Nurses are crucial to primary care and the conservation of patient resources in the state of Virginia. Many recent changes in Virginia healthcare have resulted in a nursing shortage in hospitals statewide while at the same time, nurses are filling higher roles in providing health care services across the state. Registered nurses are encouraged to expand their knowledge of their practice as the responsibilities of nurses increase. With increasing shortages in the nursing industry, now is a better time than ever to become a registered nurse or seek out higher education in the state of Virginia.

In our Virginia RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Virginia RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Virginia, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Virginia RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs2824
Average NCLEX Passing Rate83.57%87.31%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range44.54% to 100.00%72.13% to 98.27%
Average Net Price$10,017.22$19,114.09
Average Net Price Range$1,946.00 to $41,243.00$10,914.00 to $27,941.00
Average Student Loan$8,349.00$19,842.74
Average Student Loan Range$3,500.00 to $23,125.00$9,500.00 to $38,750.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Virginia StateBSN Rankings for Virginia State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Virginia

Best Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Virginia and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 25 ADN degree programs and 22 BSN degree programs in Virginia. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Virginia to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

#1

Longwood University

  • 201 High St, Farmville, VA - 23909
  • (434) 395-2000
  • Grade: (A) 99.33%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
#2

University of Virginia-MSN

  • 1827 University Avenue, Charlottesville, VA - 22903-2628
  • (434) 924-0311
  • Grade: (A) 98.36%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated MSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
#3

South University

  • 2151 Old Brick Rd, Glen Allen, VA - 23060
  • (804) 727-6800
  • Grade: (A) 98.15%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
#4

Southside Virginia Community College

  • 109 Campus Dr, Alberta, VA - 23821
  • (888) 220-7822
  • Grade: (A) 97.88%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#5

Tidewater Community College

  • 121 College Place, Norfolk, VA - 23510
  • (757) 822-1122
  • Grade: (A) 96.91%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#6

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

  • 8550 Magellan Parkway Suite 1100, Richmond, VA - 23227-1149
  • (804) 627-5300
  • Grade: (A) 96.89%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing is located in Richmond, Virginia.  They offer a traditional BSN degree and an online RN to BSN degree.  The online program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and is designed with the working nurse in mind.  The college has a Clinical Simulator Center, which offers an 8-bed Med/Surg unit, an adult critical care unit, a pediatric unit and a maternal/child unit.

#7

Geo. Mason Univ. Acc 2nd Deg

  • 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA - 22030-4444
  • (703) 993-1000
  • Grade: (A) 96.74%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP
#8

Sentara College of Health Sciences

  • 1441 Crossways Blvd, Suite 105, Chesapeake, VA - 23320
  • (757) 388-2900
  • Grade: (A) 96.44%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN

Sentara College of Health Sciences is located in Chesapeake, Virginia.  Sentara College is a division of Sentara Healthcare; it seeks to educate healthcare professionals in a variety of careers, but especially nursing.  Not only do they offer a BSN program, but they offer an online RN to BSN program, an option for LPNs to join their BSN program and they also allow for early entrance into the program for college freshman.

#9

Radford University (Roanoke)

  • 801 East Main Street, Radford, VA - 24141-0672
  • (540) 831-5000
  • Grade: (A) 96.39%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
#10

James Madison University

  • 800 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA - 22807
  • (540) 568-6211
  • Grade: (A) 96.18%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, RN to MSN

James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, Viriginia.  JMU offers a tradtional BSN degree and an online RN to BSN degree.  The RN to BSN program can also be utilized for students looking to earn a second bachelor's degree.  The program can be done full-time, in one year, or part-time, in two years.

#11

John Tyler Community College

  • 13101 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Chester, VA - 23831-5316
  • (804) 796-4000
  • Grade: (A) 95.98%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

John Tyler Community College is located in Chester, Virginia.  They offer an ADN degree with two tracks.  The traditional track has classroom time Monday through Friday, with clinical experiences that may be days, evenings and/or weekends.  The Hybrid Distance Education Track (HDET) is delivered online, with occasional participation on-campus.  Clinical experiences are still days, evenings and/or weekends.

#12

Hampton University

  • E Queen Street, Hampton, VA - 23668-0099
  • (757) 727-5000
  • Grade: (A) 95.76%
  • Programs: Administration, Research or Clinical Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, RN to MSN

Hampton University offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Accelerated LPN to BSN and RN to BSN, MS and PhD

#13

Liberty University

  • 1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA - 24515
  • (434) 582-2000
  • Grade: (A) 95.31%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, BSN to DNP, LPN to BSN, MSN, MSN to DNP

Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Virginia.  They offer a BSN program, which is available to residential students, and an online RN to BSN program.  Most students complete the program in 2 years.

