Frequently Asked Questions

General Information Questions

Admissions Questions


What is the School of Nursing address and telephone number?

  • Admissions Office
    Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (Monday – Friday)
    Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    461 21st Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37240-0008
    Main switchboard: 615-322-4400
    Admissions: 615-322-3800
    Admissions Fax: 615-343-0333


What are the directions to the School of Nursing?

For driving directions to the School of Nursing, please go here.


What are the academic programs offered by the School of Nursing?

The School of Nursing recognizes that individuals come to us with different backgrounds and different career aspirations. Choose the advanced practice specialty that suits your interest;


Do you offer distance learning courses?

The School of Nursing offers several programs in what we call a modified learning (block) format.

The content is delivered in a modified learning (block) format via the following:

  1. Courses offered in concentrated blocks of time on campus (approximately 3 days with most programs scheduling courses around a weekend on average of four times per semester)
  2. Online conferencing
  3. Digital video and distributed course delivery methods that allow for continued faculty contact between sessions

In addition, clinical placement can be arranged in the student's home area provided a suitable agency and preceptor are available:


Can I visit the School of Nursing?

Applicants are encouraged to attend an MSN and Post-Master's Certificate (PMC) program information session conducted by a School of Nursing Admission Counselor for assistance with the MSN and PMC application process. Information Sessions are held on most Tuesdays from 10 – 11 am and on Fridays from 10 11 am. Note that information sessions are not held on Vanderbilt holidays or during new student orientation in August. Please register now if you are interested in attending an information session.

The School of Nursing hosts campus visits in October and March of each year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend to learn more about our programs and specialties offered at the School of Nursing.

The Undergraduate Admissions office conducts campus tours Monday – Saturday. While this information session and tour is primarily intended for high school students and their parents, the tour will give you an opportunity to see our beautiful campus. Information regarding the Undergraduate Admissions Office tour is found


Must I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in order to enter the MSN program?

VUSN is unique in that it offers "multiple entry options." You can enter our program with:

  • Non-Nurse bachelors entry also called no nursing background and a Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in a field other than nursing (PreSpecialty Student Status)
  • A hospital diploma or associate's degree in nursing and 78 semester hours of college courses (RN PreSpecialty Student Status)
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Direct Entry Status)
  • A Master of Science in Nursing with the intention of obtaining a Post Master's Certificate (Post Master's Status)


Does VUSN require any prerequisite courses?

Yes. If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, we require that you have:

  • Three (3) semester hours of Statistics

If you are an Associate's or Hospital Diploma RN, you must have at least 78 semester hours of college credit which must include the following courses:

  • Six (6) semester hours of English (any composition or literature courses)
  • Six (6) semester hours of Humanities (classics, fine arts, general humanities, history, literature, philosophy or religion courses)
  • Nine (9) semester hours of Social Sciences (anthropology, economics, political science, psychology or sociology)
  • Eleven (11) semester hours of Natural Science which must include microbiology and both human anatomy and human physiology (which must cover all body systems)
  • Three (3) semester hours of Lifespan Development, Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (must cover birth to death)
  • Two to Three (2-3) semester hours of Nutrition
  • Three(3) semester hours of Statistics (must include inferential statistics)

If you are a non-nurse bachelor's entry, we require you have:

  • Eight (8) semester hours of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Must be taken within 5 years of application
  • Three (3) semester hours of Microbiology. Must be taken within 5 years of application
  • Three (3) semester hours of Lifespan Development, Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (must cover lifespan from birth to death)
  • Three (3) semester hours of Statistics (must include inferential statistics)
  • Two to Three (2-3) semester hours of Nutrition


Must I have completed the prerequisite courses prior to applying to VUSN?

No. If you are applying to our program as non-nurse bachelors entry (prespecialty) student, you must be in the final year of your program before applying. It is desirable that you have completed some if not all the prerequisite courses. Acceptance into our program as well as your ability to enroll will be contingent upon our receipt of documentation acknowledging your completion of the prerequisites and the bachelor’s degree prior to the enrollment date.


Can I take prerequisites at a community college or online?

Yes, you may take the prerequisites at any regionally accredited college/university or community college. Prerequisites may also be taken online.


Is there expiration on prerequisites?

Human anatomy, human physiology & microbiology must be taken within 5 years of application for non-nurse bachelors (prespecialty) entry applicants.


Is there an application deadline?

There is no fixed application deadline at the School of Nursing. We begin to evaluate applications to our program for the fall semester on November 1st of the previous year. We will continue to accept applications for a specific semester until the specialty into which you are applying reaches its capacity or up to approximately one month prior to the commencement of classes. Note that the nurse practitioner and nurse midwifery specialties receive a high number of applications so applicants to those programs should apply no later than November 1st


Where should I have my official transcripts mailed to?

  • Center for Data Management
    Vanderbilt University
    PMB 407833
    2301 Vanderbilt Place
    Nashville, TN 37240-7833


Does the school accept electronic transcripts?

If your school uses an electronic transcript service such as Parchment, Naviance, Docufide or Scrip Safe, have your University Registrar send the transcript to


What criteria are used to judge my application when it is sent for faculty review?

Admission is competitive but there is  some leeway with regard to being accepted into our program. We look at the whole application package. This includes your letters of reference (professional and academic references), transcripts, goal statement and application essay responses. All application materials must be received before your file can be reviewed by faculty.


Should I contact the admissions office to set up a personal interview?

No, the MSN and Post-master’s certificate programs do not require or offer personal admission interviews.


If admitted can I defer my acceptance?

You may request a deferral of one year. Deferrals must be requested through the Student Admissions & Academic Affairs Committee (SAAA). Deferrals are generally granted for unanticipated circumstances such as illness. Deferrals are usually not granted for financial reasons, inability to complete prerequisite courses and the like.


Can I apply to enter in the spring semester?

All non-nurses & associate/hospital diploma RNs must start in the fall semester. The PNP Acute Care Post Master’s Certificate program for Primary Care PNPs only begins in the spring semester.


Is part-time study available?

All non-nurse bachelors entry must attend full-time in the PreSpecialty year. Associate/hospital diploma RNs, BSNs, & post master’s certificate students may attend part-time.