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Nursing graduate students

Admissions

To be considered for admission to a College of Nursing graduate program (MSN, DNP, PhD, post-MSN) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, you must apply directly through UT Graduate Admissions.

Read through the guidelines below, and apply at the UT Graduate Admissions website. The required application materials must be submitted directly to Graduate Admissions prior to the posted program deadline.

All applications must pass through two reviews: (1) the UT Graduate School and, if deemed admissible, then (2) the College of Nursing.

You may start and save an application for later submission, but you will need to upload an essay/personal statement, a CV or resume, and a copy of your RN license if applicable.

Your application must be submitted and pass through initial review by the UT Graduate School in advance of the College of Nursing program application deadline. The UT Graduate School processes and reviews applications in order of submission; due to the application queue, prospective students are strongly encouraged to submit applications well in advance—typically four to five weeks—of the nursing program deadline.

It is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that your application is complete. You are strongly encouraged to check first with UT Graduate Admissions to see if all your transcripts and materials have been submitted properly. You can always check the processing status of your application via the UT Graduate School status checker.

After submitting your online application, you will receive a confirmation email from the UT Graduate School with final instructions about rating forms and any other nursing program admission requirements.

The following items are required for all graduate/doctoral nursing applicants:

  1. Graduate application
  2. Application fee
  3. Three rating/reference forms (two for post-MSN) returned directly to the College of Nursing
UT Graduate Admissions Nursing Graduate Programs Anesthesia Program Office
201 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0221
Phone: 865-974-3251
Fax: 865-974-6541
UT College of Nursing
Room 203
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-7606
Fax: 865-974-3569
CONgrad@utk.edu
1934 Alcoa Highway
Suite 365
Knoxville, TN 37920
Phone: 865-305-7762
Fax : 865-305-6852

After applying to the Graduate Program

Once the UT Graduate Admissions office deems you admissible and forwards your application to the College of Nursing, the college Review Committee will consider your application during the next application cycle. Remember, it is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that your application is complete.

You are strongly encouraged to check first with UT Graduate Admissions to see if all your transcripts and materials have been submitted properly. You can always check the processing status of your application via the UT Graduate School status checker. Please keep application cycle deadlines in mind as you begin the application process. Depending on the concentration, applicants are notified of the Review Committee decision five to six weeks after submission deadline. Notifications are sent by email and mail. If you have any questions, contact the College of Nursing graduate program advisor at CONgrad@utk.edu.

*All materials, including transcripts, essays, and reference forms must be submitted and received by the deadline.

MSN

Concentration Deadline Start Term
FNP

Psychiatric Mental Health

Nursing Administration

PNP

February 1 Fall
Optional early summer start option for students taking statistics as a prerequisite or select nursing courses
Nurse Anesthesia February 1 Spring

Post-MSN Certificate Program

Concentration Deadline Start Term
FNP

Psychiatric Mental Health

Nursing Administration

PNP

October 1 Spring
February 1 Summer/fall
Optional early start option for students taking any prerequisite coursework (Adv. Pharmacology, Adv. Physical Assessment, Adv. Pathophysiology)

Interdisciplinary Post-MSN Certificate Program

Concentration Deadline Start Term
Health Policy February 1

June 1

October 1

Summer/fall/spring
Flexible enrollment dependent on seat availability. Email for more information: CONgrad.utk.edu

DNP Program

Concentration Deadline Start Term
BSN-DNP

Master’s to DNP

February 1 Fall
Optional early summer start option for students taking statistics as a prerequisite or select nursing courses

PhD Program

Concentration Deadline Start Term
BSN-PhD

MSN-PhD

February 1 Fall

The application requirement checklist applies to applicants to College of Nursing MSN, DNP, and PhD programs.

A completed online graduate application for admission with application fee

When completing the online application, located on the UT Graduate Admissions website, identify the College of Nursing (NURS) as the college for which you are applying and select the specific program (MSN, DNP, PhD, or Graduate Certificate/post-MSN].

In addition, the following components must be included and uploaded to the online application:


Self-reported competitive GRE scores

MSN, DNP, and PhD applicants: The GRE is not required for application to the MSN, DNP or PhD program for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher. However, applicants with an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.3 must take the GRE.

Post-master’s applicants: The GRE is not required for application to the Post-Master’s program.


Health Assessment

Applicants must have completed a health assessment course.


Essay

The purpose of this four- to five-page double-spaced essay is for the Review Committee to gain insight into applicants’ professional goals and expectations and evaluate their written communication skills. For the essay, describe your professional goals and how the program and chosen concentration will enhance your future roles and activities. Additionally, describe the ways that graduate education will help you achieve your nursing career goals. Describe reasons for selecting this college and professional degree.

Applicants should include a copy of a resume or CV, or combine the essay and CV and upload them as one PDF document.

