Private Nursing Schools In Virginia

Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by

There are numerous online courses offered that assist international students in learning and provide them with the chance to advance in their field of study. The article below has the latest information on the courses available at the private nursing schools in virginia.

You can get great information on bsn programs in virginia, nursing programs in northern virginia, nursing schools in virginia beach, bsn nursing programs in virginia, and nursing programs in virginia colleges from Collegelearners.

Best private nursing schools in Virginia

Aspiring nurses who want an intimate and personalized education should strongly consider Virginia’s private colleges and universities. Over 30 private schools have Virginia campuses with nursing programs, including prestigious institutions like George Washington University, Hampton University, Marymount University, and Shenandoah University. The state’s private schools offer a breadth of nursing programs to prepare certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

Apart from small class sizes and lower student-to-teacher ratios, students at private nursing schools benefit from a large network of resources and an innovative, state-of-the-art curriculum. The school’s prestige will aid graduates in their job search, as they can heavily leverage the loyal alumnae base. A private school education also bolsters one’s chances of successfully applying to a graduate nursing program at a later date.

Graduates of Virginia’s private nursing programs can seek employment with the state’s top medical institutions. Regionally ranked hospitals include Martha Jefferson Hospital, Virginia Hospital Center, and Sentara RMH Medical Center. Degrees and certificates from private schools will also carry significant weight outside the state should nurses choose to pursue employment elsewhere.

To help Virginia’s aspiring CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APRNs, we’ve identified the top private nursing schools throughout the state. You’ll find them listed below by major metropolitan area.

Greater Richmond metro area

SchoolCityPrograms offered
Bon Secours Memorial College of NursingRichmondBachelor of Science in NursingRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bryant & Stratton College – RichmondNorth ChesterfieldAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical NursingRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Chester Career CollegeChesterCertificate in Practical Nursing
ECPI University – RichmondRichmondAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
Fortis College – RichmondRichmondAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
Randolph-Macon CollegeAshlandBachelor of Science in Nursing
South University – RichmondGlen AllenBachelor of Science in Nursing
Southside College of Health SciencesColonial HeightsAssociate’s Degree in Nursing

Hampton Roads

SchoolCityPrograms offered
Bryant & Stratton College – HamptonHamptonAssociate’s Degree in Nursing
Bryant & Stratton College – Virginia BeachVirginia BeachAssociate’s Degree in Nursing
Centura CollegeNorfolkCertificate in Practical Nursing
ECPI University – Newport NewsNewport NewsAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical NursingRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
ECPI University – Virginia BeachVirginia BeachAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
Fortis College – NorfolkNorfolkAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
Hampton UniversityHamptonAccelerated Second Degree BSNBachelor of Science in NursingDoctor of Nursing PracticeDoctor of Philosophy in NursingLPN-to-BSN Bridge ProgramMaster of Science in NursingRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Hampton University – College of Virginia BeachVirginia BeachBachelor of Science in Nursing
Riverside College of Health CareersNewport NewsAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical NursingNurse Aide Certificate
Sentara College of Health SciencesChesapeakeBachelor of Science in NursingDirect Entry MSNLPN-to-BSN Bridge ProgramRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
South University – Virginia BeachVirginia BeachBachelor of Science in Nursing
Stratford University – Newport NewsNewport NewsBachelor of Science in Nursing


SchoolCityPrograms offered
Centra College of NursingLynchburgAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical NursingNurse Aide CertificateRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Liberty UniversityLynchburgBachelor of Science in NursingDNP: Family Nurse PractitionerDNP: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse PractitionerDoctor of Philosophy in Nursing EducationDual Degree: Master of Science in Nursing / Master of Business AdministrationDual Degree: Master of Science in Nursing / Master of Science in Healthcare AdministrationExecutive Certificate: Clinical LeadershipExecutive Certificate: Nursing Educational LeadershipMSN: Community HealthMSN: Health PolicyMSN: Nurse EducatorMSN: Nursing AdministrationMSN: Nursing InformaticsPost-Master’s Doctor of Nursing PracticePostgraduate Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse PractitionerRN-to-BSN Degree CompletionRN-to-BSN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of LynchburgLynchburgAccelerated Second Degree BSNBachelor of Science in Nursing


