Registered nurses in Virginia who are interested in earning their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree have a wealth of options across the state, including on-campus and online programs, full-time and part-time options and a variety of specializations to choose from. This broad range of program options puts an MSN within reach for ambitious RNs across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Virginia

Nurses considering applying to an RN to MSN program in Virginia will likely face the following admissions requirements:

  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or professional letters of recommendation
  • Application forms that may include a personal statement or essay
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses; for example, the University of Virginia School of Nursing in Charlottesville requires completion of a general undergraduate-level statistics course taken within five years of application
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores may be required at some schools; for instance, Hampton University in Hampton requires GRE scores with a verbal score of at least 450 or an Analytical Writing Assessment score of at least 4.0.

RN to MSN Courses

There are two basic kinds of RN to MSN programs in Virginia: a version for RNs who have their Associate's Degree, which allows them to earn a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing simultaneously, and a version for those who already hold a BSN and now want to attain an MSN degree. MSN students often have the option of moving into a specialized track that leads to a particular advanced nursing career once they have completed their general education courses. These specialties may include Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Nurse-Midwifery and others.

As part of their RN to MSN program, Shenandoah University in Winchester, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • Applied Data Analysis & Interpretation
  • Roles & Issues in Advanced Practice
  • Advanced Pharmacology & Therapeutics
  • Advanced Concepts in Physiology & Pathophysiology
  • Primary Care of Families

Online RN to MSN Programs in Virginia

Online MSN programs in Virginia provide RNs with the flexibility of working toward their MSN wherever and whenever it works best for their schedule. Online programs are a particularly attractive option for RNs who already work full- or part-time. Convenient and often affordable options, online programs also usually include an in-person clinical requirement that can be completed on campus or in the student's local area.

Featured Online School

Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke offers a CCNE-accredited, online MSN program. The program is designed for BSN-educated RNs who want to earn a higher degree while continuing to work in the nursing profession. Jefferson College of Health Sciences offers two MSN tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Administration. Courses for both tracks are available online and are taken in 8 consecutive part-time semesters beginning in the fall. During the course of the program, graduate nursing students will visit the Jefferson College campus to learn and participate in skills assessments called On-Campus Intensives (OCI). Students will participate in 2 - 3 OCIs while in the program.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program varies depending on both the school and the student. Full-time or part-time study, online or in-person courses, and specialization chosen can all impact how quickly the MSN degree can be attained. For example, the RN to MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program at the University of Virginia begins in the fall and offers 16-month full-time program and a 24-month part-time program options. The online MSN Nursing Administration program at Hampton University is offered in a three semester full-time program or a five semester part-time program.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of an RN to MSN program in Virginia varies from school to school, and also depends on whether the student is going to school full- or part-time and taking online or in-person courses. For instance, tuition for the MSN program at Eastern Mennonite University is currently $575 per credit hour, and in-state tuition for master's degree programs at Virginia Commonwealth University is currently around $6,600 per year. It's important to keep in mind that tuition costs do not include additional course fees, or out-of-pocket expenses like books and course materials. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so make sure to check on the current costs with your school of choice at the time of application before making your final program decision.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Virginia

An MSN degree can open the door to a wealth of career advancement opportunities for nurses in Virginia. From administrative and management positions to educator and direct patient care roles, the MSN-educated nurse has a number of career paths to choose from. The following are just a few nursing careers that require an MSN:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse/Midwife

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

In addition to career advancement opportunities, completing an MSN degree delivers increased earning potential for Virginia-based nurses. The mean annual wage for MSN-educated nurse practitioners in Virginia is around $101,060. Compare that to the mean annual wage for a registered nurse in Virginia, which is around $66,670. Nurse practitioner is only one of dozens of career paths for MSN-educated registered nurses, all of which have significantly higher salaries than an ADN- or BSN-educated RN.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

There are at least 5 RN to MSN programs being offered in the state of Virginia; of these, some of the modalities include online studies, in-class and a combination of the two. You can earn your degree while you continue to work and gain experience. When you obtain your degree you put yourself ahead of the game in what types of specialties become available to you; these specializations include nurse anesthetist, critical care nursing, and different management or administrative positions.

ProgramWebsite
Eastern Mennonite University
Online
Department of Nursing
1200 Park Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
(540) 432-4187
George Mason University
Online Campus
School of Nursing
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 993-2991
Hampton University
Campus
School of Nursing
100 East Queen Street
Hampton, VA 23668
(757) 727-5160
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Online
Department of Nursing
101 Elm Avenue SE
Roanoke, VA 24016
(540) 985-8531
Lynchburg College
Online
Department of Nursing
1501 Lakeside Drive
Lynchburg, VA 24501
(434) 544-8740
Shenandoah University
Campus
Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 678-4381
Virginia Commonwealth University
Campus
School of Nursing
907 Floyd Ave
Richmond, VA 23284
(804) 828-0724