The following criteria are used to evaluate the essay:

  1. Ability to clearly and succinctly articulate career goals.
  2. Ability to conceptualize how graduate education will assist in meeting career goals.
  3. Ability to demonstrate writing competence.

BSN–DNP/PhD applicants: Include a brief description of the proposed area of study for the final project. Areas of interest may change as you progress through the program. Please also address in the essay why you are pursuing the advanced practice area in your chosen concentration.

Current UT Law students applying for the Health Policy Graduate Certificate: In place of an essay, upload PDF documentation with the following text: “Essay requirement for UT Law students is waived. Authorized by College of Nursing Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.”


Writing Sample (for PhD applicants only)

A sample of scholarly writing (for example, a thesis or published paper) is required. Please upload your essay and writing sample as one PDF. If the file is too large to upload, please send a clearly identifiable email with attachment directly to the College of Nursing Student Services Office (CONgrad@utk.edu).


Licenses (MSN; select post-MSN, DNP, and PhD applicants; and other master’s-prepared nurses

Applicants must hold or be eligible for licensure to practice nursing as a registered nurse (that is, licensed in Tennessee, one of the interstate compact states, or in rare exceptions within a different state of residence). A copy of all nursing licenses is required (Tennessee RN/APN, and/or national certificates and/or licenses from a compact state). Please upload multiple licenses as one PDF. 

Interdisciplinary Post-Master’s applicants: Nursing licenses are not required for application to the Interdisciplinary Post-Master’s program (Health Policy Graduate Certificate).


BSN degree—For MSN, select Post-MSN, DNP, and PhD applicants

A BSN is required for admission to the MSN, Clinical Post-MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. The BSN must be from a program accredited by the National Accrediting Commission or the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education. Applicants who have not yet completed a BSN should reference this in the essay indicating an expected date of graduation.

Interdisciplinary Post-Master’s applicants: A BSN and/or MSN degree is not required for application to the Interdisciplinary Post-Master’s Program (Health Policy Graduate Certificate).


Official transcripts and degree confirmation from a regionally accredited university

Official or unofficial transcripts from all previous colleges and universities attended, except the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are required when applying. Applicants will upload scanned transcripts to the online application.

Official transcripts are required after being formally accepted into a nursing program. When submitting the online application, it is advised that you request that all previous university official transcripts be sent directly to the UT Graduate Admissions office. Failure to submit official transcripts to UT will result in a class registration restriction. All transcript issues are handled strictly by the UT Graduate School.

Please note that degrees  from only a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency and nursing accrediting agencies (NLN/AACN) are acceptable. Questions about which colleges and universities are regionally accredited should be directed to the Graduate Admissions office. All transcript issues are handled strictly by the UT Graduate School.

The UT Graduate Admissions Office outlines the GPA requirement to be eligible for admission to the Graduate School:

U.S. degree holders must have earned a 2.7 out of a possible 4.0 GPA or a minimum of 3.0 during the senior year of undergraduate study. Foreign degree holders must have earned a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or other equivalent to a B average. If you have completed previous graduate course work, you must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4-point scale or equivalent.

NOTE: Eligibility for admission to the Graduate School does not equal eligibility for admission to the College of Nursing.

Current UT Law students applying for Health Policy Graduate Certificate: Students must be in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 GPA as defined by the UT College of Law.


Prerequisites

MSN (or other master’s-prepared nurses) and BSN–DNP applicants must complete 3 hours of graduate-level statistics prior to enrollment; this requirement may be met after a student has been accepted into the MSN program by registering for Nursing 511 (offered only at UT), Stats 531 (typically offered summer and fall at UT), or a previously approved course at another institution. *Nursing 511 is designed for students who are pursuing the MSN only. BSN-DNP students must enroll in Stats 531 or a comparable course from another institution. Please see more information about our statistics requirement.


Reference forms

References are considered a critical component of the formal application to nursing graduate study. Applicants submit the names and email addresses of three professional references. These individuals will receive an electronic reference form to complete and return directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The reference form should be completed by persons familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional qualifications and with the applicant’s plans for graduate study in the College of Nursing.

An acceptable professional reference is defined as an individual having the desired degree or higher who is in an evaluative/managerial role as one who can adequately assess your abilities. Applications must include a minimum of one academic reference and one supervisor reference.

When choosing references, consider individuals who may speak to some of the following: academic ability and readiness; quality of work; integrity, leadership and preparedness for the profession; and communication skills.

Nurse Anesthesia applicants: Three reference forms are required from the following: 1) a former nursing professor who is familiar with the applicant’s academic work 2) an immediate work superior (that is, nurse manager) 3) a physician who works directly with the applicant.

NOTE: Reference forms will not be accepted from medical residents, fellows, clinical preceptors, team leaders, or clinical nursing/unit educators.