SchoolCityPrograms offered
ECPI University – RoanokeRoanokeAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing

Washington, DC suburbs

SchoolCityPrograms offered
America School of Nursing & Allied HealthWoodbridgeCertificate in Practical Nursing
Chamberlain University – ArlingtonArlingtonBachelor of Science in Nursing
Columbia CollegeViennaNurse Aide Certificate
Eastern Virginia Career CollegeFredericksburgAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
ECPI University – Northern VirginiaManassasAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
George Washington University – Virginia Science & Technology CampusAshburnBachelor of Science in Nursing
Marymount UniversityArlingtonAccelerated Second Degree BSNBachelor of Science in NursingDoctor of Nursing PracticeMSN: Family Nurse PractitionerMSN: Nursing EducationMaster of Science in NursingPost-Master’s Certificate: Family Nurse PractitionerPost-Master’s Certificate: Nursing EducationRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Medical Learning CenterFairfaxCertificate in Practical NursingNurse Aide Certificate
Saint Michael College of Allied HealthAlexandriaAssociate’s Degree in Nursing
Standard Healthcare Services College of NursingFalls ChurchAssociate’s Degree in NursingCertificate in Practical Nursing
Stratford University – AlexandriaAlexandriaBachelor of Science in Nursing
Stratford University – Falls ChurchFalls ChurchBachelor of Science in Nursing
Stratford University – WoodbridgeWoodbridgeBachelor of Science in Nursing
Ultimate Health SchoolManassasCertificate in Practical NursingNurse Aide Certificate

Other Virginia cities

SchoolCityPrograms offered
Averett UniversityDanvilleBachelor of Science in NursingMaster of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse PractitionerPost-Master’s Certificate: Emergency Nurse PractitionerRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bluefield CollegeBluefieldRN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Eastern Mennonite UniversityHarrisonburgAccelerated Second Degree BSNBachelor of Science in NursingDoctor of Nursing PracticeLPN-to-BSN Bridge ProgramMaster of Science in NursingRN-to-BSN Degree CompletionRN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Mary Baldwin UniversityStauntonDual Degree: Master of Science in Nursing / Master of Business AdministrationDual Degree: Master of Science in Nursing / Master of Healthcare AdministrationMSN: Patient Safety and Healthcare QualityRN-to-BSN Degree CompletionRN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Medical Solutions AcademyDanvilleCertificate in Practical NursingNurse Aide Certificate
Shenandoah UniversityWinchesterAccelerated Second Degree BSNBachelor of Science in NursingDoctor of Nursing PracticeMaster of Science in NursingPost-Baccalaureate DNPPost-Master’s Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse PractitionerPost-Master’s Certificate: Family Nurse PractitionerPost-Master’s Certificate: Nurse-MidwiferyPost-Master’s Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse PractitionerRN-to-BSN Degree CompletionRN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Top 10 Nursing Schools in Virginia 

While factors like tuition and location are important, it’s important to note that some schools offer special programs. Online options, bridge programs, and accelerated programs are excellent options depending on where you’re currently at in your career. 

Because everyone’s expectations from a nursing school are different, these Virginia schools are ranked in no particular order.

1. Marymount University

Annual Tuition: $37,751 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 92.2%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: Yes

Marymount’s campus extends over three locations in the northern part of Virginia, so students have different options for where they earn their BSN. All locations are close to Washington, DC, so students interested in government and history should feel right at home. The quality of Marymount’s nursing program is also worth mentioning, and while the cost is higher than in other schools, students will get to enjoy a private, Catholic education.

2. University of Virginia

In-State Annual Tuition: $14,878 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 93.1%

Traditional: Yes

Online: No

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

Most of the nation knows UVA as NCAA basketball champions, but nurses know the school for its top-tier nursing program. Whether you’re looking to enroll in UVA’s traditional BSN program or transfer into the program  in from another school, you’re setting yourself up to earn a degree from one of the top Universities in the nation. You’ll also have a chance to learn at one of the best hospitals in the nation while studying, so you’ll have no shortage of experience when you apply for work.  

