Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Licensure Guide - 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensing Guide for the state of Tennessee

Last Reviewed: September 21st, 2022

Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN) are tested to validate the knowledge acquired for safe nursing practice. A license is issued as proof of validation. The licensure process is done to ensure that the public is safe from harm and those who do not meet the requirement for the licensure or pass the validation test will not be allowed to practice. The licensure process is carried out at the state level by the state’s board of nursing. 

In Tennessee, the Tennessee Board of Nursing is responsible for giving out licenses to qualified persons. For higher levels of Nursing like the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), other than having an initial RN license, you must go through further training and education to qualify for a license. You’ll also have to go through further testing in a chosen specialty to obtain a nursing certification. This is carried out by nationally accredited certifying organizations which are covered in this guide.  The Tennessee Board of Nursing recognizes the following APRN roles:

  • Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)

Tennessee is a Nurse License Compact (NLC) state. The NLC authorizes RNs in a compact state to practice in another compact state without an additional license. However, Tennessee passed a law in favor of being a member of the Enhanced Nurse License Compact (eNLC). The difference between NLC and eNLC is that the latter adopts 11 uniform licensure requirements (ULRs) that must be met before anyone can be approved for the multi-state license. One of the requirements is a criminal background check through fingerprints.

To become an APRN-NP in Tennessee, in the absence of an in-state RN license, you can provide the license from a fellow compact state to be eligible. A minimum of an RN license is required to be eligible for APRN-NP licensure. 

Tennessee NP Licensing & Scope of Work