✔️ Page updated: August 20th, 2023
This page has all of the information laid out in steps, including application forms, and fees to become a physical therapist assistant in Tennessee and get licensed.
All PTA licensing in Tennessee is regulated by the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy.
Below are the requirements to become a licensed PTA in Tennessee.
PTA License Requirement
Required in Tennessee?
|Complete Accredited PTA Program
|Send Official Transcripts Directly from School to State PT Board
|Complete PTA License Application
|Mail passport style photo to State PT Board with application
|Pay non-refundable application, license, and state regulatory fees?
|Yes, $90 + $25 + $10 = $125 total
|Pass the National Physical Therapy Assistant Exam (NPTAE)
|Provide a recommendation letter completed by a registered Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant
Tennessee PTA License Application
For detailed information and instructions to become a PTA in Tennessee, see the board’s online Application instructions. To apply online, click the icon to the right.
Tennessee PTA Board Contact Info
665 Mainstream Drive
Nashville, TN 37243
For Federal Express or Special Courier:
Board of Physical Therapy
665 Mainstream Drive
Nashville, TN 37228
More PTA Info for Tennessee:
Learn how to become a physical therapist assistant in 7 steps completing all education and licensing requirements.
Steps to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Tennessee
To become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in Tennessee, there are several steps that must be followed.
First, aspiring PTAs must complete an Associate’s Degree from an accredited school that offers a PTA program. Programs typically take two years to complete and include both classroom instruction and clinical experience.
Once the degree is obtained, individuals can then submit an application for licensure to the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy. The application includes submitting official transcripts and completing any additional education requirements as outlined by the board.
After the application is approved, the next step is to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs. This exam measures the candidate’s knowledge and skills in physical therapy.
Once licensed, PTAs can begin their careers in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or private practices.
Additionally, PTAs must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) credits every two years for license renewal. These courses help to ensure that PTAs stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and maintain their competence in the field.
By following these steps, individuals can become licensed PTAs in Tennessee and make a meaningful impact in the lives of their patients.
Now let’s cover each step to becoming a PTA in Tennessee in complete detail.
Step 1. Earn an Associate’s Degree from an Accredited School
To become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in Tennessee, the first step is to earn an Associate’s Degree from an accredited school. There are various types of degrees available for aspiring PTAs, including an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. You can enter your zip code below to see programs near you.
You can also use these resources to research CAPTE Accredited PTA Programs:
The duration of the program typically takes around two years to complete. During this time, students receive classroom instruction to learn the theoretical foundations of physical therapy. They also gain hands-on experience through clinical work requirements, where they apply their knowledge in real-life settings under the guidance of licensed physical therapists.
It is crucial to select an accredited school that offers a PTA program approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Accreditation ensures that the program meets high educational standards and prepares students for licensure and successful careers as PTAs.
By completing an Associate’s Degree from an accredited school in Tennessee, aspiring PTAs gain the necessary knowledge and clinical experience to move forward in their career journey.
They can then proceed to the next step, which involves submitting an application for licensure to the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy.
Step 2. Submit the Application for Licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant
To begin the process of obtaining a Tennessee license as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), you will need to submit an application to the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy.
Here are the steps involved in the application process:
1. Fill out the licensure application: Complete all sections of the application form, providing accurate and comprehensive information about your personal and professional background.
2. Attach a recent photograph: Affix a recent passport-sized photograph of yourself to the application form. This helps in identifying you and ensuring the application is authentic.
3. Submit an original letter of recommendation: Include an original letter of recommendation from a licensed physical therapist who can attest to your clinical competence and potential for success as a PTA.
4. Request official transcripts: Contact your educational institution and request official transcripts to be sent directly to the Board. These transcripts should document your completion of an accredited physical therapist assistant program.
5. Provide criminal background check information: Disclose any criminal background history and provide supporting documentation if necessary. The Board will conduct a background check to ensure you meet the character and fitness requirements for licensure.
6. Complete the declaration of citizenship: Fill out the declaration of citizenship section in the application form to verify your citizenship status.
7. Attach the application and license fee: Ensure that all the necessary documents, including the completed application form, letter of recommendation, and any applicable fees, are attached before submitting your application.
8. Register for the NPTE for PTAs: Register for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) website. This exam is required for licensure in Tennessee.
By following these steps, you can successfully submit your application for licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Tennessee. Make sure to review all application material requirements and submission deadlines to avoid any delays in the process.
