The Best Virginia Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements

By NurseJournal.org staff



Table of Contents


Students can explore many nurse practitioner (NP) programs in Virginia across all degree levels. These programs prepare learners to serve as primary care providers and advanced practice registered nurses. NPs must hold advanced degrees -- either a master of science in nursing or a doctor of nursing practice. NPs in Virginia also hold national certification, following a particular patient focus.

Best Virginia Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Rank University Degree Programs
1 Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA NP
2 Radford University Carilion - Roanoke, VA NP

Many programs allow learners to focus on specializations during their program, preparing them for a particular career path in the NP occupation.

Students in Virginia can explore online learning opportunities across degree levels, allowing them to take advantage of flexible and convenient learning formats. Many programs allow learners to focus on specializations during their program, preparing them for a particular career path in the NP occupation. Among the diverse program types offered to students planning to pursue careers as NPs are bridge programs, accelerated formats, and dual-degrees.

NPs typically focus on a variety of specialties, including family care nursing, adult care nursing, and women's health nursing. NPs who complete a master of science in nursing should graduate from their program with the ability to diagnose and treat acute illnesses, injuries, and infections and write prescriptions for certain medications, including information about dosage and frequency. NPs also provide guidance and care to their patients about medication, including the side effects and how particular medications can interact with other medications.


Old Dominion University

ODU offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) concentration that students can complete mostly online. Although most coursework occurs through distance learning, students must attend ODU's Virginia Beach campus once a semester for testing and simulation training. In addition, learners complete a final comprehensive exam on campus.

This NP program in Virginia comprises 49 credits, but students can transfer up to 12 graduate credits. Online courses include video streaming content which may require distance learners to log on at specific times for certain asynchronous sessions. Students also complete supervised clinical work at family practice, internal medicine, women's health, and pediatric sites.

Campus Norfolk, Virginia
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition •   $547/credit for Virginia residents
•   $595/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing
•   At least 3.5 undergraduate GPA or GRE or MAT test scores
•   Registered nurse license
•   One year of nursing experience
Minimum Time Commitment Varies
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Radford University Carilion

In 2019, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Carilion Clinic, and Radford University merged to form a health science school at Radford. As part of this process, Radford University Carilion now offers a hybrid master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) program.

Distance learners enroll part time in the 50-credit program, which they generally finish after eight semesters, or 33 months. In addition to online coursework, students participate in 2-3 on-campus intensive experiences. During this time, they practice their hands-on skills through simulations and assessments.

The degree requires 605 supervised clinical hours, which students fulfill onsite at healthcare facilities. Distance learners also get the opportunity to contribute to research conducted at Radford.

Campus Roanoke, Virginia
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition •   $514/credit for Virginia residents
•   $888/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA
•   Current nursing license
•   At least 2,000 hours of nursing experience
•   Three recommendations
•   Personal essay
•   GRE scores if undergraduate GPA falls below 3.0
Minimum Time Commitment 33 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia

To become an NP in Virginia, candidates must:

  • Obtain a graduate degree. Before professionals can work toward their certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), NP, or certified nurse midwife (CNM) licenses, they must complete a joint board-approved graduate program. The joint boards in Virginia approve NP and clinical nurse specialist programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs/Schools, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, and the American Midwifery Certification Board.

    Along with the degree requirements, candidates eligible for NP licensure must complete courses in advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical evaluation/assessment. The Virginia Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine also provide licensing opportunities to NPs who pursue specializations, including adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, and certified registered nurse anesthetist. A student who aims to pursue prescriptive authority must hold a current, unrestricted license as an NP in the state, complete a graduate-level pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics course, practice as an NP for at least 1,000 hours, and complete 15 continuing education units in a nursing specialty.

  • Earn national certification. Upon completing a graduate degree, individuals become eligible to complete the exam to become nationally certified in a particular nursing specialty. The licensing board recognizes three clinical specialties: NP, CNM, and CRNA. The joint boards recognize the following certifying bodies: American Nurses Credentialing Center, American Midwifery Certification Board, Pediatric Nurse Certification Board, National Certification Corporation, National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
  • Apply for licensure. Individuals can complete their applications for licensure online once they create a username and password linked to their particular records by social security number. During licensure, nurses can choose to add additional specialties by contacting the state's nursing board. After completing the application, each candidate must pay the associated $125 fee and submit proof of professional certification from a recognized national certifying board. Professionals waiting for their national certification can apply for a provisional NP license, lasting six months from the date of issuance. To maintain eligibility for provisional licensure, the nursing board must obtain certification from a national certification body of the candidate's eligibility.

In-Demand Nursing Specialty Eligibility Requirements in Virginia

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification (PMHNP-BC)

Years of Experience: None, but candidate must hold a current and active registered nurse (RN) license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 clinical hours supervised by a faculty member in the. psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: Graduate-level courses in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics, and a course in advanced physiology/pathophysiology

Family Nurse Practitioner Certification (FNP-BC)

Years of Experience: None, but applicant must hold a current and active RN license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 clinical hours. supervised by a faculty member in the family nurse practitioner program

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: Advanced physiology/pathophysiology graduate-level course, advanced health assessment graduate-level course, and an advanced pharmacology graduate-level course

Gerontological Nursing Certification (RN-BC)

Years of Experience: An active and current RN license, along with two years of full-time experience as an RN

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical experience in gerontological nursing completed within the last three years.

Continuing Education: 30 hours of continuing education in gerontological nursing completed within the last three years

Other: N/A

Salary and Career Information

In Virginia, RNs experience mean annual wages close to the national figures for the occupation. Virginia's RNs report a mean salary amount of $69,790, while the national mean annual wage comes in $75,510. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth for RNs in the state nearly as high as the U.S. figure, with Virginia anticipating growth of 14.4% and the U.S. reporting a projected job growth of 14.8% from 2018 to 2028.

NPs who work in Virginia enjoy high salary opportunities, nearly as much as the U.S. mean salary for the profession. In Virginia, these professionals experience mean salary amounts of $105,170 compared to the nation's mean salary in the field of $110,030. The BLS projects higher job growth for NPs in Virginia through 2026 (43.7%) than nationally (36.1%).

Virginia's metropolitan areas feature high salary opportunities and employment levels. The Winchester, Virginia - West Virginia area reports the highest salary amounts for the occupation of $115,350.

RN vs. NP Salary and Projected Job Growth in Virginia
  Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
Virginia Mean Salary $69,790 $105,170
U.S. Mean Salary $75,510 $110,030
Virginia Job Growth 14.4% 43.7%
U.S. Job Growth 14.8% 36.1%

Source: BLS, Projections Central


Virginia Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Mean NP Wages
  Salary Employment
Winchester, Virginia - West Virginia $115,350 110
Washington - Arlington - Alexandria, District of Columbia - Virginia - Maryland - West Virginia $112,330 2,840
Virginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News, Virginia - North Carolina $106,090 920
Staunton - Waynesboro, Virginia $102,980 110
Richmond, Virginia $102,690 1,250

Source: BLS