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Navigating the Nursing Profession in West Virginia

Updated: Aug 21, 2022



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

  • Popular hospitals in West Virginia

  • Nursing associations in West 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. You can also visit the West Virginia licensing page to know more details.


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


*Fees may change without any notice.

**A background check is required in most states, but prices are not usually indicated.


 

Licensing Renewal Process

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

  2. Before your license expires, make sure that you have completed the requirements for continuing education.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the West 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 West Virginia, you can not apply for a licensure in West Virginia because it is a compact state. You must declare that West 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 West Virginia.

  • For RN, you must complete 12 contact hours each year.

  • Special Requirements

  • 2 contact hours for mental health conditions common to veterans and their families annually; and

  • 3 contact hours in chemical dependence/substance abuse disorders at initial licensure, and 1 hour every renewal period thereafter; and

  • One-time requirement of 2 contact hours in end-of-life care with pain management at initial renewal.

  • For LPN, you are required to obtain 24 hours of CEUs and 400 clock hours every 2 years.

  • For APRN, you must have 24 hours every 2 years where 12 hours must be in pharmacotherapeutics and 12 hours in clinical management of patients.

  • SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • 2 contact hours for mental health conditions common to veterans and their families annually; and

  • 3 contact hours in chemical dependence/substance abuse disorders at initial licensure, and 1 hour every renewal period thereafter; and

  • One-time requirement of 2 contact hours in end-of-life care with pain management at initial renewal

The West Virginia RN Board and the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses accept courses that are ANCC accredited.

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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. Roughly you will spend 4-5 years to earn this degree. For those who already have ADN, there are certain programs that lead you to BSN and it will only take you 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. The said programs will let you save a bunch of money and time and you can easily take chances to be on your dream job.

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.

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Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in West 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 currently $67,640.

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

 

Popular Hospitals in West Virginia

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in West 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 West Virginia. Here are some of them:

  • West Virginia University Hospitals – (Morgantown, WV):

  • Regionally ranked #1 in West Virginia

  • Nationally ranked in 1 pediatric specialty

  • Rated high performing in 4 adult specialties and 11 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Pediatric Urology (#35 in the nation)

  • Charleston Area Medical Center – (Charleston, WV):

  • Regionally ranked #2 in West Virginia

  • Rated high performing in 12 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Hip & knee replacement, and Stroke

  • St. Mary’s Medical Center-Huntington – (Huntington, WV):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in West Virginia

  • Rated high performing in 9 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Colon Cancer surgery, Heart Bypass surgery, and Kidney failure

  • Berkeley Medical Center – (Martinsburg, WV):

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult procedure or condition

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • One specialty of the hospital includes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • Cabell Huntington Hospital – (Huntington, WV):

  • Rated high performing in 5 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Stroke, Hip and Knee Replacement, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

*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 West 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 West Virginia.

West Virginia Nurses Association “This organization of nurses strengthens the profession of nursing through linkages of varied contributions to better healthcare.”

West Virginia Association of School Nurses “This association is committed to obtain the needs of school nurses and children.”

West Virginia – American Association of Nurse Practitioners “This group is an advocate of quality healthcare through varied values.”

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


 

Contact Details

West Virginia RN Board

Phone: (304) 744-0900

Fax: (304) 744-0600

Website: https://wvrnboard.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

90 MacCorkle Ave SW #203

South Charleston, WV 25303

West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses

Phone: (304) 558-3572

Fax: (304) 558-4367

Website: http://www.lpnboard.state.wv.us/

101 Dee Drive, Suite 100

Charleston, WV 25311