Virginia Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

The following guide contains important information on the many undergraduate and graduate nursing programs offered at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Students often have the opportunity to pursue nursing concentrations that include family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing educator. Traditional nursing programs, however, are not always a viable option. Online programs leading to a bachelor’s or a master’s in nursing degree are offered by such online universities as South University.

Virginia School Facts:

  • 33 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 23 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 12 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • Highest graduation rate: The University of Virginia Main Campus 93%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Shenandoah University 28%.1
  • Highest net price: Shenandoah University $26,101.1
  • Lowest net price: The University of Virginia’s College at Wise $10,537.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Virginia with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $16,388 – $38,228.2
  • 3 schools in US News Best Nursing Schools (2011) Top 100: University of Virginia (15), Virginia Commonwealth University (36), and George Mason University (79).

Read below to learn more about several of the many bachelor’s and master’s of nursing programs in Virginia.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs in Virginia

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
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 in Virginia

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
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.

Student Reviews

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

I attended Shenandoah’s University 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: https://colleges.niche.com/search/t-traditional/sm1-nursing/d-bachelor/st-va/