The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Updated November 23, 2022

Considering nursing school in West Virginia? Learn about the best programs, how to get your nursing license, and salary and job outlooks.
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Nursing schools in West Virginia boast high National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) pass rates, and the state projects above average job growth rates for RNs too. As a Nurse License Compact (NLC) state, graduates of nursing programs in West Virginia can apply for a multistate RN license.

Keep reading for more about the top nursing programs in West Virginia, how to earn your license, and the outlook for jobs and salaries.

The Best Nursing Schools in West Virginia

With more than 40 nursing programs in West Virginia, students can explore an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor's in nursing, and a master of science in nursing (MSN). This guide can help you find the best nursing schools for your career goals and background.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in West Virginia, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

#1 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

  • Martinsburg, WV
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Description:

Students at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, a top nursing school in West Virginia, can earn their associate of science in nursing and qualify to take the NCLEX-RN.

The 60-credit curriculum includes courses in human anatomy and physiology and microbiology with labs, along with nursing care that includes clinical experiences. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of science in nursing (ASN)
  • Campus: Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $172 per credit hour for in-state students; $211 neighboring counties in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania; $311 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisite course completion or enrollment; 2.5 GPA; TEAS score of 63.3 or higher
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 5 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,823 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$408
Out-of-state
$408
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,532
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

West Virginia University

  • Morgantown, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

West Virginia University offers a traditional bachelor of science in nursing and programs for non-nursing bachelor's-holders and registered nurses.

Graduate study includes a master of science in nursing (MSN), MSN/MBA, a doctor of nursing practice with a nurse anesthesia concentration option, and a Ph.D. 

Programs feature 100 hours of community service and clinical experiences with an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN; master of science in nursing (MSN); MSN/MBA; post-master's specialty certificates; doctor of nursing practice (DNP); Ph.D.
  • Campus: Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: 
    • BSN: $5,208-$5,868 per semester in state; $13,620-$14,040 out-of-state 
    • MSN, MSN/MBA, Ph.D.: $6,192 per semester in-state; $14,202 out-of-state
    • DNP-anesthesia: $11,259 per semester in-state; $19,272 out-of-state
    • DNP, post-master's certificate: $715 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements:
    • BSN: College 3.0-3.2 GPA or high school 3.6-3.8 GPA; SAT or ACT scores
    • RN-to-BSN: Associate degree or diploma in nursing; 2.5 GPA; RN license
    • MSN: BSN; 3.0 GPA; RN license
    • DNP/Ph.D.: MSN; 3.0-3.25 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 3 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $61,454 for bachelor's graduates and 94,763 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$8,976
Out-of-state
$25,320
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
26,839
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Davis & Elkins College

  • Elkins, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Nursing programs in West Virginia include Davis and Elkins College, which offers traditional associate and bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees, along with advanced placement tracks for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs).

D&E partners with area hospitals for 4-6-week supervised summer externships. Online RN-to-BSN students can complete their clinical hours at their workplaces.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate degree in nursing (ADN); bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN (online)
  • Campus: Elkins, West Virginia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA)
  • Tuition: $29,280 per year; RN-to-BSN $400 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: 2.5-3.0 GPA; TEAS scores; ACT or SAT scores for ADN entry; LPN or RN license for advanced placement 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $50,022 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$29,000
Out-of-state
$29,000
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
40%
Students Enrolled
776
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Shepherd University

  • Shepherdstown, WV
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Description:

At Shepherd University, nursing students can practice skills in five simulation labs and pursue a bachelor's degree or a doctorate, with an RN-to-BSN track for registered nurses to earn their bachelor's degree online or on-campus. 

Doctoral programs offer tracks for bachelor's and master's degree-holders, with specialization areas in family nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); doctor of nursing practice (DNP)
  • Campus: Shepherdstown, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: Undergraduate: $7,784 per year full-time in-state, $18,224 out-of-state; DNP $767 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: pre-nursing curriculum completion; 2.7 GPA; RN license for RN-to-BSN entry
    • DNP: 3.0 GPA; RN license 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $61,020 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,790
Out-of-state
$15,276
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
3,554
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

West Liberty University

  • West Liberty, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The bachelor's nursing degree program at West Liberty University features tracks for high school graduates, non-nursing bachelor's degree-holders, and registered nurses with an associate degree or a diploma in nursing (RN-to-BSN).

