Skip to content

Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC News


College of Nursing Mission Statement

To prepare exceptional nurse leaders to meet the health needs of the people of Tennessee, the nation and beyond through:

  • Cultivating creativity and passion to improve health care
  • Leading scientific innovations and clinical practice
  • Using innovative academic approaches
  • Serving society
  • Building community partnerships

Our Vision: Nurses leading innovative transformation of health care.

College of Nursing By the Numbers
  • First College of Nursing in Tennessee
  • First PhD program in Tennessee
  • First Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the state, second in the U.S.
  • First DNP/PhD graduate in the U.S.
  • $3,603,843 in total grant funding for FY23.
  • 100% of UTHSC CON graduates employed within 12 months of graduation
  • 90% first-time pass rate for BSN students on NCLEX-RN, the national exam for the licensing of nurses
  • 94.2% initial board certification rate for all DNP concentrations combined
  • 420 total college enrollment for FY2023, with 170 students receiving scholarships
College of Nursing Values

Our values represent who we are regardless of changes in our environment. We value:

  • A culture that creates, supports, and promotes innovation while honoring our traditions;
  • A sense of community and teamwork within the college, with our colleagues, and with our strategic partners;
  • A community that enhances scholarship and promotes diversity;
  • Professional and personal accountability;
  • Respectful, open, and transparent communication and collaboration;
  • Professional and intellectual integrity;
  • Shared respect for faculty and staff contributions.
College of Nursing Philosophy

The philosophy of the College of Nursing is consistent with the goals and mission of UTHSC. The College philosophy focuses upon the nature of the PERSON, ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, and NURSING. The faculty believes that the PERSON is a unique integrated being that is continuously evolving. Each person has the right to participate in making decisions that affect his/her health and to accept or refuse health care within the context of safety to society.

The faculty views ENVIRONMENT as all conditions influencing the life and development of the person. The health of individuals, families, and communities is affected by these conditions.

HEALTH is viewed as a dynamic state arising from a process of continuous change in the person and environment. The faculty views the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health as a complex phenomenon involving the shared responsibility of the person, health care providers, and society. Faculty view nursing as stated in the second edition of Nursing’s Social Policy Statement (ANA, 2003), “NURSING is the protection, promotion and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (p.6). Nursing must provide leadership in influencing the organizational, social, economic, legal, and political factors within the healthcare system and society. “These and other factors affect the cost, access to, and quality of health care and the vitality of the nursing profession” (p.6).

Professional nursing is a science and an art. The science of nursing requires that nurses study, explore, and research nursing and related knowledge areas. From these areas nurses develop and test nursing theories for the improvement of nursing practice and health care. The art of nursing requires that nurses use knowledge gained from the humanities, arts, and sciences as the foundation for acceptance and appreciation of clients’ values. Nursing care requires sensitivity as well as critical, logical, and analytical thinking to effect changes in clients and the health care system.

EDUCATION for professional nursing practice includes a sound theoretical knowledge base to support experiential learning. The faculty believes that the educational process facilitates continuing personal and professional growth. The intent of the educational programs is to focus on the learner with active participation of the student in the learning process. Education is a life-long process with the commitment of the learner to establish patterns of continued inquiry.

College of Nursing Accreditation

Institutional Accreditation

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

The baccalaureate degree in nursing program at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791,

The BSN Program is accredited by CCNE through June 30, 2030, and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. 

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education,  655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, 202-887-6791,, through December 31, 2024, and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, 665 Mainstream Drive, 2nd Floor, Nashville, TN 37243. 

Nurse Anesthesiology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing Post-BSN DNP Nurse Anesthesia Concentration is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, 10275 W. Higgins Road, Suite 906, Rosemont, IL, 60018-5603, phone: 224.275.9130,, through 2029. 


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing Doctor of Nurse Practice Nurse Midwifery (DNP NMW) concentration is preaccredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, 2000 Duke St., Alexandria, VA< 22314, 703.835.4565, , ACME, for 4 years  (February 2021-February 2025).

Tennessee Board of Nursing Approvals

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the College of Nursing is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

Tennessee Board of Nursing
665 Mainstream Drive, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
615-532-5166 local or

Accreditation History

The BSN program was previously accredited by NLN in 1976 until it was held in abeyance in 1997. The BSN program was reestablished in 2005 and received the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Accreditation through 2011. The BSN program was held in abeyance in 2010 until it was reestablished in 2013. CCNE has granted accreditation to the baccalaureate degree program in nursing until June 30, 2020. For additional information related to accreditation, please contact Susan Jacob, PhD, RN, Interim Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. 

