14 Best RN to BSN Programs in Virginia | 2024

Discover the best RN to BSN programs in Virginia, along with information on their prerequisites, requirements, and salary expectations after graduation. Programs

Article fact-checked by our Editorial Team.

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) in Virginia involves exploring several educational pathways. Among them, the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is one of the fastest and most popular options.

However, ADN-prepared RNs often return to school to achieve their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in bridge programs called RN to BSNs, allowing them to take on more responsibilities and earn higher salaries.

Considering this, we've provided everything you need to know to apply for an RN to BSN in Virginia, along with salary expectations after graduation and recommendations for the best programs in the state.

Best RN to BSN Programs in Virginia

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of of surveying our readers to understand what they value most in their RN to BSN program, including affordability, duration, flexibility, and more. We'll start with a deep dive into the top five.

1.  Radford University

In our number one spot, Radford University in Radford, Virginia, offers an RN to BSN program accredited through CCNE. The program stands out for its remarkable affordability, with a total cost of $10,320 covering 30 credit hours at an accessible rate of $344 per credit. What's more, its accelerated 10-month completion time makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a fast-track path to career advancement.

Flexibility is at the core of this program's design. The curriculum features 7-week courses, and the convenience of six annual start dates provides ample options for prospective students. This structure caters perfectly to working professionals who are looking to enhance their nursing careers through convenient online learning.

2. Hampton University

Ranked as the second top RN to BSN program in Virginia, we have Hampton University's Accelerated RN-BSN offering. This CCNE-accredited program stands out for its affordability, with a total cost of $9,900 for the entire 12-month duration.

Completing the program requires 33 credits, and what's particularly appealing is the flexibility it provides. You can choose between part-time, which takes two years, or full-time, which can be completed in just one year. 

Admission prerequisites include recent completion of math and science courses within the last five years, along with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. This program caters to various schedules and academic backgrounds, making it an efficient pathway for nurses looking to advance their careers. 

3. University of Virginia's College at Wise

Taking the third spot in Virginia's RN-BSN programs is the University of Virginia's College at Wise. This program presents an accelerated, fully online RN-BSN pathway with an estimated cost of $11,760. Completing the RN to BSN program takes only nine months, and students enrolled in 12-18 credit hours pay an affordable $5,890 per semester of tuition.

Completion time ranges from 2 to 4 semesters, dependent on pre-requisite courses, with a requirement of 90 transferrable credits for a two-term finish. With its CCNE accreditation and convenient online structure, this program serves as a swift and quality-focused option for nurses pursuing career advancement.

4. ECPI University

Securing the fourth spot on Virginia's list of RN-BSN programs is ECPI University, located in Virginia Beach. This program offers an accelerated RN-BSN pathway, designed to be completed in 12 months. With an estimated cost of $13,500, the program charges $250 per credit hour for the six required arts and sciences courses, in addition to $12,000 for the ten required nursing courses. 

Admission prerequisites include a minimum GPA of 2.5 or provisional admission status. The program holds CCNE accreditation, ensuring a high standard of education. This option caters to those looking for a concise and comprehensive route to a BSN credential in the vibrant healthcare field.

5. James Madison University

Ranked fifth among Virginia's RN-BSN programs, James Madison University in Harrisonburg offers flexibility and accessibility, with both full-time and part-time enrollment options. The 12-month program costs approximately $14,338, covering fees like books, with in-state tuition at $450 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition at $460 per credit hour.

For part-time students, completion takes 85 weeks –  one class per term. The full-time program, after prerequisites, can be finished in 45 weeks -- 9 terms, two classes per term. Each term lasts five weeks.

Admission requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 and at least six months of RN employment or concurrent practice. With versatile admissions and adaptable class schedules, James Madison University accommodates aspiring nurses seeking to complete their BSN. 

Online RN to BSN Programs in Virginia

Here is our complete list of rankings for the top 14 RN to BSN programs in Virginia, for the 2023-2024 school year.

