The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia

February 24, 2022 , Modified on June 28, 2022 · 6 Min Read

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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The Top Nursing Schools in West Virginia
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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.

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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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