#14

Germanna Community College

  • 2130 Germanna Hwy, Locust Grove, VA - 22508-2102
  • (540) 423-9030
  • Grade: (A) 95.17%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Germanna Community College is located in Locust Grove, Virginia.  They offer an ADN degree.  They also offer an LPN advanced placement option. Programs must be completed on a full-time basis.  They also offer a variety of other programs, such as an LPN program, a nurse's aide program, and a surgical nurse program, which is a program for LPNs to learn how to be a surgical scrub nurse.

#15

Danville Community College

  • 1008 S Main St, Danville, VA - 24541-4004
  • (434) 797-2222
  • Grade: (A) 95.06%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#16

Rappahannock Community College

  • 12745 College Drive, Glenns, VA - 23149-2616
  • (804) 758-6700
  • Grade: (A) 94.18%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Rappahannock Community College is located in Glenns, Virginia.  They offer an ADN program that is completed in five semesters. They also have recently offered an advanced placement option for LPNs.  RCC broke ground in 1970 and opened its doors in 1971.

#17

New River Community College

  • 5251 College Drive, Dublin, VA - 24084-1127
  • (540) 674-3600
  • Grade: (A) 94.13%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

New River Community College is located in Dublin, Virginia.  NRCC offers an ADN program and an LPN to RN bridge program.  The bridge program can be completed in 3 semesters.  Botth programs can be extended and be completed on a part-time basis.

#18

Marymount University-Accelerated

  • 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA - 22207-4224
  • (703) 522-5600
  • Grade: (A) 94.12%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
#19

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

  • 1000 Dabney Drive, Clifton Forge, VA - 24422-1000
  • (540) 863-2800
  • Grade: (A) 94.07%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#20

Bryant & Stratton College-Richmond

  • 8141 Hull St Rd, North Chesterfield, VA - 23235
  • (804) 745-2444
  • Grade: (A) 93.87%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
#21

Jefferson College of Health Sciences US28507100

  • 101 Elm Avenue SE, Roanoke, VA - 24013
  • (888) 985-8483
  • Grade: (A) 93.67%
  • Programs: Administration, Research or Clinical Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN
#22

Norfolk State University Traditional

  • 700 Park Avenue, Norfolk, VA - 23504-8000
  • (757) 823-8600
  • Grade: (A) 93.53%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
#23

Virginia Commonwealth University

  • 910 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA - 23284-2512
  • (804) 828-0100
  • Grade: (A) 93.38%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
#24

Northern Virginia CC Online

  • 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA - 22003-3796
  • (703) 323-3000
  • Grade: (A) 92.92%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#25

Virginia Western Community College

  • 3093 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, VA - 24015
  • (540) 857-7311
  • Grade: (A) 92.65%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#26

University of Lynchburg

  • 1501 Lakeside Dr, Lynchburg, VA - 24501-3113
  • (434) 544-8100
  • Grade: (A) 91.80%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
#27

The University of Virginia's College at Wise

  • 1 College Avenue, Wise, VA - 24293-4400
  • (276) 328-0100
  • Grade: (A) 91.60%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Virginia

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Virginia

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Virginia offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by Virginia Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Virginia  RN Licensing Requirements

Virginia State Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Maryland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463
(804) 367-4400

Fees:
Initial licensing fee, RN: $190
License renewal: Not listed on web site

Continuing Education Requirements:
None

RN Licensure by Exams

After completing an approved nursing program in Virginia, the candidate will fill out an application online and register for the NCLEX exam through the Pearson VUE website. There is a $200 fee that the candidate will pay to register. When the candidate will be able to schedule the exam only when he/she has received the authorization to test. Candidates who are unsuccessful in passing the exam will be able to retake it after filling out an application for re-examination and paying a $50 fee to the Virginia Board.

RN License by Endorsement

Registered nurses who have obtained licensure in one of the other 50 states will be able to gain licensure in Virginia by endorsement. Candidates must submit verification of licensure.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Canadian registered nurses are eligible for licensure by endorsement as long as the nursing education was completed in English and they passed the Canadian Registered Nurses Examination. Other internationally educated applicants will be required to take the CGFNS exam prior to the NCLEX. Foreign nursing candidates should call the Board as well as Puerto Rican nurses who have not taken the NCLEX exam.

RN Salaries in Virginia

It is predicted that there will be a 12.6% growth in the population of Virginia by the year 2020. Health care delivery and resources may be stretched to the limit in Virginia with a large age growth in the state. In order to cope with the growing need for services, a majority of the health care workforce growth is anticipated to be in nursing. Now is a better time than ever to pursue higher education to help nurses be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities that may arise.

Virginia Registered Nursing Salaries

The Richmond metropolitan area has the highest number of registered nurses employed along with the highest hourly mean wage and annual median wage.
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.

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