3. George Mason University

Annual In-State Tuition: $13,119 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 81.9%

Traditional: Yes

Online: No

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

George Mason University is among the top nursing schools in the nation, and a degree from here is sure to garner respect. For in-state students, the low cost, quality education, and high NCLEX pass rate are sure to draw attention. However, the BSN program is incredibly competitive, and George Mason highly encourages all applicants to have a backup plan. 

We Found the Following Schools with Online RN-to-BSN Programs


Capella is proud to have educated more than 15,000 nursing graduates. Of all nurses who come to Capella for their nursing degree, over 90% choose FlexPath, a program that allows you to control your pace and set your own deadlines. With FlexPath, you can complete your RN-to-BSN program in 9 months and under $10,000. Cost varies by pace, transfer credits, and other factors. Fees apply.

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RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Capella University

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At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

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RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding IL, IN, WI

Purdue University Global

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GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.

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RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Grand Canyon University

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At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.

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RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University

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Are you a registered, licensed nurse ready to boost your expertise and your job opportunities? Regent University’s School of Nursing will help you earn the credentials you need to meet 21st-century healthcare demands while increasing your career options and earning potential.

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RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Regent University

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4. Hampton University

Annual Tuition: $26,198 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 91.7%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: Yes

As a historically black university, Hampton University is rich in tradition and culture among one of the most respected schools in the nation. On top of the school’s prestige, the nursing program for students interested in a BSN is highly regarded. There are plenty of ways to complete a BSN at Hampton University, so most prospective nurses are sure to find a program that fits their needs.

5. Eastern Mennonite University

Annual Tuition: $40,590 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 81.8%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: Yes

If you’re looking to start your nursing career right after graduating, Eastern Mennonite University may be the best option. According to the school, 100% of their 2018 graduating nurses were offered jobs prior to completing their degree. Also, as a small, private school, Eastern Mennonite University gives nursing students the chance to study in small, focused classes. This is a great option for students interested in studying in a small community.

6. James Madison University

In-State Annual Tuition: $13,092 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 93.9%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: No

James Madison University is a large, public school based in Harrisonburg. Because it’s public, Virginia residents can take advantage of the school’s incredibly low in-state tuition. The tuition rate, with the high NCLEX pass rate, is sure to get plenty of nursing students’ attention. Unfortunately, JMU has a high student-to-faculty ratio for general education classes however, the nursing program does boast a relatively low 1:10 faculty ratio for nursing students.

7. University of Lynchburg

Annual Tuition: $41,880 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 75.5%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: No

Yes, the University of Lynchburg is a private school with a high tuition rate. But nursing students who apply to the BSN program will benefit from small class sizes and an incredibly high NCLEX pass rate with previous years reaching a stellar 100% pass rate. Unfortunately, in recent years the NCLEX pass rate has dropped significantly but the program has taken dramatic steps to raise the  score. According to the nursing department, students suffered as a result of the pandemic and did not have access to many of the great benefits of attending the University of Lynchburg. Graduates also tend to find jobs at premier hospitals in Virginia immediately after finishing their degree, although a BSN from the University of Lynchburg is sure to open doors across the nation.

8. Old Dominion University

Annual In-State Tuition: $10,800 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: No

At first glance, the ultra-low in-state tuition of Old Dominion University sticks out. Combined with the decent NCLEX pass rate, the affordability of Old Dominion is sure to attract plenty of BSN students. However, the true strength of Old Dominion’s nursing school is its graduate program. Old Dominion offers an impressive eight different MSN programs including,

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator
  • Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Midwifery

So, if you’re interested in earning an MSN or DNP after your BSN, this is an excellent school to accomplish both. 

9. Radford University

Annual In-State Tuition: $9,684 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 97.9%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

For a public school, Radford University has low enrollment in comparison to some of the other Virginia state universities. This means smaller class sizes while taking advantage of in-state tuition, two huge pluses for students interested in a BSN. Radford’s nursing program is best for students that want to begin a nursing career right after earning their degree. The curriculum focuses on preparing nurses for a wide variety of jobs – probably part of the reason nearly every nursing student in their graduating class passed the NCLEX.

