Navigating the Nursing Profession in Virginia

Updated: Oct 6



Let us help you land on your dream job here in Virginia! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Virginia, and more!

 

Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Virginia

  • Popular hospitals in Virginia

  • Nursing associations in Virginia

  • Contact details



 

Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more information, visit the Virginia licensing page.



As a nursing compact state, Virginia lets nurses hold multi-state licenses


*Fees may change without any notice.

 

Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Virginia Board of Nursing website. Virginia has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Virginia Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. Be reminded that if your Primary State of Residency is not Virginia, you can not apply for a licensure in Virginia because it is a compact state. You must declare that Virginia is your Primary State of Residency to be able to do so.



 

Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Virginia.

  • For RN/LPN, you need to renew your license every two years and complete at least one of the requirements listed below:

  • 30 contact hours of seminars, workshops, conferences, or courses related to nursing practice; or

  • 15 contact hours of seminars, workshops, conferences, or courses related to nursing practice and 640 hours of active practices as a nurse; or

  • Current certification of specialty from a nationally recognized certifying organization; or

  • Complete at least 3 credit hours of post-licensure academic education related to practice of nursing, offered by a regionally accredited college or university; or

  • a nursing refresher course that is approved by the board; or

  • A complete nursing-related, evidence based practice project not less than 3 semester hours of college credit, a 15-week course of specialty certification; or

  • 30 contact hours of teaching or developing a nurse-related continuing education course

  • For APRN, if you are an initially licensed nurse practitioner on or after May 08, 2002, you must hold a current professional certification so that you can renew your license every 2 years. However, if you are a license holder before May 08, 2002, you must obtained one of the requirements listed below:

  • A current professional certification in the area of specialty from accredited certifying agency; or

  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education relevant to the area of specialty practice.

The Virginia Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.

____________________________________________________________

Licensing and Certification


Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.


Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.


Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.

____________________________________________________________

Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Virginia

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is $76,680.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Virginia is the right place for you.

 

Popular Hospitals in Virginia

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Virginia or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Virginia. Here are some of them:

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital – (Falls Church, VA):

  • Regionally ranked #1 in Virginia and in Washington DC

  • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty and 1 pediatric specialty

  • Rated high performing in 8 adult specialties and 16 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties include Gynecology (#6 in the nation), Cardiology & Heart Surgery, and Diabetes & Endocrinology

  • University of Virginia Medical Center – (Charlottesville, VA):

  • Regionally ranked #2 in Virginia

  • Nationally ranked in 5 pediatric specialties

  • Rated high performing in 6 adult specialties and 15 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties include Neonatology (#36 in the nation), Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#37 in the nation), Pediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology (#42 in the nation), and Pediatric Orthopedics (#42 in the nation)

  • Sentara Norfolk General Hospital – (Norfolk, VA):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Virginia

  • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty

  • Rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 11 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Specialties include Urology (#40 in the nation), Geriatrics, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

  • VCU Medical Center – (Richmond, VA):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Virginia and #1 in Richmond

  • Nationally ranked in 4 pediatric specialties

  • Rated high performing in 5 adult specialties and 10 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties include Pediatric Cancer (#50 in the nation , Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, and Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

  • Winchester Medical Center – (Winchester, VA):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Virginia

  • Rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 12 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Specialties include Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes, Colon Cancer Surgery, Kidney Failure, Stroke, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.

 

Nursing Associations in Virginia

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Virginia.

Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs “The primary goal of this nursing institution is to educate, communicate and advocate for the Department of Veterans Affairs nurse.”

Virginia Nurses Association “This group is committed to promoting advocacy and education, improving professional nursing practice, and becoming a model in delivering quality service.”

Virginia Nursing Students’ Association “This association is dedicated to establishing the professional and personal growth of student nurses through career guidance, giving educational resources, and providing opportunities to lead.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


 

Contact Details

Virginia Department of Health Professions/Virginia Board of Nursing

Phone: (804) 367-4400

Fax: (804) 527-4475

Website: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Boards/Nursing/

Perimeter Center

9960 Maryland Drive

Suite 300

Henrico, VA 23233-1463


1 view0 comments