Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

Program Information

Terry WitheringtonMeet the Program Director

Terry Witherington, DNP, CPNP
Terry Witherington received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Union University in 1980. She followed her undergraduate studies by pursuing research for the National Cancer Institute and later toxicology research at University of Tennessee. She decided to pursue a career in nursing and received both her BSN and MSN from the University of Tennessee. She received her certification as a PNP and began her primary care experience in 1994. She received her DNP for the University of South Alabama in 2012. She has directed a rural health clinic in Middle Tennessee and has worked in primary for over 18 years. She has teaching experience on the graduate level for the past 16 years. She co-directed the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Tennessee State University before coming to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 2002. She was recently awarded the alumni award from Union University. She has had the experience of serving in medical mission teams to South America, and she feels strongly that the nursing profession should provide health care to the underserved populations of the world. Her motivation for nursing education is related to her passion and devotion to improving the health care of children.


Faculty Who Practice

Faculty in the primary care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program at Vanderbilt School of Nursing are experienced educators and clinicians. All of the faculty hold joint teaching and active clinical practice positions. Their up-to-date, evidenced-based practices provide rich “real-world” experiences for the classroom.


Modified Class Schedule for Nurses and Non-Nurses

Whether you have a nursing background or not, you will complete your PNP primary care specialty program through a modified learning (block) format that includes: (1) courses offered in concentrated blocks of time on campus, including weekends, up to four times per semester, (2) on-line conferencing and (3) distributed course delivery methods which allow for continued faculty contact between sessions.


Students with a Background in Nursing
(ADN/Diploma RN, BSN, MSN)

The modified learning format provides flexibility for working nurses and others. Students need not relocate or give up their employment while completing their MSN at Vanderbilt. You may choose to attend weekly lectures on-campus or to access these lectures from a remote site through:

  • Live video-streamed lectures broadcast over the Vanderbilt School of Nursing website at the specified class time, and/or
  • Archived video-streamed lectures available for one week after the live lecture.

In addition, students are required to attend courses in concentrated blocks of time on campus, up to four times per semester over an extended weekend of approximately five days. Due to State Boards of Nursing and/or State Higher Educational rules, the School may not be able to provide clinical placements in your location of choice, but every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate your placement request.


Students without a Background in Nursing (PNP Primary Care Track)

Students who enter Vanderbilt School of Nursing without a nursing background are traditional students and, during their PreSpecialty year, are required to attend live weekly lectures and complete clinical hours in Nashville. In the following specialty year, the entire PNP program is delivered in a blocked format.