The DNP program was initially accredited April 27, 2009 by CCNE. The DNP program is accredited through Dec. 31, 2024.

College of Nursing History
 History of CON
Click to view presentation by Dr. Dianne Greenhill.


In 1829, the first public hospital in Memphis was established by an act of the Tennessee Legislature. Twelve years later, this small inadequate hospital meant for river travelers was replaced with a facility that, after being used as a military hospital during the American Civil War, became the Memphis City Hospital.

The American Civil War had demonstrated a need for trained nurses, but it was Florence Nightingale, following her work in the Crimean war, who influenced reform in hospitals in England and reformed nursing "training". As Nightingale's writings began to affect nursing in this country, the first US school based on Nightingale's principles was established in 1873 at New York's Bellevue Hospital. Two other schools, new Haven Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, followed.

Memphis Training School for Nurses was chartered September 28, 1887, at a time during which nursing education in the United States was still in its infancy. It was one of the first schools of nursing in the South and was certainly the first in the Mid-South. In December 1887, the school accepted its first student, Lena Clark Angevine, who is now known as Tennessee's pioneer nurse. In 1898, a new city hospital along with the Nursing School of the Memphis City Hospital opened at 860 Madison Avenue and the Memphis Training School for Nurses closed.

The medical staff of the hospital petitioned the Mayor to appoint Mrs. Lena Angevine Warner Superintendent of Nurses at the new nursing school. In 1913 the hospital became the teaching center of the College of Medicine of the University of Tennessee, and in 1920, the Memphis General Hospital became a University hospital by contractual agreement when the University of Tennessee College of Nursing was created, and on November 9, 1926, The City of Memphis and The University of Tennessee entered into a contract governing the operation of the Memphis General Hospital by the College of Medicine. The University began operation of the School of Nursing in June 1927. In July 1949, the School of Nursing became an autonomous unit within the University.

One of the graduates of the University of Tennessee School of Nursing in those early days was Ruth Neil Murry, who graduated in 1936.  Miss Murry went on to serve the school for approximately 40 years, becoming the first dean in 1949 and leading the school until her retirement in December 1977, when she was named emeritus dean. Miss Murry began her academic career at UT in 1938 when she became the school’s first clinical instructor in obstetric nursing after completing a post-graduate course at New York Hospital, Cornell University Medical Center. She became educational director for the School of Nursing in 1944 and Director of the UT School of Nursing in 1946. Under Miss Murry’s leadership, the School of Nursing made the transition from diploma to a collegiate educational program. She expanded clinical educational opportunities and spearheaded the effort to establish the graduate program in nursing which began in 1973.

The transition from a diploma to a baccalaureate program began in September 1950, when the newly-established Baccalaureate in Nursing Program admitted 26 students. In 1972 the Master's program was developed and students were admitted for the 1973 summer quarter. The PhD in Nursing was begun in August 1988. The size of the undergraduate program was purposefully reduced as greater emphasis was placed on graduate education. The last group of undergraduates graduated December 1997, allowing the College to focus entirely on graduate education. The faculty set as a goal for the College the offering of a professional clinical doctorate to meet the future needs of the increasingly complex health care environment in Tennessee and the nation. The first DNSc students were admitted in July 1999.

The College of Nursing provides innovative education, patient care and research programs throughout Tennessee and the Mid South. Most degree programs use state-of-the-art telecommunications and distributive programming to bring education to students in East Tennessee, rural West Tennessee, and across the nation. The College's faculty and staff deliver cutting-edge clinical services in many different services in a variety of locations. The faculty and students bring the science of caring to the daily lives of their patients. The internationally-renowned research programs of the faculty advance the frontiers knowledge in several areas.

Dr. Michael Carter was appointed Dean in 1982. His bachelor's and master's degrees are from the University of Arkansas College of Nursing, and his DNSc degree is from Boston University.

Dr. Donna Hathaway was appointed Dean in August 2000, after being on faculty at UT College of Nursing since 1984. Her bachelor's and master's degrees are from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and her PhD degree is from University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hathaway announced her desire to step down from the dean's role and return to a faculty position effective August 1, 2011.

Dr. Susan Jacob, PhD, RN, who served as executive associate dean for the college since 2003, was appointed Interim Dean effective August 1, 2011.

Laura A. Talbot, PhD, EdD, RN, GCNS-BC was appointed dean of the College of Nursing in March 2012. She had extensive administrative, clinical and research experience, much of it gleaned during her more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, where she rose to the rank of Colonel and commanded a medical squadron. During her time as dean of the college, Dr. Talbot maintained an active program of research focused on the needs of veterans and active duty military. In July 2014, Dr. Talbot stepped down to pursue a full-time career as a researcher at the university.

