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 Ranked RN Programs in VirginiaTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at 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

VA Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
97.88 ADNSouthside Virginia Community College138 AlbertaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.91 ADNTidewater Community College271 NorfolkPublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.98 ADNJohn Tyler Community College3107 Chester

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.

PublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
95.17 ADNGermanna Community College4143 Locust Grove

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.06 ADNDanville Community College5147 DanvillePublicCampusSee School Details
94.18 ADNRappahannock Community College6186 Glenns

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.13 ADNNew River Community College7189 Dublin

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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
94.07 ADNDabney S. Lancaster Community College8192 Clifton ForgePublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.87 ADNBryant & Stratton College-Richmond9203 North ChesterfieldPrivate For-ProfitCampusACENSee School Details
92.92 ADNNorthern Virginia CC Online10246 AnnandalePublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.65 ADNVirginia Western Community College11261 RoanokePublicCampusSee School Details
90.26 ADNJ. Sargeant Reynolds CC LPN to ADN (Evening)12351 Richmond

Reynolds Community College is located in Richmond, Virginia.  They offer a practical nursing program, an ADN program and an LPN to ADN program. The LPN to ADN program can be completed full-time or part-time; they also have traditional classtimes or evening/weekend options, which makes it ideal for the working nurse.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.38 ADNCentra College of Nursing13420 LynchburgPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineSee School Details
87.61 ADNThomas Nelson Comm College - Historic Triangle Campus14454 HamptonPublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
87.15 ADNPiedmont Virginia Community College15471 CharlottesvillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.50 ADNPaul D Camp Community College16518 FranklinPublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.18 ADNWytheville Community College17523 WythevillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
80.40 ADNPatrick Henry Community College18624 MartinsvillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
79.04 ADNBlue Ridge Community College19639 Weyers CavePublicCampusACENSee School Details
65.85 ADNGlobal Health College20702 AlexandriaPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
99.33 BSNLongwood University15 FarmvillePublicCampusCCNESee School Details
98.36 BSNUniversity of Virginia-MSN227 CharlottesvillePublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
98.15 BSNSouth University333 Glen AllenPrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
96.89 BSNBon Secours Memorial College of Nursing474 Richmond

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.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
96.74 BSNGeo. Mason Univ. Acc 2nd Deg578 FairfaxPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
96.44 BSNSentara College of Health Sciences688 Chesapeake

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.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
96.39 BSNRadford University (Roanoke)791 RadfordPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
96.18 BSNJames Madison University8102 Harrisonburg

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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.76 BSNHampton University9114 Hampton

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

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.31 BSNLiberty University10129 Lynchburg

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.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
94.12 BSNMarymount University-Accelerated11184 ArlingtonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.67 BSNJefferson College of Health Sciences US2850710012209 RoanokePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.53 BSNNorfolk State University Traditional13213 NorfolkPublicCampusSee School Details
93.38 BSNVirginia Commonwealth University14221 RichmondPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
91.80 BSNUniversity of Lynchburg15274 LynchburgPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACME, COASee School Details
91.60 BSNThe University of Virginia's College at Wise16282 WisePublicCampusCCNESee School Details
89.45 BSNShenandoah University -Eleanor Wade Custer17342 WinchesterPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
88.53 BSNEastern Mennonite University18361 HarrisonburgPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
88.46 BSNOld Dominion University19364 Norfolk

Old Dominion University is located in Norfolk, Virginia.  They offer a pre-licensure BSN program (designed for new college students) and a post-licensure program (for RNs seeking a BSN degree).  They also offer several graduate options, some of which are offered online.  ODU originated in 1930 as a division of The College of William and Mary; it became a separate institution in 1962 and gained university status in 1969.

PublicCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
86.39 BSNChamberlain College of Nursing20420 ArlingtonPrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
83.39 BSNSouth University - Virginia Beach21459 Virginia BeachPrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
77.87 BSNStratford University22502 FairfaxPrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, CCNE, COASee School Details

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.

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.
Area nameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual median wage
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA1,020$26.51$54,090
Charlottesville, VA2,890$30.86$63,590
Danville, VA530$26.71$54,140
Harrisonburg, VAEstimate not released$25.82$51,870
Lynchburg, VA2,030$27.02$54,770
Richmond, VA14,350$30.66$63,770
Roanoke, VA4,150$28.45$58,670
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC13,650$28.99$60,540
Winchester, VA-WV1,230$25.12$50,620
Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area1,890$24.50$50,180
Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area1,250$26.33$54,040
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area530$25.64$52,090
Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area1,880$29.66$60,550
Source:, 2014 Data