Step 3. Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs
Once you have completed the licensure application process and received approval from the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy, you will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs. This exam is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
Here is what you need to know:
1. NPTE Registration Process: You will need to register for the NPTE through the FSBPT website. The registration process involves providing your personal information, verifying your eligibility, and paying the exam fee.
2. Authorization to Test (ATT) Letter: Once your registration is complete, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from the FSBPT. This letter contains important information, including your unique candidate identification number and instructions for scheduling your exam.
3. Prometric Testing Centers: The NPTE for PTAs is administered at Prometric testing centers located throughout Tennessee. Some of the cities in Tennessee with Prometric testing centers include Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.
4. Exam Schedules: The FSBPT provides exam schedules on its website. You will be able to choose the date and time that is most convenient for you to take the exam at a Prometric testing center near you.
Preparing for the NPTE is crucial to ensure success. Utilize study materials and resources recommended by your educational institution and consider joining study groups or seeking guidance from experienced physical therapy professionals.
With thorough preparation and dedication, you can pass the NPTE and move forward in your journey toward becoming a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in Tennessee.
Step 4. Launch Your Career as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Tennessee
Once you have successfully obtained your PTA license in Tennessee, you can begin exploring job openings in various healthcare facilities and medical centers across the state.
Here are some top healthcare facilities and medical centers in Tennessee that often have job opportunities for physical therapist assistants:
1. AccentCare: AccentCare is a leading provider of home healthcare services in Tennessee. They frequently hire physical therapist assistants to work with patients in the comfort of their own homes.
2. Life Care Centers of America: Life Care Centers of America operates multiple skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers throughout Tennessee. They offer job openings for physical therapist assistants to provide care to residents and patients in these settings.
3. Cookeville Regional Medical Center: Located in Cookeville, Tennessee, Cookeville Regional Medical Center is a full-service hospital that offers a wide range of healthcare services. They often have job openings for physical therapist assistants in their rehabilitation department.
4. Signature Healthcare: Signature Healthcare is a network of skilled nursing facilities across Tennessee. They often recruit physical therapist assistants to join their team and provide rehabilitation services to their residents.
5. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare: Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is a leading healthcare system with multiple hospitals and clinics in Tennessee. They frequently have job openings for physical therapist assistants to provide care in their various settings.
When searching for job openings as a physical therapist assistant in Tennessee, be sure to check the websites of these healthcare facilities and medical centers regularly for updates on available positions.
Additionally, consider networking with professionals in the field and utilizing job search platforms to increase your chances of finding the ideal opportunity to launch your PTA career in Tennessee.
Step 5. Earn 20 Hours of Continuing Education (CE) Credits to Renew Your License Every Two Years
As a licensed physical therapist assistant (PTA) in Tennessee, it is important to keep up with the requirements for renewing your license. One of these requirements is earning 20 hours of Continuing Education (CE) credits every two years. These CE credits help ensure that PTAs stay updated and knowledgeable in their field.
To renew your license, you must earn 20 hours of CE credits within the renewal cycle. The renewal cycle for Tennessee PTAs is every two years, with the deadline falling on the last day of your birth month.
The CE credits are categorized into two categories: Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 credits include activities such as attending courses, completing educational programs, or participating in conferences or seminars that directly relate to physical therapy. These activities must be offered or approved by recognized organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) or the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA).
Category 2 credits, on the other hand, include activities that indirectly relate to physical therapy. This can include activities such as self-study courses, teaching or presenting at a physical therapy-related event, or publishing articles in physical therapy publications. Category 2 credits must also be approved by recognized organizations.
There are several recognized organizations and accredited institutions where you can earn these CE credits. Examples include the APTA, TPTA, and accredited physical therapy schools or programs. It is important to ensure that the activities you engage in are eligible for CE credits and that you keep track of the documentation and proof of completion.
By earning and maintaining your CE credits, you not only fulfill the requirements for license renewal but also stay updated with the latest advancements and knowledge in the field of physical therapy.
Why Be a PTA in Tennessee?
Tennessee has many PTA Programs available which is a higher number compared to the number of PTA schools available in many states. PTA jobs and salaries are good as well ranging from $50,763 to $67,155 annually. Learn more about becoming a physical therapist assistant in Tennessee by clicking the links below.
More PTA Info for Tennessee: