Virginia Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide
The following guide provides an overview of the many nursing programs offered at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Students can pursue nursing concentrations including general practice, family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing educator. Since traditional nursing programs are not always a viable option for working professionals, online and hybrid-online programs in nursing are being offered by a growing number of schools.
Virginia School Facts:
- 25 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
- 23 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- 13 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
- Highest graduation rate: Central School of Practical Nursing 100%; Riverside College of Health Careers 100%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: Shenandoah University 34%.1
- Highest net price: Shenandoah University $28,522.1
- Lowest net price: Wytheville Community College $2,081.1
- Annual net price range for schools in Virginia with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $10,907 – $27,558.2
- 1 school ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2017 (top 100): University of Virginia (#24).3
- 3 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: University of Virginia (#19, MSN; #15, DNP), Virginia Commonwealth University (#48, MSN; DNP not ranked), George Mason University (#73, MSN; #54, DNP), Shenandoah Univeresity (#107, MSN; #131, DNP), James Madison University (#131, MSN; #110, DNP), Marymount University (#175, MSN; DNP not ranked).4
Read below to learn more about the nursing programs in Virginia.
Schools in Virginia with Nursing Degrees
Associate’s in Nursing Programs
Northern Virginia Community College
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) maintains an associate degree registered nurse program that can be completed through a traditional on-campus track or through a hybrid online track. Both programs take four semesters to complete and include supervised lab and clinical practice components. Prior to applying to the program, students must complete 12 credit hours of course prerequisites as well as an academic skills test. NOVA also offers a four-semester Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse (LPN to RN) track. All three of these nursing programs at NOVA have been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Piedmont Virginia Community College
The curriculum for the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program at Piedmont Virginia Community College focuses on direct patient care in structured care settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam for registered nurse licensing. Required courses in the program include Human Anatomy & Physiology, Health Assessment, Pharmacology for Nurses, and Medical Surgical Nursing, among other courses that prepare future nurses for work in specific practice areas. The degree requires 67 credit hours to complete. Piedmont Virginia Community College additionally offers an LPN to RN Transition Program.
Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia’s four-year, 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program admits students in the freshmen year. Students will complete both general college coursework and nursing courses. The nursing curriculum covers pathophysiology and clinical management, growth and development across the lifespan, team-based cared synthesis, and research, ethics, advocacy, and leadership. Nursing majors begin clinical practicums in their sophomore year, working in such partner facilities as Martha Jefferson Hospital, the University of Virginia Medical Center, and Western State Hospital. Applicants to the program can submit application materials by the early action deadline of November 1 or the regular deadline of January 1.
Radford University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The four-year program combines general college coursework and nursing curriculum. The junior and senior years predominately focus on nursing courses which include mental health nursing, health assessment, pharmacology, and foundations of community-based practice. Clinical practicums provide students with real world experience. Nursing majors are encouraged to become active on campus by joining the Student Nurses Association or, if academically eligible, Sigma Theta Tau, the honor society for nursing students. The nursing department also features an RN to BSN program for registered nurses who already have an associate’s degree in nursing.
Master’s in Nursing Programs
George Mason University
George Mason University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) offers concentrations in nursing administration, nurse educator, family nurse practitioner, and adult nurse practitioner. Students may also pursue a dual MSN/MBA (Master of Business Administration). Classes are offered in a hybrid format with many classes offered online and some available only on campus. All graduate nursing students, regardless of the concentration, must complete such core courses as projects in nursing research, principles, and methods of nursing research and theoretical foundations related to nursing. Practicums are mandatory. Successful applicants must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a current registered nurse’s license, and must provide three letters of recommendation.
Hampton University’s School of Nursing allows students to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in education and administration or family nurse practitioner. Students in the education and administration track must complete 47 credits while the family nurse practitioner track consists of between 44 and 50 credits. Graduate students must complete either a thesis or successfully pass comprehensive exams to fulfill degree requirements. Core coursework all nursing students must complete covers concepts and techniques of primary care, conceptual approaches to nursing practice, and a nursing colloquium. Successful applicants to the program must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), must possess an active registered nurse’s license, and must submit GRE scores and two professional letters of recommendation.
NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Virginia
The following table allows you to easily compare Virginia nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Virginia Board of Nursing (https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_edprogs.htm).
|School||ADN or LVN Program||BSN Program||Graduate Nursing Program||ACEN/CCNE Accredited*||NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**||Number Taking||NCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate***||Number Taking||Net Price****|
|Blue Ridge Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||78.69%||61||$8,087|
|Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||95.4%||108||N/A|
|Bryant & Stratton College||Yes||Yes||No||CCNE/ACEN||N/A||N/A||100%||12||$77,960|
|Centra College of Nursing||Yes||Yes||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||93.1%||58||N/A|
|Dabney Lancaster Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||14||79.17%||24||$4,931|
|Danville Community College||Yes||No||No||No||N/A||N/A||100%||18||$6,221|
|East Coast Polytechnic Institute-Virginia Beach||Yes||Yes||No||ACEN||71.13%||137||76.13%||155||N/A|
|Eastern Mennonite University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||86.7%||45||$24,144|
|Eastern Shore Community College||Yes||No||No||No||100%||8||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|George Mason University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||90.5%||137||$17,316|
|George Mason University (Accelerated BSN)||N/A||Yes||N/A||CCNE||N/A||N/A||100%||6||N/A|
|George Washington University||No||Yes||Yes||No||N/A||N/A||92.2%||102||N/A|
|Germanna Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||7||87.1%||93||$6,568|
|Hampton University-Virginia Beach||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||100%||11||N/A|
|James Madison University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$16,683|
|Jefferson College of Health Sciences||Yes||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||88.4%||43||$23,923|
|Jefferson College of Health Sciences (Accelerated BSN)||N/A||Yes||N/A||CCNE||N/A||N/A||75.8%||33||N/A|
|John Tyler Community College (On Campus)||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||96.08%||51||$6,417|
|John Tyler Community College (Hybrid Online)||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||92.31%||26||$6,417|
|J Sargeant Reynolds Community College (LPN)||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||4||94.74%||76||$7,151|
|J Sargeant Reynolds Community College (LPN to RN)||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||100%||7||$7,151|
|J Sargeant Reynolds Community College (LPN to ADN)||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||85.71%||7||$7,151|
|Lord Fairfax Community College-Middletown||Yes||No||No||No||88.89%||9||84.44%||45||$6,559|
|Lord Fairfax Community College-Fauquier||Yes||No||No||No||N/A||N/A||75%||12||$6,559|
|Marymount University (Accelerated BSN)||N/A||Yes||N/A||CCNE||N/A||N/A||86%||100||N/A|
|Mountain Empire Community College||Yes||No||No||No||95.56||22||N/A||N/A||$6,485|
|New River Community College||Yes||No||No||No||100%||6||N/A||N/A||$6,384|
|Norfolk State University||No||Yes||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||95.2%||21||$13,468|
|Norfolk State University (RN to BSN)||N/A||Yes||N/A||No||N/A||N/A||79.2%||24||N/A|
|Northern Virginia Community College-Springfield||Yes||No||No||ACEN||94.44%||14||N/A||N/A||$8,965|
|Northern Virginia Community College-Arlington Center||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$8,965|
|Northern Virginia Community College-Online||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||96.67%||30||$8,965|
|Old Dominion University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$15,236|
|Patrick Henry Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||84.78%||46||$5,389|
|Paul D. Camp Community College (On Campus)||Yes||No||No||No||66.67%||16||74.07%||27||$5,358|
|Paul D. Camp Community College (LPN to RN)||Yes||No||No||No||N/A||N/A||70%||10||N/A|
|Piedmont Virginia Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||17||85.9%||78||$7,481|
|Rappahannock Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||96.15%||15||89.74%||39||$5,816|
|Southside Regional Medical Center||No||Yes||No||ACEN||100%||1||100%||29||N/A|
|Southside Virginia Community College-Alberta||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||6||100%||17||$8,821|
|Southside Virginia Community College-Keysville||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||94.44%||18||$8,821|
|Southside Virginia Community College-South Boston||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||5||92.88%||14||$8,821|
|Thomas Nelson Community College-Hampton||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||91.3%||46||$7,276|
|Thomas Nelson Community College-Historic Triangle||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||89.47%||19||$7,276|
|Tidewater Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||91.49%||94||$6,745|
|University of Mary Washington||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$19,864|
|University of Virginia (BSN)||No||Yes||N/A||CCNE||N/A||N/A||93.2%||88||$14,539|
|University of Virginia (MSN)||No||N/A||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||85%||40||N/A|
|University of Virginia-Wise||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||90.9%||22||$11,259|
|Virginia Appalachian Tri-College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||90.7%||129||$19,898|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE/ACEN||N/A||N/A||93.2%||148||$19,898|
|Virginia State University||Yes||No||No||No||N/A||N/A||100%||3||$14,438|
|Virginia Western Community College||Yes||No||No||No||100%||5||95.24%||42||$6,678|
|Wytheville Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||88%||25||77.14%||35||$2,081|
*The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.5,6
**NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
***NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
****The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).
Reviews of Virginia Nursing Programs
2807 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22207
Marymount University was a great place to earn my degree. It is a fairly small University so even in the nursing program, which was one of the bigger programs, my classes were very small. Being near the DC area gave us a chance to work at some great hospitals including Inova Fairfax, and even a Psych rotation at PIW which was probably my favorite. Because the program size was small pretty much everyone got their first choice when it came to internships. I did mine in labor and delivery, and while I didn’t really enjoy that rotation all that much, it definitely gave me some insight into an area of nursing that I did NOT want to pursue. Many of the professors and students were on a first name basis and that made it very comfortable when asking questions in class or even reviewing papers and assignments with them. If I had to do it all over again I feel confident that I would still choose Marymount as my first pick.” – Student at Marymount University
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601
I attended Shenandoah University’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program on their Leesburg Campus from August 2012 to December 2013. I would say overall it was a good experience. All of my classes were held in one room. It wasn’t so bad. The professors gave breaks for the class to stretch their legs. The coursework was tough, in terms of the amount of reading and studying you have to do. It was usually two classes in the day (9am-4pm) with a clinical course once a week in the evening. In the later semesters, you had to drive to different clinical sites (hospitals, clinics, etc.), which I felt was a little disorganized. They should have organized it so the people who lived closer to that clinical site could attend that site. Instead, they had people who lived in Woodbridge drive all the way to Winchester. I think by the time I graduated, they were planning on making those improvements. Also, my school used ATIs (tests to prepare for the NCLEX) for almost all the courses, which you had to pass in order to pass the course. I felt very unprepared for this type of testing, and the professors should have placed more emphasis on doing practice questions while you study right from the beginning.” – Student at Shenandoah University
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=VA&major=nursing&sort=best
3. US News & World Report National Universities Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/search
4. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
6 American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/accredited-programs
7. Virginia Board of Nursing: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_edprogs.htm