West Virginia may be small, but that doesn't mean nursing jobs in the state are scarce. With over 30 hospitals and nearly 6,000 staffed beds, registered nurses are in demand. In fact, West Virginia has one of the highest concentration of registered nursing jobs in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are also an astonishing 107 Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in West Virginia. HPSAs are designated as having shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers. Opportunities for skilled registered nurses in West Virginia are plentiful, with a competitive average salary of roughly $55,000 per year, with the potential to earn more for experienced nurses with advanced nursing degrees.

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ADN Programs in West Virginia

If you are looking to get your Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), West Virginia has plenty of schooling options. An ADN is one of the quickest routes to becoming a registered nurse, as it is a 2-year program.

The state boasts over 10 different schools that offer an ADN program accredited by West Virginia's Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses. Many of the schools are community/junior colleges or technical colleges, although some state universities offer the ADN program as well.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in West Virginia

Finding a good ADN program in the state involves considering many factors. You want to focus on a school that will prepare you for your licensure exams. Some other important items to consider include:


You will want to find a school that has legitimate accreditation to ensure that it's up to industry standards. Aside from an accreditation from a national organization like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), you will also want to look for schools that hold accreditation from local places like the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education and the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses.


You will want to ensure that upon completing the ADN program at your preferred school that you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse (NCLEX). In 2015, 86.7% of West Virginia new nurse graduates that took the NCLEX received a license.

Program Outcomes

It is wise to inquire about statistics regarding your school's ADN program. The following are all good indications of the school's reputation:

  • Graduation rate
  • Licensure exam pass rate
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rate

Fairmont State University, located in Fairmont, West Virginia, is a great example of a school that offers an accredited ADN program.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in West Virginia

While each specific school may have its own set of specific requirements, most ADN programs in the state have these basic requirements to be accepted into the ADN program:

  • Applicant must meet general admission requirements of the school
  • Must meet the minimum overall GPA (in many cases 2.0 or higher)
  • Must submit ACT, SAT or COMPASS scores
  • Must complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) admission test with a proficient or higher score
  • Must submit a completed health form and pass a criminal background check

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in West Virginia

Tuition can vary from school to school, but it's important to remember that there are other costs associated with ADN programs aside from just tuition. Textbooks, fees, and uniforms are all examples of costs you may incur, and these may or may not be included in the price of your school's tuition. As an example, the estimated cost for the 2-year ADN program at St. Mary's School of Nursing through Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia is roughly $13,000 for in-state students. This cost includes extras such as textbooks, fees, and uniforms.

Advantages of ADN Programs

Since there is a nursing shortage in West Virginia, the main advantage to getting your associate's degree in nursing is that it's a short 2-year program and you'll have the ability to enter the workforce faster. It's also more affordable than going through longer programs. Community and technical colleges also tend to have more flexible class schedules, meaning that an ADN is a great choice if you are looking to transition to a new career but are still working full-time.

BSN Programs in West Virginia

With a little more schooling, you can earn your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN). There are around 6 schools in the state with BSN programs that are accredited by West Virginia's Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses. These 4-year programs allow for advanced earning potential and greater nursing career prospects than an ADN alone. Many of the big universities offer BSN programs.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in West Virginia

Like ADN programs, you'll want to find a reputable and accredited school for your BSN program. Many schools in the state also offer an RN to BSN program, so that if you already hold an ADN or LPN license, you can continue on and earn your BSN.

The University of Charleston, located in Charleston, West Virginia, is an excellent example of a school that has an accredited BSN program.

BSN Program Length in West Virginia

BSN programs are 4 years in length. However, if you are already an RN, you can earn your BSN in approximately 2 years.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in West Virginia

While admission requirements will vary from school to school, many of the BSN programs in the area will have these general requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) score of 62% or higher

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in West Virginia

Tuition costs will for the BSN program will fluctuate depending on which school you choose, and similar to the ADN programs, you will need to factor in additional costs. As an example, tuition for the BSN program at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, West Virginia is $14,287 per semester for all students carrying 12 through 17 credit hours of work. This does not include the additional expenses of uniforms, professional equipment, exams and fees, background checks, books, and travel.

