose either day or evening classes, which is very helpful for those with other obligations.

However, the time of day you choose to attend class can impact how long it takes you to complete your program.

If you choose day classes, you can finish your program in as little as 12 months.

If you choose evening classes, though, it will require 16 months.

THI’s LPN program requires a total of 1320 clock hours, and tuition runs approximately $12,630.

Books, supplies, and additional fees are estimated to cost about $3,587, which brings the total program cost to at least $16,217.

4. South College

South College Logo

South College offers an LPN program at both the Knoxville and Nashville campuses that can be completed in as little as 12 months.

This program is made up of a total of 59 credits, which include both nursing theory and simulations to prepare you for your career.

Tuition for South College is not as straightforward as many other programs are, as there is no set cost per credit hour.

Instead, it is based on the number of credits you take – the more credits you need, the lower your cost per credit hour.

However, you can expect tuition to range somewhere between $18,290 and $22,000.

5. Chattanooga State Community College

Chattanooga State Community College Logo

If you can commit to day classes, Chattanooga State Community College offers an in-depth LPN program to give you a strong start in your field of choice.

It requires 1357 program hours or approximately 46 credit hours, which you can complete in as little as three semesters or one year.

In-state tuition is $190.40 per credit hour, which comes to approximately $8,758.40.

Tuition for out-of-state students is $724.40, which brings the total to approximately $33,322.40.

Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in Tennessee – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Tennessee

School NameAddress
Tennessee College of Applied Technology550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, TN 38105
Chattanooga College5600 Brainerd Rd B38, Chattanooga, TN 37411
The Healthcare Institute of Tennessee7253 Winchester Rd, Memphis, TN 38125
South College3904 Lonas Dr, Knoxville, TN 37909
Chattanooga State Community College4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406

Salary Information for LPNs in Tennessee

If you are wondering if becoming an LPN in Tennessee is worth the effort, take a look at the following statistics.

LPNs in Tennessee make an average of $45,977 per year, with the typical range being from $41,748 and $51,142.

These numbers increase with additional skills, training, and experience.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)s in Tennessee

City NameSalary
Johnson City$44,045
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Tennessee

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA1,520$47,520$22.85$57,130$36,990
Clarksville, TN-KY600$46,590$22.4$57,020$37,400
Cleveland, TN260$45,690$21.96$54,460$36,670
Jackson, TN660$43,120$20.73$51,790$33,730
Johnson City, TN850$43,140$20.74$51,810$30,950
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA950$43,440$20.89$55,890$29,270
Knoxville, TN2,400$46,470$22.34$56,200$37,110
Memphis, TN-MS-AR3,190$46,960$22.58$56,950$35,310
Morristown, TN330$43,060$20.7$50,060$35,670
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN5,540$49,320$23.71$60,700$38,160
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, OCC Code 29-2061, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best areas to work as an LPN in Tennessee?

Keep in mind that healthcare is valued across the state.

However, there are some areas with high salary ranges, such as Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, and Kingsport.

How can I prepare for the NCLEX-PN?

No matter how much attention you pay in class, it is normal to feel nervous about an exam.

Fortunately, you can access many NCLEX-PN practice tests online to help.

If you start these practice tests early, you can get an idea of what you still need to learn before you get too far in your program.

I have read that Tennessee is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. What does that mean?

The Nurse Licensure Compact or NLC is a collection of states that allow nurses to transfer to another member state without the need to complete another LPN program.

If, for example, you are moving to Tennessee from another member state, you can be licensed by endorsement to practice in Tennessee.

Besides Pell Grants, is there financial assistance for books and expenses?


Outside of traditional financial aid, Tennessee has several avenues to help cover the cost of your education.

There are state-based scholarships, lottery programs, free tuition for qualifying high school seniors, and more.

By talking with a financial aid advisor, you might find that you can attend these LPN programs at a deeply discounted rate or for no cost to you at all.

What do I need to be accepted into an LPN program in Tennessee?

Requirements can vary to some degree by program, but they typically include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Up-to-date immunization records
  • Prerequisites specific to the program
  • A complete application

Some programs will combine prerequisites with nursing courses to help you complete your program more quickly.

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