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Tennessee Board of Nursing: Quick Guide to Nursing Licensing

April 1, 2024

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In Tennessee, there are about 92,000 nurses who have active licenses to work. And they are all watched over by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, an important group that helps make sure healthcare in Tennessee is safe and that nurses act professionally. 

This board does more than just look after who gets to be a nurse; they also handle complaints and take action if a nurse does something wrong. They are in charge of the process for applying for a nurse license, making sure it’s up to date, and checking on it. All these measures ensure that the patients get the best care possible.

In this quick guide, we’ll walk you through how to apply for, renew, and verify nursing licenses in Tennessee. Additionally, we’ll introduce you to HeartBeat AI, an easy-to-use platform that lets you find information about Nursing professionals. 

Tennessee Board of Nursing

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Tennessee Board of Nursing: At A Glance

The TN Board of Nursing is responsible for supervising a range of healthcare professionals and educational programs within the state. Its responsibilities involve regulating registered nurses (RN and LPN), advanced practice registered nurses, nurse aides, medication aides, and massage therapists.

Contact Information

What is the Tennessee Board of Nursing Responsible for?

The Board of Nursing Tennessee is very important for keeping patients and healthcare workers safe. Here’s what they do:

  • Giving Licenses to Healthcare Workers: The board gives licenses to nurses and other healthcare workers. This makes sure only people who know what they’re doing can take care of patients.
  • Making Rules for Good Behavior: The board makes rules for how nurses should act. These rules help everyone trust and feel safe with their healthcare. It means patients are taken good care of.
  • Checking on Nurses: If someone complains that a nurse did something wrong, the board checks it out. If the nurse did something bad, they will have to face consequences. This helps keep everyone safe and makes sure nurses do their jobs right.
  • Supporting Nurses to Learn More: Nurses are encouraged to keep learning new things. This is good because it means they can do their jobs better. When nurses know a lot, patients get better care.

Tennessee Board of Nursing License Lookup

The Board of Nursing Tennessee has an online tool for checking the licenses of healthcare workers. This website lets you look up license information for individuals and groups that the board oversees, including if they’ve had any penalties.

If you’re looking for specific details about someone’s nursing license in Tennessee, there’s a system for that. It can show you things like the person’s name, their license number, what job they do, what kind of license they have, if the license is still good, and where they are located.

For a simpler way to do a Tennessee Nursing license Lookup, Heartbeat AI is a handy option. It’s made to be easy to use, so you can quickly find out if nursing staff in the state have the right qualifications.

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Are You Eligible for a Tennessee Nursing License?

In Tennessee, each type of nurse must fulfill different criteria to be eligible for the nursing profession license. 

For Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), you need to pass the Tennessee State Nurse Aide Exam. There’s no fee to apply, and you don’t need any extra education after you get your certificate. However, you must have worked at least eight hours in a paid nursing job in the last two years.

Additionally, if you want to be a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you have to pass the NCLEX-PN test. Like CNAs, you don’t need to take any additional nursing diploma or courses after you’re licensed. But, you do need to show that you have practical experience working as an LPN.

On the other hand, Registered Nurses (RNs) have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. There’s no requirement for more education once you’ve passed, but you must prove that you’ve worked as an RN.

And, the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) need to pass a special exam that’s recognized across the country in their specific area of nursing. APRNs also have to do two hours of learning every two years about dealing with substance abuse. They don’t need to complete any specific number of hours working in a clinical setting.

Tennessee Board of Nursing License Requirements

All applicants, regardless of the license type, must fulfill the requirements given below. 

  • Proof of living in the state
  • Check of criminal background history
  • Confirmation of citizenship status
  • Photo similar to what’s required for a passport
  • Social Security number
  • Nursing degree or school records (only needed for endorsement applications)

How to Get a Tennessee Board of Nursing License

How to Get a Tennessee Board of Nursing License

Obtaining a Tennessee Nursing Board License involves several important steps. Here’s a simplified guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Complete an Approved Nursing Program

Start by graduating from a nursing program approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. For aspiring registered nurses (RNs), this usually means obtaining an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). For practical nurses (LPNs), completion of a state-approved practical nursing program is necessary.

Step 2: Submit the Tennessee Board of Nursing License Application

Apply for licensure by examination with the Board of Nursing Tennessee, typically through the Board’s online portal. You’ll need to pay an online application fee, which depends on the type of license you’re applying for.

Step 3: Undergo a Criminal Background Check

Complete a mandatory criminal background check, which requires submitting your fingerprints and possibly other details.

Step 4: Register for the NCLEX

Sign up to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) with Pearson VUE, the organization that administers the test. This registration comes with its own fee.

Step 5: Send in Your Transcripts

Make sure your nursing school sends your official transcripts directly to the Tennessee Board of Nursing. It’s a good idea to verify this has been done.

Step 6: Pass the NCLEX

Prepare for and pass the NCLEX. The results will be automatically forwarded to the board.

Step 7: Get Your License

Once you’ve passed the NCLEX and fulfilled all other requirements, the Tennessee Board of Nursing will issue your license. You can usually check your license status online through the Board’s website.

Tennessee Nursing Board Licensure Time Frame

Once all the necessary documents and materials have been received, it typically takes about six weeks to process your license. This time frame allows for the thorough review and processing of your application and any other required items.

To keep things easier, you should submit your paperwork correctly and ensure you’re eligible for the license you’re applying for. By doing so, you can expect to get your license without any delay. 