10. Virginia Commonwealth University

Annual In-State Tuition: $15,642 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 87.2%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: Yes

Virginia Commonwealth University, better known as VCU, has one of the nation’s top graduate programs for nursing both in the classroom and online. However, this doesn’t mean their BSN program isn’t also exceptional. One popular option at VCU is their second degree BSN, reserved for students that already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. These students can earn their BSN in just over two years, and at the in-state tuition cost, this makes the BSN highly affordable. The program is also ranked in the top 4% of nursing undergraduate programs nationwide by U.S. News and World Report.

Best Nursing Schools In Virginia In 2020 (Online & On-Campus)

Nursing Schools in Virginia

Few careers these days are practically guaranteed to have employment opportunities that give workers the freedom to choose where they will work, how they will work, and what they will get paid for their work. The medical field is ripe with such careers, though, and you don’t have to spend a decade becoming a doctor to take advantage of the demand.

To help prospective nursing students in Virginia and those who wish to move to the state to find the right learning environment, the following list compiles the best nursing schools in the state. The nursing schools have been divided according to the degree or certificate type that is offered, and the tuition is the annual rate with in-state tuition followed by out-of-state unless otherwise noted.

Take a look below at the best nursing schools in Virginia.

Licensed Practical Nurse Programs

An LPN works under the supervision of other nurses to manage the hospital environment, provide patients with assistance in routine activities, and recording basic medical measurements like blood pressure and heart rate. This entry-level nursing accreditation takes only a year of school and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs (NCLEX-PN) to complete, making it an attractive option for those looking to get to work fast or who are paying for their school out of pocket. Admission requirements are typically a high school diploma or GED and a drug and background screening.

1. Virginia Beach School of Practical Nursing

For over 40 years, the Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center has been helping students gain skills in fulfilling vocations like nursing. Graduates have the option of taking on an internship from one of the nearby hospitals, including the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 18 months
  • Tuition: $4,000 for the full program
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), VA BoN

2. Virginia Western Community College

VWCC is a public two-year college located just outside of the capital of Roanoke that offers 69 programs including an LPN certificate. Students have numerous nearby hospitals from which to choose for their clinical hours and potential employment after passing their NCLEX-PN.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 86.36%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 49 credit hours
  • Tuition: $4,713 / $10,551
  • Accreditation: VA BoN

3. Wytheville Community College

Wytheville Community College is a branch of Virginia Tech whose mission is to provide Associate-level education geared towards helping people start a career. The school has three locations: the main campus in Wytheville, and two satellite locations at the Crossroads Institute in Galax and the Summit Center for Higher Education in Marion.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 52 credits
  • Tuition: $4,380 / $10,218
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

4. Valley Career and Tech Center

Valley Career and Tech Center is a learning facility that helps people of all ages finish their GEDs or enter vocations such as becoming an LPN. Students from any background can go from no education to a successful career as an LPN in as little as 21 months in small classrooms with plenty of instructor focus.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 21 months
  • Tuition: $7,800 for the full program
  • Accreditation: Virginia Board of Nursing (VA BoN)

Registered Nurse Programs

The second tier of nursing education is an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. Once the student completes their degree and passes their National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN), they will be in the midst of the healthcare process. In addition to the duties that an LPN performs, an RN has the responsibility of measuring and administering medications, monitoring and adjusting patient care according to doctor orders, and helping patients and families with medical information. Many RN programs will take off the first year of school for current LPNs.

