Life at Vanderbilt School of Nursing

According to Our Students...

How did you adjust to being a minority at a majority institution?

Start introducing yourself early to people, all people. Get involved in student activities. Talk to your faculty. Volunteer for school projects that are of interest to you. Find out about the university campus activities; remember, not all your friends have to be strictly from the School of Nursing. There are many other health care related students on campus as well. We all have similar interests and goals.


We keep hearing the program is academically challenging. Do you do anything besides study at Vanderbilt School of Nursing?

“You're right, the program is challenging, but you'll quickly learn you must balance your life. Whether it is exercise, concerts or sports, you'll find you are a better student if you balance work and play. We do all the normal things other students do: hang out with friends, go to movies, out to eat and go to sporting events. There's always something happening on campus. Of course, there are always great musicians in town and we are able to use our student discounts for tickets.  For those interested in outside recreation, there are lakes and hiking trails all around the Nashville area,” (VUSN second year student).


How many underrepresented students are currently enrolled at Vanderbilt School of Nursing?

Our numbers of enrolled students from diverse or underrepresented backgrounds are growing. Currently, the MSN program at Vanderbilt includes approximately 13% underrepresented students.

The latest trends for both full time and part time ethnic minority enrollment at Vanderbilt School of Nursing are as follows:

MSN Underrepresented Students

   Fall 2013: 93 Minority students; 5 International students

   Fall 2014: 87 Minority students; 9 International students

   Fall 2015: 103 Minority students, 9 international students


DNP Underrepresented Students



   Fall 2013: 25 Minority students; 2 International students
   Fall 2014: 28 Minority students; 3 International students

   Fall 2015: 35 Minority students, 2 international sltudents

PhD Underrepresented Students

   Fall 2013: 2 Minority students

   Fall 2014: 3 Minority students

   Fall 2015: 3 Minority students


How many male students are enrolled?

The number of men in nursing continues to grow at Vanderbilt. Here are some 3-year trends for your consideration:

MSN Male Students

   Fall 2013: 75

   Fall 2014: 76

   Fall 2015: 61
   Recent Class Profile


DNP Male Students

   Fall 2013: 21

   Fall 2014: 16

   Fall 2015: 11
   Recent Class Profile

PhD Male Students

   Fall 2013: 4

   Fall 2014: 6

   Fall 2015: 7
   Recent Class Profile


Vanderbilt has one of the largest male, nursing faculty in the country. VUSN currently has 35 male faculty with full and part-time faculty appointments and 19 full and part-time underrepresented faculty.



Along with our regular student nurse organizations we offer a chapter of the National Black Nurses Association and we offer a chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing.


Becoming part of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing community – who will help me?

Vanderbilt takes special effort to help students make a successful transition into the graduate program. All new students participate in a 3-day orientation to the School of Nursing, which serves to get you off to a strong academic start. Students have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of their newly assigned academic advisors and hear presentations by program directors, administrators and staff. Orientation will also prepare you to access available university resources and activities. We also rely on peer mentors who will work with you throughout your first year. Peer mentors meet with you individually and in groups, to plan activities and to assist with social and academic transitions. In addition, Vanderbilt School of Nursing support includes select professional mentors. These are professional nurses who will work with you and act as a mentor as you explore the various specialties within nursing. They will offer you their time, expertise and support as you work towards achieving your goal of becoming a professional nurse.


Academic Enhancement Program

Dr. Jana Lauderdale, Director of the Academic Enhancement Program is available for 1-1 counseling to provide academic support for students in the following areas, which include but are not limited to:

  • Time management skills
  • Reading skills
  • Listening skills
  • Note-taking skills
  • Computer skills
  • Identified or unidentified learning disorders
  • APA writing guidelines
  • English as a second language needs

For additional information please feel free to contact Dr.Johnson.

In addition to the 1-1 counseling offered, Academic Enhancement Sessions are offered throughout the first year and include topics focused on enhancing your academic success such as scholarly writing, study & test taking skills and clinical reasoning skills.

For additional information on the Academic Enhancement Sessions feel free to contact Dr. Jana Lauderdale,

What type of financial aid does the School of Nursing offer for minority students?

Applicants for financial aid must file the FAFSA and the online Vanderbilt Nursing Graduate/Professional Financial Aid and Scholarship Application. The deadline for these forms is March 15 of the year of application.
In addition to need-based aid, the School of Nursing offers three (3) specific scholarships that are targeted for minority students:

  • H.S. Vanderbilt Scholarship (full scholarship to a 1st year minority student)
  • Goldstein Scholarship (partial scholarship to a 1st year minority student)
  • Hearst Scholarship (partial scholarship to a 2nd year minority student)
  • Additional scholarships are also available.

The Vanderbilt School of Nursing Student Financial Services offers information on all sources of available financial assistance along with information for external resources. If you would like additional information please contact:


Kristie SmithKristie Smith
Director, Student Financial Services
212 Godchaux Hall
Phone: 615.322.8986
Fax: 615.343.0164

How is diversity addressed within Vanderbilt University at large and the School of Nursing?

Vanderbilt University is rich with opportunities for students desiring to become active in cultural diversity organizations, conferences, workshops, campus activities, and social events. The following is a partial listing of campus organizations focusing on cultural diversity:


The faculty of Vanderbilt School of Nursing has made a commitment to embrace and celebrate diversity. Faculty participate in enrichment programs of cultural interest throughout the year. These special interest programs serve to deepen the faculty's understanding of the needs and interests of students from diverse backgrounds. This commitment serves to enhance both our faculty and students' lives, professionally and personally as well as enriching our teaching/learning environment.


Vanderbilt School of Nursing also has a strong alumni association. Graduate nurses from diverse backgrounds participate in various activities including recruitment, new student orientation, and mentoring.


Vanderbilt University also embraces and celebrates a diverse faculty and student body campus wide as exemplified by an on going initiative examining all aspects of university life in relation to diversity, which includes ethnic, race, religious, gender, and social affiliation. This on-going commitment serves to strengthen and ensure the significance of diversity to the entire Vanderbilt University community in relation to recruitment efforts, the teaching/learning environment, and support/or resource programs for staff, faculty and students.