With healthcare a growing field, many nurses are looking for opportunities to grow their careers. Advanced practice registered nurses, including nurse practitioners (NPs), enjoy the benefits of taking on more responsibilities, entering leadership roles, and earning higher salaries. Nurse practitioners in Virginia can enter into a variety of specialized roles, and can even offer primary care services to patients.

Choosing a Nurse Practitioner Program

With both master's and doctoral degree levels available, students should consider the following when researching nurse practitioner programs:

  • Accreditation- Nurse practitioner programs are typically accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Virginia boasts over 20 advanced level nurse practitioner programs.
  • Program Cost- Tuition costs can fluctuate based on factors like location, school, and degree level. Virginia residents can expect to pay $500 to $700 per credit hour, with up to 50 credits required for an MSN-level degree, and around 80 credits for a doctoral degree.
  • Program Length- Most graduate level nurse practitioner programs require a BSN in order to enroll. ADN-level nurses can take a two-year bridge program to get up to the BSN level. MSN programs can take 2-3 years to complete, while DNP programs can take 3-4 years, depending on full-time or part-time attendance.
  • Internship/Externship Opportunities- Nurse practitioner programs require a certain number of clinical hours to complete the degree. Many schools have relationships with hospitals and medical centers in the area in which students can complete internship/externship clinical rotations.
  • Online/Campus Options- Schools offering nurse practitioner programs are increasingly offering both online and campus-based options to suit the needs of a variety of potential students. There are also "hybrid" options in which students complete a large portion of the coursework online, but also attend some lectures and labs on campus.

Admission and Certification Requirements

For most MSN/DNP nurse practitioner programs in Virginia, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited institution
  • At least one year of prior clinical nursing experience
  • Current, active RN license
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher typically required
  • GRE or similar tests may be required if minimum GPA is not met
  • Have prior work experience as an RN/ APRN
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Letters of recommendation and/or a personal essay may be required

Licensing/Certification

Virginia nurse practitioners are eligible to become certified in the nurse practitioner specialty of their choice (such as nurse midwife, family nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, and more) upon completion of the correlating NP program. In order to receive the certification, the NP must pass the credential examination, typically offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

According to Virginia law, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists must be licensed as such by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Requirements for licensure include:

  • Current Virginia RN license
  • An official transcript from a graduate degree program in an advanced practice nursing program, sent directly from the educational institution
  • Transcripts must be sent from the graduate school directly to the board
  • Submit a completed application

Virginia Nurse Practitioner Agencies and Organizations

Schools That Offer Nurse Practitioner Programs in Virginia

With this sought-after career on the rise, and expected to grow by 31% in the next few years, it's no wonder why many nurses are looking into NP programs. Luckily, Virginia is rising to the occasion by offering a bounty of accredited and well-respected nurse practitioner programs.

SchoolContact Information
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 993-1000
Hampton University
100 E Queen St
Hampton, VA 23668
(757) 727-5000
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
MSN Programs
Southeast, 101 Elm Ave
Roanoke, VA 24016
(888) 985-8483
Marymount University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
2807 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 522-5600
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000
Radford University
E Main St
Radford, VA 24141
(540) 831-5000
Shenandoah University
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 665-4500
South University - Richmond
2151 Old Brick Rd
Glen Allen, VA 23060
(804) 727-6800
Virginia Commonwealth University
1100 East Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-0724