The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing has been selected as the best in the state of Tennessee by an influential national organization.
Nurse.org, an online source supporting and empowering nurses to better their careers, lives and profession by publishing trusted educational resources, selected the UTC nursing program as the top school in Tennessee in its 2023 Nurse.org Best Nursing Schools by State rankings.
“Being ranked No. 1 in the state is a very nice honor, especially when you look at who else was on the list,” said Dr. Chris Smith, director of the UTC School of Nursing and the University’s Chief Health Affairs Officer. “Rankings are important because it means we are being looked at by people across the community, state and country. They see what we do is valid and valued, especially when it comes to educating students to become competent nurses in the workforce.”
In its summary of the UTC program, Nurse.org wrote that nursing students who choose UTC “get to enjoy an urban campus and the benefits of a large school.” Available programs include a traditional BSN, an online RN-BSN, an accelerated BSN and five concentrations in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
Upon completion of the bachelor’s program in nursing, graduates are eligible to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure exam (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse. In 2022, UTC School of Nursing students had a first-time pass rate of 93%–and an overall 100% pass rate. The national average was 82%
“First-time NCLEX pass rates are impressive,” wrote Nurse.org, “and every student who completed the BSN has passed the NCLEX.”
“This is a very exciting profession, and we’re preparing nurses to be able to handle any kind of patient with whom they come in contact,” Smith said. “It takes a lot of dedication from the faculty, the staff and the students. We cannot underestimate the importance of the support system that our students get from our faculty, their parents, partners, siblings, everyone there who supports them on this journey.”
Nurse.org said rankings were compiled by a panel of five registered nurses with more than 55 years of combined nursing experience and seven nursing degrees. Considerations to determine its rankings included school reputation, accreditation status, NCLEX pass rate, tuition and acceptance rates.
Smith noted that UTC had one of the lowest annual in-state tuitions among Tennessee’s Top 10 nursing schools.
“There are a lot of universities and colleges that have great NCLEX pass rates, but UTC continues to be a very affordable school. Our outcomes are as good—if not better—than more expensive programs,” she said. “For us to be recognized for our affordability by a national organization is important.”