Cost of Tennessee Nursing Board License

For first-time nurses taking their licensing exam, there’s a fee of $200 to take the NCLEX exam, which is required for your license.  

However, if you’re a nurse who already has an RN license and you’re applying for licensure in a new area through endorsement, the fees are a bit different. The application fee for RNs and LPNs is $115. 

And as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), you’ll also need to pay $25 for license verifications. The criminal background check fee of $33.15 applies here as well.

When it comes time to renew your license, there are fees for that too. RNs and LPNs have to pay $100 to renew their licenses. APRNs have a slightly higher fee of $110 for renewal.

Tennessee Board of Nursing License Renewal

Tennessee Board of Nursing License Renewal

Renewing your TN Board of Nursing license is a crucial step to maintain your eligibility to practice within the state. Follow this easy guide to ensure a smooth renewal process:

Step 1: Visit the Tennessee Nursing Board Website

Head over to the official website of the Tennessee Board of Nursing and look for the section on license renewal. If it’s your first time, you might need to set up an account to use the online renewal feature.

Step 2: Fill Out the Renewal Form

Complete the online renewal form. This involves checking your personal details, answering questions about your work and behavior, and maybe entering information on any continuing education credits you’ve earned.

Step 3: Pay the Renewal Fee

Pay the renewal fee that applies to your specific type of license and whether you’re renewing it before or after the deadline. You can usually pay with a credit or debit card directly on the website.

Step 4: Submit the Renewal

Once you’ve completed the form and made your payment, you can submit your renewal application. Double-check all the information you’ve entered to make sure it’s correct.

Step 5: Confirmation of Submission

After your renewal is submitted, you’ll get an email to confirm that your application has been received and is under review.

Tennessee Board of Nursing License Verification

Tennessee Board of Nursing License Verification

To check a nursing license in Tennessee, you can follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Go to the Website

Start by visiting the official website of the Tennessee Department of Health, which takes care of the nursing board.

Step 2: Find the License Lookup Tool

On the homepage of the Department of Health, look for a link called “License Lookup.” This tool helps you check if nurses and other healthcare workers in Tennessee are licensed.

Step 3: Enter Information

You’ll be asked to put in specific details to find the person you’re looking for. This might be the nurse’s name, their license number, or other important info. Fill out the fields with the information you have.

Step 4: Search for the Details

After you’ve entered the needed details, click the search button or press enter. Make sure everything you entered is correct so you can find the right information.

Step 5: Look at the License Details

You’ll see a list of licenses that match your search. Click on the one you’re interested in to see more about that nurse’s license. You’ll usually see the person’s name, their license number, whether their license is active, expired, or suspended when it expires, and if there have been any disciplinary actions.

How Often Do Nursing Licenses Need to be Renewed in Tennessee?

The nurses in Tennessee have to renew their licenses every two years. The office will send out a reminder in the mail 45 days before the license is due to expire, using the address they have on record. 

You need to renew your license every two years in the month you were born. If you were born in a year that ends in an even number, you must renew your license in years that are even numbers.

And if you were born in a year that ends in an odd number, you will renew your license in odd-numbered years. Even if you just got your license right before it’s time to renew, you still have to renew it and start following the two-year renewal schedule.

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Nursing License in Tennessee?

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Nursing License in Tennessee

Heartbeat AI makes it easy to find and connect with licensed nurses in Tennessee, providing quick access to the information you need. Here’s why HeartBeat AI is a great choice for getting info on healthcare professionals:

Lots of Accurate Information

Heartbeat AI has a huge database with details on over 11 million healthcare workers in the US, including nurses licensed in Tennessee. The information is trustworthy because it comes from more than 200+ reliable partners.

Makes Communication Easier

The platform makes it simple for users to get help, ask questions, or get advice about license renewals. With HeartBeat Prospector, getting the support and info you need for Tennessee nursing professionals is a breeze.


Heartbeat AI has a straightforward and easy-to-navigate interface. This helps nursing professionals and their managers in Tennessee easily understand licensing requirements and find out how to renew their licenses.

Chrome Extension for Better Connections

With the Heartbeat AI Chrome Extension, you can quickly find information on social media to contact nursing professionals in Tennessee. It’s an excellent tool for growing your professional network.

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The Tennessee Board of Nursing license is key to maintaining safe and top-notch nursing care within the state. They establish the standards for nursing practice, issue licenses to qualified individuals, and ensure these standards are upheld.

Due to their dedication, nursing services in Tennessee achieve the highest standards of safety and quality. This benefits both the nursing community and the general public.

And if you’re in search of the latest and most reliable details on nurses licensed in Tennessee, Heartbeat AI stands out as the prime resource. The platform facilitates effortless access to thorough and confirmed information about healthcare practitioners, easing the way to communicate with them.


Is continuing education required for nurses in Tennessee?

Continuing education is not required for RNs and LPNs in Tennessee for professional development. However, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) must complete continuing education hours in certain areas, such as controlled substance prescribing and substance abuse.

Can I practice nursing in Tennessee with a license from another state?

Yes, but you must apply for licensure by endorsement through the TN Board of Nursing license. This involves submitting an application, fees, and additional documentation as required.

What actions can the Tennessee Board of Nursing take if a nurse violates professional standards?

The board can take various disciplinary actions, including issuing warnings, imposing fines, suspending or revoking licenses, and mandating initial educational courses, depending on the severity of the violation.

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