References from friends and family are not considered professional references and, if used, can result in an application being considered incomplete. This may result in denial of admission.

Current UT Law students applying for Health Policy Graduate Certificate: Applicants are not required to submit reference forms. Leave that section blank on online application and do not submit forms.

*References must return their forms electronically no later than the application deadline of February 1 (MSN, DNP, and PhD) and October 1 (Post-MSN).

Self-reported TOEFL or IELTS scores—for non-native English speakers ONLY

Applicants much achieve a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the Internet-based test if their native language is not English. A 6.5 is required on the IELTS. Official scores are required prior to admission.

Without acceptable scores, an English language conditional admit is available only for the Health Policy Certificate program. This conditional admit is for exceptional students and requires formal petition to the nursing program chair after applicant has submitted completed application.


Special admission guide for international graduate students—for international applicants ONLY

In addition to the requirements listed here, international students must meet all International Student admission requirements, found on the UT Graduate Admissions website. Prospective students are encouraged to review and be familiar with the admission requirements of the UT Graduate School and the College of Nursing before contacting the College of Nursing.


After Submitting an Online Application

After submitting the online graduate school application to the University  of Tennessee, applicants should complete the following:

Application status checker

Applicants should check the status of their application by using the Graduate Application status page. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure application completion prior to the application deadline. To ensure proper submission of transcripts and other application materials, applicants must check with Graduate Admissions. Once applications have passed first review and are deemed admissible by the UT Graduate School, they are automatically forwarded to the College of Nursing.


Interview—Nurse Anesthesia, DNP, and PhD applicants ONLY

The Review Committee contacts selected applicants for a formal interview.


Reference forms

It is the applicant’s responsibility to check their application status online through Graduate Admissions to see if reference forms have been received. References must return their forms electronically no later than the application deadline of February 1 (MSN, DNP and PhD) and October 1 (Post-MSN).

Do NOT contact the College of Nursing to inquire if reference forms have been received. It is your responsibility as the applicant to ensure that this requirement has been met. You can check the status of your forms and send reminder messages to your references through the Graduate Application status page.

**An application will be considered complete and added to the review pool ONLY after (1) the application has been deemed admissible by the Graduate School and forwarded to the College of Nursing and (2) all required reference forms have been submitted to the College of Nursing.**

Final Notes

Remember, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all materials have been submitted properly to the appropriate offices before the posted program deadline. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Questions about the status of an application should be directed to the Graduate School first. However, if you have questions about the program of study or start term options, feel free to contact the College of Nursing.

  • Before enrollment in the graduate program, each student must successfully complete a criminal background check.
  • Each student must hold personal professional liability insurance and health insurance.
  • Registered nurses must be eligible to practice nursing in Tennessee (that is, licensed in Tennessee or one of the interstate compact states).
  • In keeping with the policy of the College of Nursing, you will need to submit documented immunization records. All students in the college are required to give proof of immunizations; proof is defined as official medical records (for example, a state health department record).
  • Students are required to be trained in CPR prior to enrolling in degree programs or post-master’s certificate programs. A copy of your CPR card must be submitted. CPR training must be obtained through the American Heart Association Health Care Provider (BLS) course including CPR/AED. Expiration date must be visible.

For more information, contact the College of Nursing graduate office at congrad@utk.edu.

Graduate Programs Statistics Requirement—College of Nursing

MSN

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)

Nursing Administration

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Primary and Acute Care tracks) (PNP)

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MH)

Admitted students are required to complete a graduate-level statistics course prior to beginning the program: Nursing 511* (offered fall only at UT), Stats 531 (typically offered summer and fall at UT), or a previously approved course from another institution.
All BSN-DNP

BSN-PhD students who are pursuing a concurrent MSN

Admitted students are required to complete a graduate-level statistics course prior to beginning the MSN portion of the program in the fall semester: Stats 531 (typically offered summer and fall at UT) or a previously approved course from another institution.

Note: Students who decide to pursue a concurrent MSN after starting the doctoral program must complete the MSN statistics requirement before the MSN degree can be conferred.

Master’s to DNP Admitted students are required to complete Stats 531 prior to beginning the DNP program

Note: Effective for all new enrollees beginning summer/fall 2016

Post-MSN to PhD Stats 531/532 are courses in the PhD curriculum, and students will complete these during the program.
Post-MSN Graduate Certificate Program Admitted students are required to complete a graduate level statistics course prior to beginning the program in the spring semester. It is likely that you have already completed this through your initial MSN, but should you require it, you may consider Nursing 511* (offered fall only at UT), Stats 531 (typically offered summer and fall at UT), or a previously approved course at another institution.
For any program, if you have already completed or plan to complete this requirement at another institution, please submit a course description and syllabus to the graduate program for approval prior to your semester of enrollment: congrad@utk.edu
*Nurs 511 is designed for students who are pursuing the MSN only.

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