According to Virginia's Healthcare Workforce Data Center, more than 10,000 people hold nurse practitioner (NP) licenses in the state, with nearly 9,000 participating in its active workforce. Ninety-six percent of candidates work in the field, implying that NP positions are in good supply within the state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also projects a 28% increase in NP positions in the U.S. by 2028, which hints that career opportunities will grow in the coming years.
Of Virginia's NP workforce, 95% of professionals report job satisfaction. This positive response reflects the personal and professional fulfillment possible from careers in the field. These professionals work in challenging and changing environments to assess patients and provide treatments to manage or overcome different issues. These practitioners often work within a specialty, such as mental health, family practice, women's health, or pediatrics.
Keep reading our guide for information about attaining and succeeding in these careers, including details on certification, education, and employment data.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Virginia
Each aspiring NP must earn a graduate degree to work in Virginia. Individuals can begin their educational path with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) by completing around 120 credits in four years. Coursework for bachelor's degrees includes introductory nursing courses, as well as general education and elective classes.
Bachelor's admission criteria varies based on program type. For instance, a BSN may call for an application and ACT or SAT scores. Individuals with a registered nurse (RN) license, however, can enroll in RN-to-BSN programs, which may require an associate in nursing.
Departments may offer MSN specializations in areas like neonatal, family, and mental health practice and require 36-60 credits.
Bachelor's degree-holders can then pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN). Departments may offer MSN specializations in areas like neonatal, family, and mental health practice and require 36-60 credits. These degrees often only incorporate courses and practicums that relate to nursing, typically taking three or more years to complete. Admission requirements may include earning a bachelor's, RN license, and a 2.5-3.0 undergraduate GPA.
Graduates of master's programs can also pursue nursing doctorates. This degree may help individuals obtain managerial positions in healthcare. Candidates should consider a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) since the DNP may soon become the educational standard for NPs. DNPs often include specializations like mental health or family practice.
Departments can deliver NP programs in Virginia completely online, though students still need to complete clinical fieldwork at approved organizations.
Admission into DNP programs may require an MSN, experience as an RN, and CPR training. Other application elements may include a writing sample and a statement of personal goals, philosophies, or accomplishments.
Departments can deliver NP programs in Virginia completely online, though students still need to complete clinical fieldwork at approved organizations. Other programs may embrace hybrid delivery, in which degree-seekers must visit campus throughout the semester.
Students should ask their schools for specific information since all of these details vary by department.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Virginia
Virginia Nurse Practitioner Career Information
The BLS projects NP positions in Virginia to grow by 43.7% from 2016-2026, which surpasses national expectations and projections for North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The BLS also reports that mean annual wages for Virginia NPs surpass figures for North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Twenty-two percent of NPs in the state work in clinical, primary care, or non-specialty locations. This statistic may indicate that these locations are in-demand options that candidates should consider for higher employment odds.
Seventy-nine percent of Virginia practitioners possess a master's as their highest earned degree. To increase their employment opportunities, applicants may pursue a doctorate since only 7% of in-state NPs boast this degree level.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Virginia and Nearby States
Only RNs can become NPs in Virginia. An RN license requires each candidate to complete a nursing program and provide results from a criminal background check. Applicants must also pass the NCLEX, which costs $200. However, the board will only approve individuals for NCLEX testing after they complete all other application steps. Candidates who do not earn board approval or take the test within one year must reapply for an RN license.
Applying for the RN license costs $190. Applications must be submitted online.
Applicants should complete a relevant graduate program and earn a national certification related to their specializations.
Virginia offers NP licenses in practice areas that include adult/geriatric acute care, adult/geriatric primary care, pediatric/primary care, pediatric/acute care, neonatal, family, women's health, and mental health. Applicants should complete a relevant graduate program and earn a national certification related to their specializations. Applying for NP licenses costs $125.
Each professional must renew RN and NP licenses every two years by the end of their birth month. RNs must show evidence of competency through options such as projects, workshops, courses, or teaching experiences. NPs must also complete 40 continuing education hours. RN and NP license renewals cost $140 and $80, respectively.
Other Requirements for Virginia Nurse Practitioners
Candidates may need to complete clinical fieldwork and standardized tests to earn national certifications for NP licensure. However, these certifications require different criteria. For example, the National Certification Corporation's nurse practitioner-board certified credentials for women's healthcare and neonatal practice require fieldwork from a nursing program, which must include 600 clinical hours. The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, though, only requires 500 hours of total program fieldwork for the primary care certified pediatric nurse practitioner credential.
Candidates may need to complete clinical fieldwork and standardized tests to earn national certifications for NP licensure.
NPs can pursue prescriptive authority in Virginia through four pathways. One option is to maintain national certifications. A candidate can also work 1,000 hours as an NP and earn 15 continuing education hours for both years that precede the prescriptive authority application. Additional options include combinations of pharmacotherapeutics or pharmacology coursework from no more than five years before applying.
Prescriptive authority applicants must also enter practice agreements with physicians and complete an application. This credential costs $75, and applicants must renew every other year for $35.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Virginia is a part of the nurse licensure compact (NLC), which means nurses from any NLC state can practice in Virginia and vice versa. Out-of-state NPs may apply for licensure by endorsement by submitting an application online and undergoing a criminal background check. Applying for licensure by endorsement costs $190.
Each state allows NPs unique rights and service opportunities. Virginia maintains a restricted practice format that includes supervision and limited practice options for NPs. Over 20 states give NPs full rights, and more than a dozen allow only reduced rights. NPs from these states would lose practice rights by coming to Virginia.
Candidates in other restricted practice states should consult the Virginia Board of Nursing to determine how Virginia's rights compare to their current state. For instance, NPs with prescriptive authority in other states should see what kinds of medications, if any, Virginia's regulations would allow them to prescribe. Individuals should also consider how their state's practice requirements vary from Virginia's. For instance, some states may require liability insurance to practice, while Virginia does not.
Resources for Virginia Nurse Practitioners
Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners VCNP events include a yearly conference and the VCNP Piedmont Pharmfest. Members can also view available jobs through the site, receive a newsletter, and apply for the nurse practitioner educational scholarship award.
Virginia Nurses Association Candidates can explore nursing jobs in Virginia through the VNA career center and attend group events, including the Spring conference, fall conference, and legislative summit.
Virginia Board of Nursing Residents can apply for and renew online nursing credentials and research licensure processes through the site. The board also provides information on the best nurse practitioner programs in Virginia and the state's participation with the NLC.
Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority VHWDA connects users to local nursing events, such as TeleHealth Hands-On Labs. Other events include webinars and training. Candidates can access the Virginia Health Careers Manual for information on relevant jobs.
Virginia Action Coalition This coalition offers webinars on topics like leadership and education for nursing practices. Users can also access resources on concepts such as fundraising and communication in the field.