Nurses play a critical role in healthcare facilities all over Virginia, from hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and home care centers. This is definitely one of the most popular career choices for those who want to make a difference with their daily work. Depending on your previous education and work experience, there may be several ways you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Explore different degree types below and find Virginia schools that offer the baccalaureate nursing training you need.
Looking to Become an RN in Virginia?
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be the Best Nursing Program for You
There are numerous benefits that may come along with earning a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Not all nursing schools have these programs, but more and more schools are adding BSN-level programs to their offerings. This is because employers across the country have a growing need for baccalaureate nurses.
The Future of Nursing, a report released by the Institute of Medicine, notes that nursing education has historically focused on acute care (2017). However, with the aging population and rapid advances in medical technology, healthcare facilities need nurses with higher levels of training. This primarily involves bringing most nurses up to the BSN level, although it also includes helping more nurses finish their Master’s and doctoral degrees.
What Should I Look for in BSN Nursing Schools in Virginia?
Choosing the best nursing program for your educational needs is one of the best things you can do to get more from your training. Everyone learns differently and everyone has different career goals. Whatever you hope to do with your nursing degree, you need to attend colleges for nursing that support those goals. It begins with accreditation.
Programs should be approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing, since this agency verifies that nurses get enough clinical experience. However, national accreditation is also mandatory for licensure. Nationally accredited schools give students the education needed for the NCLEX-RN and meet federal standards. Most nursing schools are accredited by the ACEN or CCNE.
Applying to Virginia Bachelor of Science in Nursing Colleges
Once you’ve selected a handful of baccalaureate nursing programs that meet your needs, you may be ready to start applying to Virginia schools. Before you spend any money on application fees, double check that you meet the admissions requirements for each school you’re considering.
Some nursing schools are quite competitive, so it’s good to have multiple schools you’d be happy attending. After you submit your application and official transcripts, you may have to write an essay on your goals for your nursing career. This is used to distinguish which students have what it takes to make it through a rigorous nursing degree.
Once you have selected a school, you may need to pass several health tests. Common options include a drug screen, a physical exam, and a TB test. You must also undergo a background screen to ensure that you do not have any past crimes that would disqualify you from a nursing license.
What Are BSN Programs in Virginia Like?
While there may be many factors that set all nursing schools apart from each other, they also have a lot in common. Their overall goal is to prepare students for the daily tasks that RNs do day in and day out. For that reason, you may build your knowledge base in several different ways.
In theory nursing courses, you learn medical terminology, ethics, laws, and history. You may also go over procedures before you observe them. In laboratory-based courses, you may get the chance to work with medical equipment and test it on cadavers or mannequins. Clinical rotations are an essential part of your education. Your rotations may send you into hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
Virginia BSN Degree Basic Requirements
The standard BSN is found on almost every list of top nursing schools. Most Bachelor of Science in Nursing colleges require that you earn above 120 credits, since 120 credits are federally required for a Bachelor’s degree. However, earning up to 130 or 140 credits may give you more chances to develop your clinical skills. Only about half of your credits come from nursing courses. The remainder are earned in general education classes.
Courses Required in BSN Nursing Schools in Virginia
- Foundations of Interprofessional Nursing Practice
- Concepts of Professional Nursing
- Technologies of Nursing Practice
- Health Assessment for Nursing Practice
RN to BSN Programs in Virginia
In an RN to BSN bridge program, you can use your Associate’s degree in nursing to earn a BSN in less than two years. To move up to a BSN, you must earn about 30 additional general education credits and 30 nursing credits. At many colleges for nursing, you can complete this degree online.
Coursework Options in RN to BSN Programs in Virginia
- Nursing of Women
- Nursing of Adults
- Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
- Nursing of Children
Virginia Accelerated BSN Programs
Is an accelerated BSN program a good fit for you? If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a different field of study, you may be able to earn a BSN in as little as one year. Since you already have the educational foundation for baccalaureate nursing study, you just have to study nursing theory and get clinical experience. You meet these goals through clinical rotations and classroom courses.
Classes Required in Accelerated Nurse Programs
- Evidence-Based Practice
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
- Community Health Nursing
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
LPN to RN Programs in Virginia
While these programs aren’t offered at all nursing schools, they are a convenient option for working licensed practical nurses. A bridge LPN program permits you to count some of your nursing experience as clinical hours, reducing the overall amount of time you spend in school.
Classes Offered in LPN to RN Programs
- Leadership and Management in Healthcare
- Transition from LPN to RN
- Population-Based Nursing Care
The future of your nursing career is decided by the school you attend and the effort you put in. Explore your options now by contacting programs on our list of top nursing schools.
All Nursing Schools Are Not Created Equal…
How to Make a List of Top Nursing Schools in Virginia
You know what it takes to earn a nursing degree and you’re up for the challenge. What’s your next step? It’s a great time to narrow down your list of nursing schools to ensure that you only consider the very best options for you. It’s recommended that you request information from multiple nursing schools and sort it into a binder that you keep just for your school applications. You can quickly reference brochures and application materials. Develop a list of questions that cover your top priorities when it comes to nursing school. Take notes on the answers you get from each school and use this information to make a final choice.
Questions to Ask Virginia Colleges for Nursing
- What is the NCLEX pass rate for the BSN program?
- Are there any NCLEX review groups or study sessions for graduating nurses?
- What type of academic advising is offered to students?
- How many credits do I need to earn for a BSN?
- How many clinical hours do BSN students get by the time they graduate?
- Which clinical settings are available for nursing students?
This is your chance to make a difference in healthcare by becoming a nurse.