1. New River Community College

Students in Floyd, Pulaski, Montgomery, and Giles counties can count on NRCC for an affordable and effective education. Around 10% of their students each year continue their education by transferring to a four-year institution, an important note for those who may wish to advance beyond an RN license but want to attend a community college to stay near home or save money.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.22%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 69
  • Tuition: $3,325 / $7,995
  • Accreditation: VA BoN

2. Rappahannock Community College

Rapppahannock Community College has been serving people on both sides of the Rappahannock River for almost 50 years. The two campuses are not directly across the river from each other, as the Glenns campus sits closer to the mouth of the river while the Warsaw campus is nestled further north and upstream. The school had an astonishing 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN in 2017, and scores around 90% in the previous years show that the high marks are no fluke.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 67 credit hours
  • Tuition: $154 / $330.60 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

3. Virginia Western Community College

VWCC’s nursing program produces spectacular results for its students with 80% passing their NCLEX-RN on the first attempt and an overall pass rate of 96.43% in 2017. The convenient Roanoke location provides numerous nearby hospitals and clinics for aspiring nurses to practice their craft and stay close to home for work after graduating if they don’t want to venture out of Virginia. At an expected $11,601.85 for the degree, the average nurse will make up the cost of their degree with 10 weeks of work.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.43%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 65
  • Tuition: $4,713 / $10,551
  • Accreditation: VA BoN

4. Southside Virginia Community College

The Southside Virginia Community College is not confined to just one city on the southern border of Virginia. The school has two campuses in Alberta and Keysville along with five education centers that spread into the surrounding area, covering the largest area of any community college in the state. Both campuses have nearly equal NCLEX-RN pass rates, so choose the one that’s closer or has teachers that you would like to have as guides.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: Main Campus – 92.86%, South Boston Campus – 92.31%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 67 credits
  • Tuition: $4,350 / $10,188
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

5. Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College is a sprawling workforce education institution with numerous locations around the Hampton Roads area, including campuses in Norfolk, Chesapeake Bay, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach. In addition to the convenience of multiple campuses, LPNs can skip half of the process to earn their Associate’s and qualify to take the NCLEX-RN.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.63%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 64 credit hours
  • Tuition: $185.35 / $382.95 per credit hours
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

6. Thomas Nelson Community College

Prospective nursing students in Newport News and the surrounding peninsula should take a close look at Thomas Nelson Community College’s Hampton Campus. The school partners with local healthcare facilities such as the Riverside Regional Medical Center and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center for hands-on training that gives budding RNs degree credit and valuable experiences.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.29%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 67
  • Tuition: $160.20 / $357.80 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

7. Thomas Nelson Community College – Historic Triangle Campus

While technically the same school, the Historic Triangle Campus of TNCC is located almost 30-miles away in the city of Williamsburg. The wide spread of campuses means that students can choose the one that is most convenient for them. TNCC also provides distinct NCLEX-RN pass rates for nursing students at either campus, and this one edged out a narrow lead of just over 1% in the last set of results.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.45%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours:  67
  • Tuition: $160.20 / $357.80 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

8. Virginia Appalachian Tri-College

The Virginia Appalachian Tri-College Nursing Program combines three schools into one source of education for aspiring nurses. The program is supported by Mountain Empire Community College, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Highlands Community College. Curriculum options include the standard two-year degree path, an LPN-to-RN fast track, and tracks with part-time schedules including nights and weekends for those working their way through school.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.71%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 67 credits
  • Tuition: $157 / $354.60 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN, VA BoN

9. Northern Virginia Community College Online

While other community colleges may have online courses for other degrees, creating an online program for nursing requires a special touch. The NOVA (Northern Virginia) online RN program is a hybrid track that mixes live lectures, digital tasks like reading and homework, and in-person training. This extra flexibility makes NOVA an excellent choice for any nursing student juggling work and school in the northern part of the state near Washington, DC.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.48%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours:
  • Tuition: $187 per credit hour / $387.25 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN

10. Saint Michael College of Allied Health

The Saint Michael College of Allied Health has only one purpose: providing an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing to its students. The main campus resides in the city of Alexandria, and a quick trip up the Potomac River into the nation’s capital will put you at the satellite Washington, DC campus. The school is relatively new with a founding year of 2007, but it has proven to be an excellent force for achieving its mission of creating new health workers.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.3%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 70 credits
  • Tuition: NA / $16,300
  • Accreditation: CoE, VA BoN