All three options incorporate classroom instruction and clinical experiences. The RN entry program offers upper-level nursing courses online and allows RNs to continue working.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN
  • Campus: West Liberty, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $4,273 per semester full-time; $350 per credit hour part-time
    • In-metro area: $7,118 per semester full-time; $587 per credit hour part-time
    • Out-of-state: $8382 per semester full-time; $692 per credit hour part-time
    • RN-to-BSN: $4,130 per semester full-time; $344 per credit hour part-time
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • High school graduates: 3.5 GPA; 25 ACT or 1260 SAT scores 
    • Non-nursing bachelor's-holders: 3.0 GPA; nursing prerequisites
    • RN with diploma or associate degree: RN license; 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $50,439 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,990
Out-of-state
$15,930
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
2,496
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Marshall University

  • Huntington, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Marshall University offers two options for earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN): a traditional, pre-licensure track and an online BSN for registered nurses with an associate degree or a diploma in nursing (RN-to-BSN). 

The pre-licensure BSN includes clinical rotations at partner medical centers and hospitals to prepare graduates for their NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Huntington, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: 
    • Pre-licensure: $4,276 per semester in-state; $7,318 in-metro area; $9803 out-of-state 
    • Online: $3,195 per semester full-time; $266 per credit hour part-time
  • Admission Requirements:
    • Pre-licensure: 2.5 GPA; ACT score of 21 (or SAT equivalent)
    • RN-to-BSN: RN license; 2.5 GPA in associate or diploma nursing program 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.8% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,823 for associate graduates, $57,318 for bachelor's graduates, $87,183 for master's graduates, and $185,138 for doctoral graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,190
Out-of-state
$18,044
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
12,852
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Fairmont State University

  • Fairmont, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Fairmont State University lists an online bachelor's for registered nurses (RNs) and an associate of science in nursing. Associate-level degree-seekers can follow a two-year on-campus traditional track, an online program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or a hybrid option offered on weekends.

Clinical rotations for online and on-campus students are completed in the Fairmont area.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of science in nursing (ASN); bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)
  • Campus: Fairmont, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): ASN-Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); BSN-Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $319 per credit hour in-state; $483 in-metro area; $705 out-of-state; $329 online
  • Admission Requirements:
    • ASN: 2.0 GPA; ACT or SAT scores; TEAS exam score of 60; LPN license for LPN-to-ASN track
    • BSN: RN license; 2.0 GPA 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,641 for associate graduates and $63,855 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,888
Out-of-state
$14,752
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
3,803
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

University of Charleston

  • Charleston, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Nursing students at the University of Charleston can pursue their degree at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. The bachelor of science in nursing offers a traditional option and an online bridge program for registered nurses (RN-to-BSN). 

Master's degree students study online and prepare for careers as family nurse practitioners. Associate degree course delivery follows a hybrid format. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate degree in nursing (ADN); bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN; master of science in nursing (MSN) 
  • Campus: Charleston, West Virginia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): ADN and BSN - Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: Traditional BSN $31,400 per year; ADN and RN-to-BSN $380 per credit hour; MSN $625 per credit hour 
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • ASN and BSN: 2.5 GPA; TEAS exam score of 60
    • RN-to-BSN: 2.0 college GPA; nursing and foundational prerequisites with a "C" or higher; RN license
    • MSN: BSN, RN license; statement of purpose; two recommendations
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 3 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.5% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,564 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$22,189
Out-of-state
$22,189
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
2,718
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

BridgeValley Community & Technical College

  • South Charleston, WV
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Degree offerings at BridgeValley Community and Technical College include an associate degree in nursing that combines classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory experience, and clinical rotations at partnering hospitals and healthcare providers.

BridgeValley offers advanced placement into the program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and paramedics. Graduates emerge prepared to take the NCLEX-RN.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate degree in nursing (ADN)
  • Campus: South Charleston, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $188 per credit hour in-state; $447 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 high school GPA; 2.5 college GPA; TEAS exam score of 60.5 
    • LPN/paramedic advanced placement: license or certificate; 2 years of work experience; 2.75 GPA; TEAS exam score of 60.5
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.7% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $55,738 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,417
Out-of-state
$10,510
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,776
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

Pierpont Community and Technical College

  • Fairmont, WV
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Description:

Pierpont Community and Technical College trains future licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and awards a certificate of applied science. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to take the NCLEX-PN. 

