How To Become A Nurse In Virginia

Virginia is expected to experience a nursing shortage because its elderly population, a group that requires the most health care, is projected to be the fastest growing age group in the state.

The state is going need 43 percent more nurses by the year 2020 to meet the demand. Anyone interested in becoming a registered nurse (RN) or licensed professional nurse (LPN) in Virginia must finish a state-approved professional program and then pass the national board exam called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Virginia is a member of the national Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) which allows nurses to practice across state lines with one license. Other area Atlantic Coast states of South Carolina and North Carolina also are members of the compact overseen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Virginia Nursing Board Approves Applicants for Licensure

The Virginia Board of Nursing approves applicants for licensure if they have graduated from an approved program. The board lists five programs at the diploma level, 46 at the associate’s degree level and 29 offering a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, or baccalaureate.

All of those prepare a candidate to take the NCLEX, but in Virginia there are significant differences between educational programs and the salaries of RNs and LPNs. RNs earn an average $63,270 a year in the state while LPNs make about $39,950 annually.

Salaries in Virginia are slightly below the national average, and due to the recent economic recession, some nurses stayed in the field longer than expected. The state’s RNs are aging and many are reaching retirement age, according to the Virginia Department of Public Health, which said in a report that nearly half of the state’s nurses are expected to leave nursing within the next ten years.

That will further increase a demand for new graduates in Virginia where its is estimated there will be a shortfall of 10,000 to 12,000 nurses by 2020.

Virginia Still Has Some Traditional Hospital Diploma Programs

There are many different nursing programs in Virginia. In the late 19th century nursing programs were largely based out of hospitals, but these programs began to lose popularity and many closed. However Virginia is notable for having several hospital schools still operating, based at hospitals like Lynchburg General Hospital. The program at Danville Regional Medical Center dates back to 1898.

Virginia also has a state Hall of Fame for nurses, originated by the Virginia Nurses Association to observe their centennial. It is a memorial to those nurses whose achievements and dedication influenced the profession. It also was designed to stimulate interest in the history of nursing in the Commonwealth.

Nursing Schools in Virginia

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Nursing School Locations

Jefferson College of Health Sciences
101 Elm Avenue Southeast
Roanoke, VA 24013
(504) 985-8483

Medical College of Virginia
401 North 12th Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-7010

University of Virginia
School of Nursing
202 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388
(434) 924-0141

Virginia Commonwealth University
6295 Edsall Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
(703) 823-4129

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