If you want to work as a nurse, you will need a state-issued license. Without it, you cannot work as a nurse. Want to know how to get a Tennessee nursing license? We got your back. Here, we tell you the steps to get the license. There are five steps in total. Let’s start.
Steps to Get TN Nursing License
⦁ Complete an Accredited Nursing Program
The first step to get a nursing license is to complete an accredited nursing program. You can take an ADN or BSN program to start the licensing process. Just be sure that the program of your choice is accredited and approved by your state
If you take an unaccredited program, you might not be eligible to take the necessary exams for licensure. So before you take the program, check whether the Accreditation Commission accredits the program or school for Education in Nursing or the American Association of College of Nursing.
You can check the accreditation status of an institution on its website. Alternatively, you can also visit the Department of Education database and search for the institution.
⦁ Apply for a License with the Tennessee Board of Nursing
Once you have completed a nursing program, you can apply for a Tennessee nursing license with the board of nursing. The board of nursing ruling may vary from one state or another, but they usually have similar requirements when it comes to licensing.
Here are requirements you need to meet to get a nursing license in Tennessee:
⦁ Completed an accredited, state-approved nursing program
⦁ Pass the NCLEX-RN test
⦁ Pay the application fees ($115)
⦁ Proof of practice (clinical hours)
⦁ Register for the NCLEX Exam
The third step is to register for the NCLEX-RN exam. If you don’t know what the NCLEX-RN exam is, it is a standardized test that the nursing regulatory boards use to determine whether a candidate is qualified to become licensed as an entry-level nurse.
You can register for this exam in two ways: online or by phone. Either way, you will need to provide the followings:
⦁ Proof of education
⦁ Authorization To Test from the Tennessee State (it is proof that the state has approved you to take the test)
⦁ Take and Pass the Exam
The NCLEX is a multiple-choice exam. The exam is responsive. Meaning, if your answer is right, the next question will be harder. Likewise, if your answer is wrong, the next question will be easier.
The amount of time and number of questions given depends on the exam. For NCLEX-RN, typically, there are as many as 265 questions. The amount of time given is over 6 hours. Out of 265 questions, you must answer at least 75.
Once you take the test, you will wait for about six weeks to receive the results. If you don’t pass, you must wait at least 45 days before you take another NCLEX.
⦁ Complete Additional State Requirements
If you pass the exam, you are one step closer to be a fully licensed registered nurse. Before you do, however, you need to meet additional state requirements. The requirements can vary from one state to another, but they generally include
⦁ A background check
⦁ Self-reporting of past legal trouble or any addiction concerns you have had
⦁ Proof English language proficiency
⦁ References from supervisors or professors
⦁ Be of good moral character, which is demonstrated by things like reference letters and background check
Once you are approved by the state and get your nursing license, you can start working as a registered nurse.
Renewing Tennessee Nursing License
Keep in mind that a nursing license is valid only for two years. If you want to continue working as a nurse, you need to renew your TN nursing license.
About 45 days before your license expires, you will receive renewal notices from the administrative office. As a licensee, it is your responsibility to renew your license on time. Do keep in mind that practising on an expired license is illegal and can lead to problems, so make sure you renew your license on time.
For more details regarding license renewal, check with the Board of Nursing TN to see what requirements you need to meet to renew your license.
Now you know how to get a Tennessee nursing license. It takes time and effort to get the nursing license but working as a nurse is a lucrative and satisfying career, so it is worth the sacrifice. We hope this helps.