11. Southside Regional Medical Center

You can get your nursing education straight from the source by enrolling in the nursing program from Southside Regional Medical Center’s College of Health Sciences. In addition to receiving a quality nursing education that sees 90.91% of its graduates pass the NCLEX-RN, you will be in a position to spend more time in a hospital environment and potentially find avenues of interest that you might have missed in a traditional college.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.91%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 72 weeks
  • Tuition: $13,860 for the full program
  • Accreditation: ACEN

12. Patrick Henry Community College

Located in Martinsville, VA, PHCC teaches almost 3,000 minds every semester to succeed in their chosen career with integrity and respect as well as a keen grasp on the fundamentals of their field. Unlike many community colleges, there are multiple extracurricular sports activities for both male and female students who are looking for physical and social activity in addition to their normal learning curriculum.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.71%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours:
  • Tuition: $27,922
  • Accreditation: ACEN

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs

Finally, there are the four-year institutions that offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. Nurses with a BSN still take the NCLEX-RN that those with an AAS take, but the extra schooling opens more career paths. Admissions typically requires the completion of prerequisite general college courses which are reflected in the total length of the program, and fewer students tend to be accepted by the schools for a lower acceptance rate. These advanced positions typically come with a pay increase, and the degree can earn a raise in typical RN positions as the healthcare facilities expect the BSN to provide more. The downside for students is that a BSN is the most expensive degree path with the longest time to complete.

1. University of Virginia

Heading to the namesake university of the state is a frequent dream of Virginia residents, and nursing students who have that hope will be happy to hear that the UVA Nursing program is worthy of the prestige. It’s the only nursing school in the state to be ranked in the top 20 nursing schools across the country by the US News & World Report. Those who want to go into medical research will be happy to find an active research department within the nursing school. With the combination of those credentials and a stellar NCLEX-RN pass rate, any nurse who can get past the acceptance process should be ecstatic.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 120 credits
  • Tuition: $10,016 / $36,720
  • Accreditation: CCNE

2. Virginia Commonwealth University

Join nearly a thousand students each year who get their nursing degree from the School of Nursing at VCU. The Clinical Learning Center provides students with a simulated caretaking experience that exposes them to a trial run of common issues seen in real-life scenarios. The simulations give the value of learning from a mistake before it has an effect on a patient’s care, and it can help prevent a mistake that may have never been noticed otherwise. If you plan on progressing beyond a Bachelor degree, VCU was ranked in the top 50 nationwide for graduate nursing schools by the US News & World Report.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.3%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 124 credit hours
  • Tuition: $12,772 / $31,464
  • Accreditation: CCNE, VA BoN

4. George Mason University

George Mason University started out as a part of the University of Virginia before separating into its own institution in 1972. The school’s Biomedical Research Lab is one of the thirteen modern laboratories created with the help of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases along with the National Institutes of Health for the purpose of studying biological threats, making the school a prime destination for nurses interested in pursuing research careers.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.38%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Tuition: $10,052 / $31,598
  • Accreditation: CCNE

5. College of Virginia Beach – Hampton University

The College of Virginia Beach is a subsidiary of Hampton University that focuses on nursing and hospitality degrees. An accelerated BS program lets motivated students go from enrollment to graduation in just 3 years. Students have access to a clinical laboratory, computer laboratory, and nursing resource center in addition to their time with instructors in class.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 123 credit hours
  • Tuition: $5,826 / $12,688 per semester
  • Accreditation: CCNE

6. James Madison University

The School of Nursing at JMU has been teaching students and engaging in research for over a century. Students gain practical experience in a mixture of real-world clinical hours and time spent in simulation labs for acute and general care. You can check out the school’s new nursing magazine for information about the program, what students and faculty are accomplishing with their education and nursing news from around the world.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.7%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Tuition: $10,018 / $25,152
  • Accreditation: CCNE, VA BoN

7. Sentara College of Health Sciences

In addition to operating a College of Health Sciences, Sentara is a multi-purpose healthcare organization with hospitals, remote treatment centers, and other facilities around Virginia. Earning your BSN from Sentara gets you priority placement over other applicants to positions within the Sentara network.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.8%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 71 credit hours
  • Tuition: $30,288.50 for the full program
  • Accreditation: CCNE, VA BoN

