According to the Virginia Nurses Association, there is currently a high demand for nurses in Virginia. Compassionate and detail-oriented individuals with strong physical endurance and emotional stability are needed to work as nurses in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, outpatient care facilities, nursing homes, schools, community health centers, and patient homes. By becoming nurses, Virginians can enjoy a lucrative and rewarding career while making easy access to quality healthcare a reality in the state.

Best Nursing Schools in Virginia

There are X schools offering nursing degree programs in Virginia. To help prospective nurses in this state find the right school for them, we’ve created two separate rankings of the best nursing schools in Virginia. One ranking is intended for undergraduate students; the other is for graduate students.

Our rankings can help prospective nurses easily identify valuable information about each school such as tuition and acceptance rate so they can select the nursing degree program that aligns best with their budget and preferences.

The data for our rankings comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For further information about our ranking methodology, please visit the bottom of this page.

01
Norfolk State University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$5,318
Undergraduate graduation rate
35%
Undergraduate retention rate
77%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
02
Virginia Commonwealth University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$10,846
Undergraduate graduation rate
62%
Undergraduate retention rate
86%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
82%
03
University of Virginia-Main Campus
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$12,496
Undergraduate graduation rate
94%
Undergraduate retention rate
96%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
56%
04
George Mason University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$8,204
Undergraduate graduation rate
70%
Undergraduate retention rate
87%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
73%
05
James Madison University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$5,896
Undergraduate graduation rate
82%
Undergraduate retention rate
91%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
62%
06
Old Dominion University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,330
Undergraduate graduation rate
51%
Undergraduate retention rate
78%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
90%
07
Radford University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,991
Undergraduate graduation rate
58%
Undergraduate retention rate
74%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
79%
08
ECPI University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$14,720
Undergraduate graduation rate
47%
Undergraduate retention rate
49%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
85%
09
Southside Virginia Community College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$4,133
Undergraduate graduation rate
41%
Undergraduate retention rate
61%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
90%
10
Patrick Henry Community College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$4,133
Undergraduate graduation rate
50%
Undergraduate retention rate
65%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
81%
01
George Mason University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$10,628
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
02
James Madison University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$9,648
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
03
Old Dominion University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$8,736
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
04
University of Virginia-Main Campus
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$15,026
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
05
Hampton University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$10,776
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
06
Virginia Commonwealth University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$10,976
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
07
Radford University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$7,868
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
08
Liberty University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$8,051
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
09
Lynchburg College
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$8,820
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
10
Marymount University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$16,920
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Virginia

Nursing accreditation in Virginia is important because it helps determine if a nursing degree program meets or exceeds the minimum standards of quality. By attending an accredited nursing school, students can easily transfer credits and ensure they are receiving the education they need to succeed in the field of nursing. Several examples of nursing school accreditation agencies in Virginia include:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

Virginia Nursing Licensure

To become an LPN in Virginia, a student must complete an LPN certificate or degree program, apply for licensure with the Virginia Board of Nursing, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. A student who hopes to become an RN in Virginia is required to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). Once they’ve earned their degree, the next step is to apply for a license with the Virginia Board of Nursing, and then to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. NPs in Virginia must be RNs and complete a graduate degree in nursing. In addition, they are required to pass the national nurse practitioner exam. For up-to-date nursing licensure information in Virginia, please visit Virginia.gov.

Continuing education is a requirement for all nurses in Virginia. To keep their licenses active, LPNs and RNs will need 30 continuing education hours or 15 continuing education hours and 640 active practice hours every two years. NPs who received their license before 5/8/02 must maintain the certification or complete 40 contact hours related to their speciality area every two year licensing period.

Virginia Nursing Organizations

There are several nursing organizations in Virginia that can be beneficial to nurses in the state. Let’s dive deeper into some of these organizations.

  • Virginia Nurses Association (VNA):

    VNA represents the interests of more than 100,000 registered nurses in all areas of specialization across the Commonwealth of Virginia. This organization acts as the “voice of nursing” in Virginia and ensures nursing priorities are incorporated into legal and regulatory decisions.

  • Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners (VCNP):

    VCNP is designed for nurse practitioners who are licensed in Virginia. Its goal is to increase the awareness of and the impact of the role of nurse practitioners on health care.

  • Virginia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (VaCNS):

    VaCNS strives to promote the role of the clinical nurse specialist as an advanced practice registered nurse in Virginia.

Hospitals in Virginia

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church): Inova Fairfax Hospital is one of the largest employers in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is home to a neonatal intensive care unit, pediatrics intensive care unit, oncology unit, adolescent medicine unit, and centers for pediatric surgery and cardiac surgery.
  • VCU Medical Center (Richmond): VCU Medical Center is the only academic medical center in the region. The American Nurses Credentialing Center has recognized it as a Magnet-designated hospital, which is the most prestigious honor for nursing.
  • Chippenham Hospital (Richmond): Since it opened its doors in 1972, Chippenham Hospital has continued to provide the highest quality of care to patients in Central Virginia. It is a Certified Chest Pain Center and earned a Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission.
Sources & Methodology
  1. American Hospital Directory, Accessed July 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  2. Virginia Department of Health Professions, Accessed July 2018, https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_forms.htm
  3. Nursing Licensure, Accessed July 2018, https://www.nursinglicensure.org/state/nursing-license-virginia.html
  4. Inova, Accessed July 2018, https://www.inova.org/patient-and-visitor-information/facilities/inova-fairfax-hospital/index.jsp
  5. VCU Health, Accessed July 2018, https://www.vcuhealth.org/
  6. Chippenham Hospital, Accessed July 2018, https://chippenhammed.com/
  7. Virginia Nurses Association, Accessed July 2018, http://www.virginianurses.com/

Explore schools offering nursing programs