Score School City Program Estimated Costs1
99.26 Radford University Radford RN to BSN $10,320 10 months CCNE
98.89 Hampton University Hampton Accelerated
$9,900 12 months CCNE
98.34 University of Virginia's
College at Wise
Wise RN to BSN $11,760 9 months CCNE
97.02 ECPI University Virginia Beach RN to BSN $12,000 12 months CCNE
95.68 James Madison University Harrisonburg RN to BSN $13,500 12 months CCNE
95.04 Bluefield University Bluefield RN to BSN $14,220 12 months CCNE
91.39 Longwood University Farmville RN to BSN $18,309 12 months CCNE
90.22 Virginia State University Petersburg RN to BSN $12,150 30 months CCNE
90.00 Liberty University Lynchburg RN to BSN $9,900 36 months CCNE
89.99 Norfolk State University Norfolk RN to BSN $9,910 9 months --
88.32 Old Dominion University Virginia Beach RN to BSN $11,790 -- CCNE
87.68 University of Virginia Charlottesville RN to BSN $17,490 24 months CCNE
86.52 Mary Baldwin University Fishersville RN to BSN $13,800 -- CCNE
84.44 BON Secours Memorial
College of Nursing
Richmond RN to BSN $21,120 24 months CCNE

*Please contact us if you'd like to update your program's information.

1Costs are based on the minimum required RN to BSN credits and are not inclusive of core credits, nor all fees. Actual costs will vary from student to student and are based on multiple factors, including transfer credits and scholarships. For the most accurate costs breakdown, please reach out to a school representative.

2Program lengths included are typically the shortest possible program length, requiring the maximum amount of transfer credits prior to admission. Outstanding general curriculum requirements will likely increase program length.

What Is an RN to BSN?

An RN to BSN Program is an RN returning to school to obtain a BSN degree. This involves experienced RNs and new graduates with a diploma or an ADN. A BSN degree program provides a more comprehensive education in social and physical sciences, nursing management, research, informatics, and public health. It enhances knowledge and understanding of community health, healthcare management, leadership, and policy for a broader scope of practice.

Related: 10 Best RN to BSN Programs in 2023

RN to BSN Coursework

Typical RN to BSN Coursework includes:

  • Professional Nursing Practice
  • Family-Centered Health Promotion
  • Community and Public Health Nursing
  • Statistics for Health Professions
  • Introduction to Nursing Research
  • Ethical Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Leadership and Management
  • Trends and Issues in Today's Health Care
  • Professional Capstone and Practicum

Can RN to BSNs Be Taken Entirely Online?

RN to BSN programs can be taken entirely online. These programs are designed for working RNs who have already completed an ADN or nursing diploma program and obtained licensure, meaning they've gained significant hands-on experience in their initial programs and through work. However, it's important to note that some online RN to BSN programs may have in-person requirements such as exams or capstone projects, so students should check the specific requirements of a program to ensure it fits their needs.

Where Do BSN-Prepared Nurses Work?

Nurses with a BSN have many career options and opportunities and can practice in most care settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Home Care Agencies
  • Physician Office
  • Educational Services
  • Government Agencies
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Hospices
  • Dialysis Centers
  • Telephonic and Virtual Care Settings

RN to BSN Prerequisites and Requirements

There are several prerequisites to enter an RN to BSN program, including:

  • Current, unrestricted RN license
  • An ADN or Diploma in Nursing
  • Minimum GPA (varying per program)
  • Official transcripts

RN to BSN Salary Expectations in Virginia

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in Virginia in 2022 earned:

  • Mean Hourly Wage: $39.36
  • Annual Mean Wage: $81,860

Unfortunately, the BLS does not specify whether this is an ADN-prepared RN or BSN-prepared RNs; however, given that a BSN is likely to increase earning potential, this is likely to be representative of slightly lower than the average BSN-RN salary.

RN salary in Virginia is 8% lower than the national estimates for 2022, as the BLS reports RNs across the U.S. earning:

  • Mean Hourly Wage: $42.80
  • Annual Mean Wage: $89,010

With the highest-paying states being:

  1. California: $133,340
  2. Hawaii: $113,220
  3. Oregon: $106,610
  4. Massachusetts: $104,150
  5. Alaska: $103,310

The BLS collected the Virginia RN wage data from over 69,510 nurses.

Compare several specializations by state with our comprehensive nursing salary guide, or learn more about nursing salaries in Virginia.

Are RN to BSN Programs Worth It in Virginia?

