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.

    Quick Facts

    • 51 schools with nursing programs in Virginia are in our database (see below).
    • 29 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees or certificates in nursing.1
    • 23 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.1
    • 13 colleges and universities offer master’s or advanced degrees in nursing.1
    • 4 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Nursing Majors in 2018.3
    • 6 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s programs.4
    • 6 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.4

    Top-Ranked Schools with Nursing Programs in Virginia

    Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

    • University of Mary Washington (#95 in-state, #98 out-of-state)
    • George Mason University (#99 in-state, #100 out-of-state)
    • University of Virginia (#3 in-state, #3 out-of-state)
    • James Madison University (#42 in-state, #63 out-of-state)

    *Institution-wide ranking.

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s

    • University of Virginia (#20 tie)
    • Virginia Commonwealth University (#41 tie)
    • George Mason University (#55 tie)
    • James Madison University (#117 tie)
    • Old Dominion University (#124 tie)
    • Marymount University (#210 tie)

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • University of Virginia (#16 tie)
    • George Mason University (#44 tie)
    • Virginia Commonwealth University (#48 tie)
    • Old Dominion University (#114 tie)
    • James Madison University (#117 tie)
    • Radford University (#128 tie)

    Read below to learn more about the nursing programs available in Virginia.

    NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Virginia

    The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit 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.

    SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGrad Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accred.*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**# TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate^# TakingNet Price^^
    Averett UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A75%8$21,302
    Bluefield CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$19,617
    Blue Ridge Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A78.69%61$8,087
    Bon Secours Memorial College of NursingNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A95.4%108N/A
    Centra College of NursingYesYesNoACENN/AN/A93.1%58N/A
    Dabney Lancaster Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%1479.17%24$4,931
    Danville Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A100%18$6,221
    Eastern Mennonite UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A86.7%45$24,144
    Eastern Shore Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%8N/AN/AN/A
    George Mason UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A90.5%137$17,316
    George Mason University (Accelerated BSN)N/AYesN/ACCNEN/AN/A100%6N/A
    George Washington UniversityNoYesYesNoN/AN/A92.2%102N/A
    Germanna Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%787.1%93$6,568
    Hampton University-HamptonNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A81.8%11$23,404
    Hampton University-Virginia BeachNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A100%11N/A
    James Madison UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$16,683
    Jefferson College of Health SciencesYesYesYesCCNEN/AN/A88.4%43$23,923
    Jefferson College of Health Sciences (Accelerated BSN)N/AYesN/ACCNEN/AN/A75.8%33N/A
    John Tyler Community College (On Campus)YesNoNoACENN/AN/A96.08%51$6,417
    John Tyler Community College (Hybrid Online)YesNoNoACENN/AN/A92.31%26$6,417
    J Sargeant Reynolds Community College (LPN)YesNoNoACEN100%494.74%76$7,151
    J Sargeant Reynolds Community College (LPN to RN)YesNoNoACENN/AN/A100%7$7,151
    J Sargeant Reynolds Community College (LPN to ADN)YesNoNoACENN/AN/A85.71%7$7,151
    Liberty UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A91.4%151$23,468
    Longwood UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A100%27$17,020
    Lord Fairfax Community College-MiddletownYesNoNoNo88.89%984.44%45$6,559
    Lord Fairfax Community College-FauquierYesNoNoNoN/AN/A75%12$6,559
    Lynchburg CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A95%N/A$21,997
    Marymount UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A78.3%46$25,008
    Marymount University (Accelerated BSN)N/AYesN/ACCNEN/AN/A86%100N/A
    Mountain Empire Community CollegeYesNoNoNo95.5622N/AN/A$6,485
    New River Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%6N/AN/A$6,384
    Norfolk State UniversityNoYesNoACENN/AN/A95.2%21$13,468
    Norfolk State University (RN to BSN)N/AYesN/ANoN/AN/A79.2%24N/A
    Northern Virginia Community College-SpringfieldYesNoNoACEN94.44%14N/AN/A$8,965
    Northern Virginia Community College-Arlington CenterYesNoNoACENN/AN/AN/AN/A$8,965
    Northern Virginia Community College-OnlineYesNoNoACENN/AN/A96.67%30$8,965
    Old Dominion UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$15,236
    Patrick Henry Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A84.78%46$5,389
    Paul D. Camp Community College (On Campus)YesNoNoNo66.67%1674.07%27$5,358
    Paul D. Camp Community College (LPN to RN)YesNoNoNoN/AN/A70%10N/A
    Piedmont Virginia Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/A1785.9%78$7,481
    Radford University-RadfordNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A95.1%61$13,903
    Radford University-RoanokeNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A93.1%29$13,903
    Rappahannock Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN96.15%1589.74%39$5,816
    Shenandoah University-WincesterNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A86.8%114$28,522
    Shenandoah University-LeesburgNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$28,522
    Southside Virginia Community College-AlbertaYesNoNoACEN100%6100%17$8,821
    Southside Virginia Community College-KeysvilleYesNoNoACENN/AN/A94.44%18$8,821
    Southside Virginia Community College-South BostonYesNoNoACEN100%592.88%14$8,821
    Thomas Nelson Community College-HamptonYesNoNoACENN/AN/A91.3%46$7,276
    Thomas Nelson Community College-Historic TriangleYesNoNoACENN/AN/A89.47%19$7,276
    Tidewater Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A91.49%94$6,745
    University of Mary WashingtonNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$19,864
    University of Virginia (BSN)NoYesN/ACCNEN/AN/A93.2%88$14,539
    University of Virginia (MSN)NoN/AYesCCNEN/AN/A85%40N/A
    University of Virginia-WiseNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A90.9%22$11,259
    Virginia Appalachian Tri-CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A90.7%129$19,898
    Virginia Commonwealth UniversityNoYesYesCCNE/ACENN/AN/A93.2%148$19,898
    Virginia State UniversityYesNoNoNoN/AN/A100%3$14,438
    Virginia Western Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%595.24%42$6,678
    Wytheville Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN88%2577.14%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).

    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 are 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 licensure. 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
    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
    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

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    Marymount University
    2807 N Glebe Rd
    Arlington, VA 22207
    (703) 522-5600

    Student Review: “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

    Shenandoah University
    1460 University Dr
    Winchester, VA 22601
    (540) 665-4500

    Student Review: “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 College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
    2. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. New York, Penguin Random House, 2018.
    4. US News Top Graduate Nursing Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools
    5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
    6 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
    7. Virginia Board of Nursing: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_edprogs.htm