The part-time curriculum offers laboratory experience, clinical practice, and coursework in topics like geriatric nursing, maternal/pediatric nursing, nutrition, and pharmacology. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Certificate of applied science in licensed practical nursing
  • Campus: Fairmont, West Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): West Virginia Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Tuition: $212 per credit hour in-state; $502 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: TEAS exam score of 50; human anatomy and fundamental concepts of mathematics prerequisites with a "C" or higher
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 5 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,764
Out-of-state
$10,318
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,912
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in West Virginia

The right program for you depends on personal preferences, such as school and class size. Other factors include tuition and financial aid, the school's reputation and NCLEX-RN pass rates, the acceptance rate and admission requirements, and program logistics.

If you plan to attend an online nursing program in West Virginia, make sure you can find clinical placement in your community. Because nursing program accreditation is vital to your career, this guide only lists accredited programs.

Why Become a Nurse in West Virginia

Job growth is stronger than average for West Virginia, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting 14.9% growth for RNs between 2018 and 2028. Another advantage of attending nursing school in West Virginia is that it is an NLC state, which makes you eligible to apply for a multistate license.

The average NCLEX-RN pass rate for nursing schools in West Virginia is 90.2%, above the national average rate of 86.6%.

West Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, so those who enjoy outdoor activities find West Virginia an attractive place to live. Cross-country and downhill skiing are popular in the winter. Summer activities include fishing, hiking, and white water rafting.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in West Virginia

The average RN salary in West Virginia is $65,130, lower than the national median of $75,330. At $105,220, the average nurse practitioner (NP) salary is lower than the national median of $117,670. However, the cost-of-living index in West Virginia is 90.5, below the national index of 100.

Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS projects 14.9% growth for RNs, compared to 12.1% nationally. Job growth for NPs in West Virginia could be slower than the national average at 24.8% compared to 28.2% nationally.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in West Virginia

If you like smaller cities, West Virginia might be ideal for you. The population of the largest city, Charleston, and the second largest, Huntington, are both approximately 50,000.

The highest-paying cities are also home to the largest nursing schools in West Virginia.

Highest-Paying Cities
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Morgantown $67,640
Charleston $64,790
Huntington — Ashland $64,660
Beckley $63,190
Parkersburg — Vienna $61,720
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in West Virginia

All states have similar nursing requirements. Like other states, West Virginia requires nurses to graduate from nursing school, pass the NCLEX-RN or board certification exam for advanced practice nurses, and complete a criminal background check.

The West Virginia State Board of Nursing allows RNs to apply around two months before they graduate, and you can see your unofficial NCLEX-RN results two days after you take the exam.

RN Requirements

To earn an RN license in West Virginia, you must graduate from an accredited ADN or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. Then you must pass the NCLEX-RN.

The processing fee for licensure by examination is $70, but individuals and military family members may be eligible for waivers from the state board of nursing. (This does not apply to the $200 NCLEX-RN examination fee.)

Unlike most states, West Virginia issues annual renewals, which require 12 hours of continuing education for nurses.

APRN Requirements

To become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you need a current RN license and graduate degree — either an MSN or a doctor of nursing practice — with graduate courses in advanced physiology and pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology. You also need board certification. Send your official transcripts to the state board of nursing.

APRNs have reduced-practice authority in West Virginia and must work alongside a physician. Unlike RN licenses, APRN licenses must be renewed every two years.

Other Top Nursing Programs in West Virginia

Frequently Asked Questions About West Virginia


How long does it take to become an RN in West Virginia?

It takes 2-4 years to earn an RN license in West Virginia. You must graduate with an ADN (two-year) or a BSN (four-year) degree and pass the NCLEX-RN with a criminal background check.

You can receive a temporary license within 5-10 days after the board of nursing receives all paperwork. This license is good for 90 days.

What is a contact hour? Is it the same as a continuing education unit?

A contact hour is 50 minutes of instruction from a state-recognized provider, such as an accredited university or authorized providers. A continuing education unit is 10 contact hours.

West Virginia requires 12 contact hours to renew a nursing license.

How many RNs are in West Virginia?

The BLS reports that 19,800 RNs work in West Virginia as of May 2020. The West Virginia Center for Nursing projects high demand in all areas of the state, though the rate varies by county.

Where can I find approved continuing education activities?

The state board of nursing accepts credits from any state-approved nursing program in West Virginia or other states. They also accept credits from other courses that have been evaluated and authorized.

You can find a partial list of approved courses on the CE Broker website.

How many times can you take the NCLEX in West Virginia?

You can take the NCLEX-RN up to eight times per year, but you must wait 48 days between attempts. However, after two or more failed attempts, the board of nursing requires the completion of additional requirements.

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