Deciding whether an RN to BSN program is worth it in Virginia requires considering various advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of RN to BSN Programs in Virginia

  1. Career Advancement Opportunities: In Virginia's diverse healthcare landscape, a BSN can open doors to advanced nursing roles, including leadership positions in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings.
  2. Higher Salary Potential: Nurses with a BSN often command higher salaries. In Virginia, where the cost of living and healthcare demands can vary, this can be particularly advantageous.
  3. Educational Foundation for Further Studies: A BSN serves as a stepping stone for further education, such as a Master's or Doctorate in Nursing, which is beneficial given Virginia's robust educational infrastructure.
  4. Meeting Industry Standards: With a nationwide push towards a more educated nursing workforce, having a BSN may become a standard requirement, and Virginia is likely to follow this trend.
  5. Flexibility of Online Programs: Many institutions in Virginia offer online RN to BSN programs, providing flexibility for nurses to continue working while advancing their education.

Cons of RN to BSN Programs in Virginia

  1. Cost and Time Investment: Pursuing a BSN requires significant time and financial investment, which can be challenging, especially for working nurses.
  2. Balancing Work and Study: For RNs who are working, managing job responsibilities alongside coursework can be stressful.
  3. Variable Return on Investment: The benefits of a BSN in terms of career advancement and salary can vary depending on the employer and location within Virginia.
  4. Technology Requirements for Online Programs: Online programs require reliable internet access and a certain level of technological proficiency, which might be a barrier for some.
  5. Market Saturation: In some areas of Virginia, particularly in urban centers, the market might be saturated with BSN-prepared nurses, potentially making it challenging to find positions that fully utilize the degree.

Ultimately, deciding whether an RN to BSN program is worth it depends on your circumstances and career goals.

How to Choose a Nursing School

Reasons for choosing a nursing school will vary per student and their specific needs. Some students value the cost of education, while others may place greater emphasis on NCLEX pass rates, academic reputation, or other factors.

Although it will vary by individual, a survey by allnurses revealed the top 11 reasons nursing students chose their programs:

  1. Cost
  2. High NCLEX Pass Rate
  3. Location
  4. Academic Reputation
  5. Availability of Financial Aid and Scholarships
  6. Length of Time to Obtain Degree
  7. Flexibility of Schedule
  8. Curriculum
  9. Campus and Surroundings
  10. Nursing Clinicals Location
  11. Availability of Online Courses

Prospective students should assess their needs and pick schools that are the best fit for them.

Importance of Attending an Accredited RN to BSN Program in Virginia

Attending an accredited RN to BSN program in Virginia is important for several reasons:

  • Educational Standards: Accreditation ensures the program meets rigorous educational standards, essential in Virginia's competitive healthcare sector, which includes technologically advanced hospitals and research institutions.
  • Licensure and Certification: For nurses in Virginia, graduating from an accredited program is often necessary for obtaining certain advanced nursing certifications and state licensure, ensuring compliance with state regulations.
  • Employment Preferences: Major healthcare employers in Virginia, especially in densely populated areas like Northern Virginia and Richmond, often prefer or require nurses with degrees from accredited programs.
  • Pathway to Advanced Education: Accredited BSN programs provide a solid foundation for Virginia nurses aiming for higher education, such as Nurse Practitioner roles or administrative positions.
  • Access to Financial Aid: Accreditation is a key factor for eligibility for federal and state financial aid, which is vital for many students in Virginia to finance their education.

Accrediting bodies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

FAQ and Additional Readings

Q: How do I transfer my nursing license to Virginia?

Virginia is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), allowing nurses to practice in other NLC states without additional steps. You do not have to transfer your license if moving from an NLC state.

Q: Are there specialization programs for nurses in Virginia?

Many schools in Virginia offer advanced nursing degrees, allowing RNs to specialize in pediatric, geriatric, family nurse practitioner, acute care, and more.

Q: Is it better to have an ADN or a BSN?

While obtaining an RN license after completing an ADN is possible, the opportunities after graduation and beyond are more significant with a BSN degree. BSNs focus more on research, leadership skills, and evidence-based practice, whereas an ADN primarily focuses on clinical skills.

Additionally, many healthcare institutions now require BSN-prepared RNs to fulfill various accreditation and Joint Commission requirements and to achieve the prestige of Magnet status.

AD DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links. These links are designed for allnurses to generate revenue at no cost to you. The websites you visit are operated by third parties and have no influence in our recommendations, which are grounded in research.

Editorial Team / Admin

Erin Lee has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Procedural, Care Coordination, LNC.

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