8. Stratford University

Stratford University is a private four-year institution with six locations around Virginia, one in Maryland, and one across the world in New Delhi, India. The Falls Church and Woodbridge locations are particularly excellent for nursing students thanks to a bevy of nearby medical facilities. Many of the core classes and some of the nursing classes can be taken online to give busy students more flexibility in their schedules.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 180 credits
  • Tuition: N/A / $370 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE, VA BoN

9. Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

Bon Secours is a private Catholic college that makes its home in Richmond. The small institution makes sure that every student receives the instructor attention that they need to be successful in their NCLEX-RN and beyond. In addition to the traditional BSN degree path, RNs can take part in an online program to upgrade their degree while they work as normal.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.5%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 124 credit hours
  • Tuition: $485 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE, VA BoN

10. Liberty University

If you are looking for a private nursing school that leads into a career as a research nurseLiberty University delivers exactly what you want. The sister College of Osteopathic Medicine operates a pre-clinical research elective, and faculty from the school perform research like a study of populations who carry MRSA.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.4%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 126 credit hours
  • Tuition: N/A / $23,800
  • Accreditation: CCNE

12. George Washington University

GWU’s School of Nursing focuses on taking existing RNs and getting them to a BSN then onwards to their career or graduate education. Licensed RNs can take advantage of the Nursing Scholars Program where they will take online courses, work in the GW Hospital for clinical study, and commit to three years of work at the hospital post-graduation in exchange for not having to pay one penny of tuition.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.5%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 15 months
  • Tuition: N/A / $50,435
  • Accreditation: CCNE

Top 10 Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Virginia

1Hampton UniversityHampton, VA
2George Mason UniversityFairfax, VA
3University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA
4Jefferson College of Health SciencesRoanoke, VA
5Bon Secours Memorial College of NursingRichmond, VA
6James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, VA
7Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond, VA
8Shenandoah UniversityWinchester, VA
9Radford UniversityRadford, VA
10Eastern Mennonite UniversityHarrisonburg, VA

Applying for Licensure in Virginia

The Virginia Board of Nursing regulates the licensing process for all nurses in the state. To practice legally, RNs must apply for and hold an active license. The state offers two types of licensing options: licensure by examination and licensure for endorsement. The latter is designed for applicants who hold a nursing license in another state, while the former is for individuals who have not previously been licensed to practice in any state. Below is an overview of the licensing requirements and process for first-time applicants who are seeking an examination license.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate from a state-approved nursing education program
  • Pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check
  • Submit online application and pay application fee of $190
  • Have an official transcript sent from the student’s nursing education program that demonstrates the degree was awarded/will be awarded and the date it was or will be awarded
  • Register with Pearson VUE and pay $200 for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
  • Once the Board approves the application, applicants receive an Authorization to Test (ATT)
  • Sit for and pass the NCELX-RN

Renewing an RN License in Virginia

The state of Virginia requires registered nurses to renew their licenses every two years. Individuals born in even-numbered years are required to renew by the last day of their birth month every even-numbered year, while those born in odd-numbered years do the same during odd-numbered years. In addition to submitting an application and paying the required fee, applicants must also complete continuing education requirements.

As of August 1, 2015, the Board of Nursing allows individuals to renew an active license if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • Hold current certification from a national certifying organization
  • Complete at least three credit hours of academic education in a nursing field of study at an accredited university
  • Take a state board-approved nursing refresher course
  • Complete a research-based, nursing related research project or study
  • Teach a 3-credit hour course in nursing
  • Teach or develop nursing continuing education classes for up to 30 contact hours
  • Participate in at least fifteen contact hours of continuing education and an additional 640 hours of active nursing practice
  • Participate in at least 30 contact hours of continuing education coursework

Licensing for Virginia APRNs

To qualify for licensure as an advanced practice nurse, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold an active and current RN license in Virginia or a multi-state RN license
  • Submit verification of a graduate degree in nursing or educational preparation in the selected advanced nursing field
  • Provide verification of national certification in the specialty area of practice
  • Submit an online application and pay a fee of $125

Licenses must be renewed every two years and requires active professional certification and completion of at least 40 hours of continuing education credits in the designated specialty area.

