Virginia Nursing License

virginiaIn Virginia, the entity responsible for maintaining and enforcing the laws of the state that apply to nursing is the Virginia Board of Nursing.

The board sets minimum standards and approves the curriculum for nursing education; all nurses working and practicing in Virginia must have at least an associates degree in nursing, as well as a current, valid license. It also provides consultation for all education programs that request it, and conducts periodic surveys of the schools that provide nursing education.

In addition, it sets standards for those seeking a Virginia nursing license, and the board is also charged with the task of setting analogous standards for massage therapists.

Information about laws and rules that apply to nursing in Virginia can be found at http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_laws_regs.htm.

RN Licensing

License applicants in Virginia must complete a four-year high school program or its equivalent, have a diploma from an approved professional nursing education program, and they must achieve a passing grade in the NCLEX-RN. They must also have a clean record with regard to any professional disciplinary action, past or current.

The board can also issue a provisional license for RNs who have met the educational and examination requirements and find themselves in situations in which they need to gain clinical experience under the supervision of an RN.

In addition, any work performed as an RN in any branch of the armed services is eligible for recognition as part of the licensing process.

Both Virginia and the majority of its border states belong to the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows an RN holding a multi-state Virginia to perform electronic nursing in remote states. Nurses, however, can only hold an active license in one compact state.

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LPN Licensing

The requirements for licensing applicants are analogous to those for RNs – two years of high school or the equivalent, a diploma from an approved practical nursing program, a certificate that shows they passed the NCLEX-PN and a clean record with regard to disciplinary violations.

Nurses can also apply for licensure by endorsement if they have been licensed in another state, the District of Columbia or a US possession or territory. In some of these cases, the board is charged with the task of evaluating and verifying their credentials and qualifications.

RN Education

The state of Virginia is expected to experience a shortage of 10,000 to 20,000 nurses in the current decade, which means there will be plenty of job opportunities for RNs with an associates degree in nursing.

A list of schools offering this degree includes Norfolk State University, Blue Ridge Community College, Tidewater Community College (campuses in Hampton, Franklin and Portsmouth) and Piedmont Virginia Community College.

A complete list of these schools can be found at http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/associate-degree-nursing/#virginia.

Both the Board of Education and the Board of Nursing have an interagency agreement relating to the regulation of public school nursing education programs.

The agreement covers joint curriculum development, publishing newsletters and participating in inservice activities as well as state conferences. It also gives the two agencies the opportunity to comment on revisions of any necessary regulations.

The Director of the Board of Education relies on the Board of Nursing for implementation of the agreement and advice about any changes that need to be made therein.

LPN Education

LPNs must also have an associates degree in nursing to work and practice in Virginia, and the state offers a number of specialty programs for both LPNs and LVNs. These are typically one-year diploma or certificate programs that are basically identical to associates degree programs in nursing and are recognized by the state as such with regard to licensing issues.

Schools offering these programs include the Bedford County Public Schools/Memorial Hospital, the Blue Ridge Job Corps Center, Career Training Solutions in Fredericksburg and Centura College West.

A complete list of these programs can be found at http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/practical-vocational-nursing/#virginia.

Salary and Career Info

The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Virginia licensed nurse compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

RN-to-BSN Option

In Virginia, a massive expansion of the Medicaid rolls by approximately 42 percent is expected by the end of 2014, and this is one of several factors that has caused the state to expand its offerings of RN-to-BSN programs. These programs are designed to help meet expanded Medicaid needs and to provide nurses with additional career paths as they add to their skill sets.

A list of schools offering the RN-to-BSN option includes Eastern Mennonite University, George Mason University, Hampton University and James Madison University.

A complete list of these schools and additional details about the progams they offer can be found at http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/rn-to-bsn/virginia/.