In July 2014, Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-BC was appointed interim dean of the College of Nursing. In June 2015, Dr. Likes was appointed permanent dean for the College of Nursing. She previously served as Associate Dean and Chair of the Department of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies in the College of Nursing. Dr. Likes received her Associate of Science degree from Arkansas State University in 1994. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Memphis in 1997. Her Master of Science in Nursing (family nurse practitioner), Doctorate of Nursing Science, and PhD degrees were earned at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 1999, 2004, and 2009 respectively. Dr. Likes works primarily with women with cancer and pre-invasive gynecologic conditions in her clinical practice.

Information taken from:
From Diploma to Doctorate: 100 Years of Nursing Education by E. Dianne Greenhill, RN, BSN, EdD, Professor of Nursing

College of Nursing Historical Highlights
  • 1887 - The Memphis Training School for Nurses, the first nursing school in the Mid-South, was chartered.
  • 1898 - The Memphis City Hospital opened and the Memphis Training School became the Memphis City Hospital School of Nursing.
  • 1927 - The University of Tennessee and the Memphis General Hospital approved the University's operation of the School of Nursing. The University of Tennessee School of Nursing began in June 1927.
  • 1950 - The newly established Baccalaureate in Nursing program admitted its first class of students.
  • 1953 - RN-BSN program begins. 
  • 1954 - The diploma program graduated its last class of students.
  • 1961 - The School of Nursing became a College.
  • 1973 - The Master of Science in Nursing degree program was started.
  • 1974 - Accelerated BSN program began.
  • 1988 - The PhD program was started.
  • 1997 - The baccalaureate degree program was temporarily suspended.
  • 1999 - The Doctor of Nursing Science degree program was started.
  • 2003 - The UTHSC College of Nursing announces partnership with Methodist Healthcare to create an educational continuum that reinstated the baccalaureate degree program and integrated it with existing graduate programs.
  • 2005 - Admitted traditional, second degree and RNs to the newly established BSN program.
  • 2005 - The Doctor of Nursing transitioned from DNSc to DNP.
  • 2006 - A small cohort of registered nurses was admitted to a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) master's program.
  • 2007 - Five RNs graduated with the CNL master's degree.
  • 2009 - Admitted 2nd degree students to Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse Leader program.
  • 2009 - Transitioned master's entry advanced practice programs to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level. Received accreditation for all DNP programs. Second in the nation to receive accreditation for a DNP program in Nurse Anesthesia.
  • 2010 - All professional entry and advanced nursing practice programs at the graduate level.
  • 2011 - Admitted RNs with a diploma or associate degree to the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) master's program.
  • 2012 - The UTHSC College of Nursing moved into the newly renovated space on the 9th and 10th floor of the 920 Madison Plaza building.
  • 2013 - Accelerated BSN program reactivated, admitting students with 60+ college credits or a bachelor's degree or higher in another field.
  • 2014 - RN to BSN bachelor's degree option offered completely online.
  • 2014 - Established Post-Graduate Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • 2016 - Established the Center for Community and Global Partnerships
  • 2017 - Established Partnership Enrollment Programs (PEPs) with local colleges
  • 2017 - Established Post-Doctoral Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • 2017 - Began twice-a-year admission for the BSN program.
  • 2017 - Started an RN First-Assistant (RNFA) certificate program.
  • 2017 - Started a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP concentration.
  • 2018 - Established Post-Doctoral Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • 2018 - Established Post-Doctoral Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • 2018 - Established Post-Doctoral Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • 2019 - Margaret Newman Endowed Professorship
  • 2019 - Admitted second-degree students to 12 month Concept Based BSN program
  • 2020 - Established Dual Primary Care/Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner DNP Concentration
  • 2021 - Established DNP Concentration in Nurse-Midwifery
  • 2021 - Earned recognition as National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in the category of Enhancing Student Learning and Professional Development for 2021-2025
  • 2021 - The college was selected as a Satellite Telehealth Training Site for the South Central Telehealth Resource Center.
  • 2021 - The college moved to a new home in the renovated Crowe Building.
  • 2021 - Established The Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory
  • 2022 - Established a Traditional BSN concentration
  • 2023 - Expanded the college's Partnership Enrollment Program to include 10 colleges throughout the region.
  • 2023 - Launched the UTHSC Nursing Mobile Health Unit in Lake and Lauderdale counties.
  • 2023 - For the first time ever, the college held five grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)  at one time - a historic high for the college.

View our 2018-2023 Strategic Map


Feb 20, 2024