West Virginia Nursing License
In West Virginia, the organization established by the legislature to oversee the process of acquiring a West Virginia nursing license and the education of nurses is the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Registered Professional Nurses. The board is also charged with the task of monitoring dialysis technicians.
The specific rules by which the board operates can be found in the Scope and Delegation Booklet, the link for which can be accessed at http://www.wvrnboard.com/default2.asp?active_page_id=134.
All working nurses in West Virginia must have a valid, current license, along with at least an associates degree in nursing.
In addition to passing the NCLEX-RN and showing proof of the required education, nurses in West Virginia must undergo a criminal background check, which is usually done through L-1 Identity Solutions, the state’s approved vendor. Out-of-state candidates can have this done at their local law enforcement agency.
The application fee for the exam in West Virginia is $51.50, along with the actual fee of $200 to take the exam. The application packet contains two certificates that must be filled out, one that attests to good moral character, and another to the dean or director of the nursing program certifying that the applicant has graduated with no issues involving discipline or misconduct.
License must be renewed annually in West Virginia, and 12 contact hours of continuing education must be completed to qualify for renewal. Three of these hours must consist of drug diversion training and the best practice for the prescribing of controlled medication, as described at http://ce.nurse.com/state-nurse-ce-requirements/west-virginia.
The application fee for license by examination in West Virginia is $75, with an additional $10 charge for a temporary license that allows LPNs to work pending NCLEX results. The fee for the exam is $200.
LPNs can also apply for licensing via endorsement, with an additional $50 fee required to do this. If the candidate’s licensing state does not use Nursys verification, a paper copy of the license must be provided.
International candidates are eligible for a West Virginia license if they graduate from a program that meets West Virginia standards, with the evaluation to be carried out by several organizations used by the state. English proficiency must be proven as well.
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A list of approved schools that offer an associate degree in nursing includes Bluefield State College, Davis and Elkins College, Fairmont University and West Virginia Junior College. A complete list of schools can be found at http://www.wvrnboard.com/images/WV%20NURSING%20PROGRAMS%20JULY%202014.pdf.
Continuing education is an important, ongoing requirement for RN education as well. The unit used to measure CE compliance is the contact hour, which must be at least 50 minutes in length.
Continuing education work can be done in the biological, physical social and behavioral sciences, the legal aspects of nursing, nursing management and other related subjects. A list of these can be found at http://www.wvrnboard.com/default2.asp?active_page_id=85.
Information about continuing education sources can also be accessed at the inservice departments of hospitals and nursing homes, and also through the CE departments of local colleges and universities. Announcements are also made in nursing journals, newspapers and various other media sources.
The West Virginia Nurses Association is also a recognized approved provider of ongoing education, and the board maintains a list of all registered CE providers.
LPNs currently make up approximately 27 percent of the nursing population in West Virginia, and they make an average annual income of just over $32K. Because of the relatively low salary rates in the state, ongoing education is especially important.
There are a large number of LPN programs in Virginia to help aspiring LPNs get their associates degree. A partial list includes the United Technical Center, the Roane Jackson Technical Center, Shepherd University and Salem International University.
A full list of these schools can be found at http://www.nursingexplorer.com/lpn/west-virginia.
In addition to nursing education, the West Virginia board also requires at least a 10th grade education. Nurses must be able to provide evidence of this level of education, and nursing programs should have evidence of either a high school education or a GED on file.
Another educational paths for LPNs is the LPN-to-RN option, which can lead to a salary jump to just over $50K annually. A partial list of schools offering this option includes Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Kanawha Valley Community Technical College and West Virginia Northern Community College.
A full list of schools offering these programs can be found at http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/lpn-to-rn/west-virginia/, which also includes information about the programs.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of West 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.
In West Virginia, fewer than 50 percent of all working nurses hold a bachelor’s degree, so having nurses get this degree is a major goal fo the West Virginia Action Coalition.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options to consider. A partial list of schools offering the RN-to-BSN path includes Marshall University, Wheeling Jesuit University and Alderson-Broaddus College. A complete list of schools offering a Bachelor of Science in nursing can be found at