Advantages of BSN Programs

BSN programs are beneficial due to the increased earning power a nurse with a BSN holds. More career advancement opportunities also tend to be present when you hold a BSN. Don't forget that there are also many RN to BSN programs for nurses who want to advance with a BSN.

MSN Programs in West Virginia

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced nursing degree for those who want to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). This advanced degree can lead to nursing jobs including Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, among other nursing specialties.

There are more than 3 schools in the state that offer MSN degrees accredited by West Virginia's Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses.

MSN Program Length in West Virginia

An RN to MSN program can last roughly 3 years, depending on the school and the previous coursework the student has taken.

MSN Admission Requirements in West Virginia

While admission requirements for an MSN vary from program to program, here are some typical requirements you can expect from nursing schools in the state:

  • Graduate of an accredited BSN program
  • Possess an RN license
  • Minimum 3.0 on all previous college work
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in West Virginia

Costs for MSN programs vary. As an example, Wheeling Jesuit University, located in Wheeling, West Virginia, charges $665 per credit for their MSN program, as well as a $130 per semester technology fee, a $212 per course audit fee, and a $265 graduation fee, among other fees.

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Getting a West Virginia Nursing License

West Virginia regulations for nursing licensure requires candidates to file their application online for either examination process or by endorsement. Both processes also require submitting further information.

Applying for licensure by examination you must also include this supporting documentation:

  • Verification of education
  • Register for NCLEX – passing score upon completion
  • Criminal Background Check – with fingerprints
  • Passport type photo 2”x 2” – signed and dated
  • Affidavit notarized
  • Certification 1 & 2 – to be signed by the appropriate designate

Applying for licensure by endorsement you must also include these documents with your completed/notarized application:

  • Passport type photo 2” x 2” – signed and dated
  • Verification of licensure – either by request form or through NURSYS

Accelerated Nursing Programs in West Virginia

If you could see yourself in 12 to 18 months graduating from a degree program, would you take the opportunity? The short timeframe needed to complete the accelerated BSN program at one of the few state programs is exactly that 12 to 18 months for completion. Programs are intensive and rigorous due to the course load and clinical hours required, and additional courses will have to be taken prior to entry into the program if you do not meet all of the entrance criteria. Additional costs in tuition fees are possible due to these courses and a number of other factors. Look at each college program to decide which program best fits your needs.

2018 Best RN Programs in West Virginia


Selecting the best nursing school in West Virginia can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 10 nursing schools in West Virginia by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 26 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/).


West Virginia University

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506 (304) 293-4831

West Virginia University's nursing program values are that of integrity, excellence, and inclusiveness. These values translate into a renowned nursing program that is well respected in the nursing field. Graduates are groomed for successfully obtaining immediate employment upon graduation. Visit the to learn more.

Score: 96.13| Programs: BA-BS to BSN, BSN

West Virginia University - Parkersburg

300 Campus Dr, Parkersburg, WV 26104 (304) 424-8000

West Virginia University Parkersburg is home to renowned nursing degree tracks. Students graduate with a sense of ethics, accountability, and purpose. Upon completion of the program, graduates are motivated to positively impact the face of healthcare. Visit the to learn more.

Score: 95.52| Programs: ADN

University of Charleston

2300 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304 (304) 357-4835

Partnerships, interactive faculty, assignments with other students, and collaboration with outside clinicians all make the BSN program at University of Charleston stand out. Upon completion, graduates are geared for success with confidence, knowledge, and skills. Learn more by visiting the .

Score: 93.69| Programs: BSN

West Virginia Wesleyan College

59 College Ave, Buckhannon, WV 26201 (304) 473-8000

West Virginia Wesleyan College, located in Buckhannon, offers a BSN program which aims to prepare nursing leaders. Small class sizes with a 13:1 student/faculty ratio promotes an intimate and collaborative learning environment. A state-of-the-art simulation laboratory provides hands-on experiences for students. Follow the link to learn more about the .

Score: 93.09| Programs: BSN

West Virginia Junior College

148 Willey St, Morgantown, WV 26505 (304) 296-8282

The Morgantown campus of West Virginia Junior College offers an ADN pathway for those who aspire to become RNs. This direct-admittance program boasts a curriculum that combines critical thinking skills with nursing values, and is delivered in a format that includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning. It is accredited by ABHES and board-certified. Check out the official .

