How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia?
There are many registered nursing skills that can only be learned on the job. Over the years, you may have developed your clinical judgment, ability to respond to emergency situations, and your communication skills.
All of these skills may serve you well if you decide to become a nurse practitioner. At nurse practitioner programs, VA students can earn a Master’s degree or doctoral degree to work toward licensure.
Are you ready to become a nurse practitioner and expand your scope of practice?
Get in touch with nurse practitioner training options in Virginia below.
Average Master’s Degree Requirements in Virginia
- Credit hours required: 45 credits
- Average cost: $1,400 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: At least 500 hours
- Timeframe: Three years
Average Doctoral Requirements in Virginia
- Credit hours required: 85 credits
- Clinical hours required: At least 1,000 hours
- Timeframe: Five years
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Virginia?
As you explore admissions requirements in Virginia, you may find that NP programs are fairly competitive. With an NP license, you may work with patients independently, and schools take that responsibility seriously.
To qualify for acceptance to a Virginia program, you should have a current nursing license, a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and relevant experience in the field of nursing. When you choose a program, you also choose which patient population you would like to work with. Each Virginia school has different options, but some of the most common specialties include pediatric care, gerontological care, women’s health, family care, and psychiatric/mental healthcare.
Common NP Course Options in Virginia
- Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing
- Health Promotion and Population Health
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Research and Biostatistics
- Clinical Decision Making in Advanced Practice Nursing
Clinical work rounds out what you learn in your theory courses. Most programs integrate theory and practice by requiring clinical rotations throughout your education. To qualify for licensure, Master’s graduates need at least 500 hours of experience and doctoral graduates need at least 1,000 hours of experience.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Virginia?
- Back To School Nursing Scholarship: Our year-round scholarship program has four application cycles each year. Selected applicants get $2,500 scholarships.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: Those who take out loans for their nurse practitioner education may pay off some or all of their student debt through this program. Up to $50,000 of loans are repaid in exchange for a two-year commitment at an NHSC-approved site.
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: After accepting a NURSE Corps Scholarship, applicants must spend two years working in a Health Professional Shortage Area.
- Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program: This scholarship is awarded by the Virginia Department of Health. For each annual scholarship you are awarded, you must spend one year working in a medically unserved part of Virginia.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in Virginia
After meeting your nurse practitioner course requirements, you can move on to the licensing process. The Virginia Board of Nursing requires proof of your graduate nursing degree and national certification in your area of practice. Per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Virginia NPs have a slightly reduced scope of practice (2016).
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Virginia
The need for primary care practitioners is growing in Virginia, leading to an extremely positive job outlook. Between 2014 and 2024, demand for nurse practitioners may swell 43% in Virginia (O*Net, 2016). You may also significantly boost your earning potential as a nurse practitioner. The average annual income for a Virginia NP is $98,960 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
The future of your career rests on your ability to adapt to changes in the healthcare industry, provide evidence-based care, and build a strong network of nursing contacts. You may want to join the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners to learn about legislative changes, attend continuing education events, and stay up-to-date on current issues in Virginia nursing.
Are you ready to take the next step in your nursing career and provide a new level of care to your patients?
Find the right program for you by contacting some of the best nurse practitioner programs in Virginia today.
Virginia nurses who want to become nurse practitioners can study online, through a program like Georgetown University's, or at one of these in-state institutions:
- George Mason University. Located in Fairfax, George Mason offers two master's-level NP programs: family nurse practitioner and adult care nurse practitioner. Both programs can be completed in two or three years.
- Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU offers a variety of master's-level NP programs: adult nurse practitioner (primary or acute care), pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner and women's health nurse practitioner. An accelerated master's program is available to students who don't yet have a nursing degree; students take courses at both the undergrad and graduate level to obtain a BSN and MSN.
- Old Dominion University. Old Dominion, located in Norfolk, has family nurse practitioner and women's health nurse practitioner programs. Family nurse practitioner students at Old Dominion participate in the Eastern Virginia Medical School's standardized/simulated patient teaching program.