Those looking for more information on registered nurses, including APRNs, can visit the Virginia Board of Nursing.

A Look at Nursing Employment in Virginia

Although the state graduated more than 3,200 students in both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs in 2014, Virginia cannot produce trained, qualified nurses quickly enough. Even with approximately 92,000 licensed registered nurses and 5,800 advanced practice nurses in the state—notes the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Virginia Nurses Association—an acute need for bedside and primary nursing care exists in every healthcare specialization and setting. This service gap is a primary driver of employment growth for the nursing profession. Each of the major nursing fields are projected to experience double digit occupational growth between 2012 and 2022, led by 40 percent growth for nurse practitioners. Take a deeper dive into the career numbers for Virginia’s nurses:

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Virginia

Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area$29.11$60,550
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC$29.11$60,540
Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area$25.98$54,040
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area$25.04$52,090

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Virginia vs. National Numbers

Registered Nurse$50,840$62,610$74,670$0$54,620$66,640$81,080
Certified Nurse Midwife$79,000$88,400$97,590$0$82,580$96,970$114,090
Nurse Anesthetist$136,420$160,400$0$0$132,380$153,780$181,860
Nurse Practitioner$80,340$91,830$108,280$0$82,720$95,350$113,470
Registered Nurse62,7002,687,310
Certified Nurse Midwife1205,110
Nurse Anesthetist1,34036,590
Nurse Practitioner3,450122,050
Registered Nurse66,9903,238,400
Certified Nurse Midwife1907,700
Nurse Anesthetist2,66043,900
Nurse Practitioner3,750147,300
Registered Nurse1,910105,260
Certified Nurse Midwife10290
Nurse Anesthetist1101,560
Nurse Practitioner1605,850

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Virginia Nurses Resources

Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists

The Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists is a membership organization that works to advance the practice of nurse anesthesia in the state. It holds regular networking events, educational workshops, and advocates on behalf of nurse anesthetists via a government relations committee.

Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

The Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (VARN) is the state-based professional organization of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. Through memberships, conferences, a professional journal, and online forum—the VARN supports the work of individuals in rehabilitation nursing.

Virginia Association of School Nurses

The Virginia Association of School Nurses is the state arm of the National Association of School Nurses. Through eight regional offices, the organization encourages the professional development of school nurses through continuing education courses, publishes an industry newsletter, connects school nurses through networking events, and hosts an annual conference.

Virginia Board of Nursing

The Virginia Board of Nursing is the regulating body for the practice of nursing in the state of Virginia—from approving and renewing licenses to handling complaints, establishing professional guidelines and standards to approving nursing programs.

Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners

The Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners is a state-based professional organization for licensed nurse practitioners in the state. It is a council of the Virginia Nurses Association and has more than 1,700 members. The council works in public policy and legislative action on behalf of its members, connects members to job opportunities, and provides continuing professional development opportunities.

Virginia Nurses Association

The Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) is a state branch of the American Nurses Association and represents more than 100,000 registered nurses in the state of Virginia. As the professional nursing organization, the VNA approves continuing education programs, advocates for registered nurses, and keeps members abreast of the latest industry trends and news.

Virginia Nursing Students’ Association

Comprised of student nurses from more than 75 nursing programs in the state, the Virginia Nursing Students’ Association is a student-led organization. The VNSA supports the growth of future nurses in the state through scholarships, career networking, and mentoring and leadership opportunities.

Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders

The Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders (VONEL) focuses on improving the management and administration of nursing practice in the state. A membership-based organization, the VONEL supports professional development opportunities, hosts regular conferences, provides scholarships, and offers a career center.

Virginia State Council Emergency Nurses Association

The Virginia Emergency Nurses Association represents the interests of more than 1,400 nurses working in emergency care in the state. The organization offers memberships, a career center, scholarships, and continuing education courses and workshops.


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