Score: 93.07| Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN-ADN

St. Mary's School of Nursing

2900 First Avenue, Huntington, WV 25702 (304) 526-1415

The career goal of the Nursing Program at St. Mary's School of Nursing is to become a Registered Nurse (RN). The Cooperative ASN Program at the school is provided through a partnership of St. Mary's School of Nursing and Marshall University. The campus is on the grounds of renowned St. Mary's hospital, making access to exemplary experience and knowledge within arm's reach. Get all the program details by visiting the .

Score: 92.76| Programs: Associate in Nursing

West Liberty University

101 Faculty Dr, West Liberty, WV 26074 (304) 336-5000

West Liberty University’s pre-licensure BSN program geared toward high school graduates. This CCNE-accredited program utilizes experienced faculty and a well-rounded curriculum complete with clinical opportunities to educate the next generation of registered nurses. Follow the link to learn more about the .

Score: 92.55| Programs: BSN

BridgeValley Community & Technical College

2001 Union Carbide Drive, South Charleston, WV 25303 (304) 205-6600

South Charleston’s BridgeValley Community & Technical College offers a 2-year ADN program. Students take a mix of general courses and professional major courses to obtain the knowledge and skills required to find success as a registered nurse. Graduates are well prepared to utilize nursing judgment and provide patient-centered care. Follow the link to learn more about the .

Score: 92.42| Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN-ADN

West Virginia Northern Community College - New Martinsville

141 Main St, New Martinsville, WV 26155 (304) 455-4684

New Martinsville’s West Virginia Northern Community College boasts an ADN pathway that aims to educate students on how to make sound judgments, create caring relationships with patients, practice safe and efficient nursing care, and more. This program is ACEN-accredited and board-approved. Follow the link to learn more about the .

Score: 91.98| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Fairmont State University

1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554 (304) 367-4767

Those interested in an associate degree nursing pathway may want to consider Fairmont State University’s nursing program. In addition to a traditional program, they also offer a part-time weekend program that can be completed in six semesters, meeting in-person every other weekend, with summers off. They also offer an LPN to ASN program for practical nurses interested in becoming registered nurses. Get all the program details by visiting the .

Score: 91.60| Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN-ADN

Continued List of All RN Programs in West Virginia

#11 West Virginia Northern Community College - Wheeling
1704 Market St, Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 233-5900
Programs: ADN
#12 Marshall University - Huntington
One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755
(800) 642-3463
Programs: BSN
#13 Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College
316 Eastern Drive, Moorefield, WV 26836
(304) 434-8000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#14 Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
13650 Apple Harvest Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25403
(304) 260-4380
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#15 Bluefield State College - Beckley
300 University Drive, Beaver, WV 25813
(304) 255-5812
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN-ADN
#16 Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
2900 Dempsey Branch Road, Mount Gay, WV 25637
(304) 792-7098
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#17 West Virginia Northern Community College - Weirton
150 Park Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
(304) 723-2210
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#18 Davis & Elkins College
100 Campus Dr, Elkins, WV 26241
(304) 637-1900
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#19 Shepherd University
301 N King St, Shepherdstown, WV 25443
(304) 876-5212
Programs: BSN
#20 Salem International University
223 W Main St, Salem, WV 26426
(304) 326-1109
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#21 Bluefield State College - Bluefield Campus
219 Rock St, Bluefield, WV 24701
(304) 327-4000
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN-ADN
#22 Alderson Broaddus College
101 College Park Dr, Philippi, WV 26416
(800) 263-1549
Programs: BSN, LPN-BSN
#23 Wheeling Jesuit University
316 Washington Ave, Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 243-2000
Programs: BA-BS to BSN, BSN
#24 Univeristy of Charleston Beckley
167 Dye Dr, Beckley, WV 25801
(877) 393-5014
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#25 West Virginia University Institute of Technology- Beckley
512 S Kanawha St, Beckley, WV 25801
(304) 929-8324
Programs: BSN
#26 West Virginia University - Potomac State College
101 Fort Ave, Keyser, WV 26726
(304) 788-6820
Programs: BSN

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