Nursing Schools in Roanoke, Virginia

Are you looking for the best nursing schools in Virginia? Explore the best education and training offered at accredited nursing schools in Roanoke, Virginia. Programs


Roanoke, Virginia, nestled amidst the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, provides a nurturing and inspiring environment for future and registered nurses.

The vibrant community healthcare in Virginia offers many opportunities for nursing students to engage in real-world experiences. From leading medical facilities to specialized clinics and community health centers, nursing students have access to diverse clinical settings where they can apply their knowledge and skills under the guidance of experienced healthcare professionals. This hands-on approach to learning allows students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and confidence in their nursing practice.

Discover these nursing schools below, the programs they offer, and what it's like to study in Roanoke.

Nursing Schools in Roanoke

1. ECPI University - Roanoke

East Coast Polytechnic Institute (EPCI) is home to various nursing programs with campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas. The school's program offerings include Practical Nursing (PN), Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs. With flexible classes, online learning options, and excellent student support, EPCI is a great choice, no matter where you are in your nursing education.

Nursing Programs Offered:

  • PN: 90 weeks, 48.5 semester credit hours, $9,720 per semester
  • ADN: 18 months, 71 semester credit hours, $9,900 per semester
  • BSN: 12 months, 180 quarter credit hours, $10,912.50 (BS to BSN) per semester
  • MSN: 22 months, 36-54 credits depending on specialty, $4,896 (family nurse practitioner) per semester
    • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) 
    • MSN: Nursing Education 


  • ADN: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 
  • BSN, MSN: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

2. Jefferson College of Health Sciences at Radford University

Radford University is home to The Jefferson College of Health Sciences, which houses a robust nursing education department. Their nursing program catalog includes accelerated and traditional BSN programs and post-licensure RN to BSN programs. The College also features two MSN programs, one offering specialization in nursing administration while the other offering specialization in the family nurse practitioner track. With modern, innovative, and cutting-edge laboratory, clinical, and classroom learning spaces, this program is also an excellent choice for prospective students in the Roanoke, VA, area. Estimated tuition for In-State residents is $10,008, excluding fees.

Programs Offered:

All nursing programs at Radford University's Jefferson College of Health and Sciences, including BSN, MSN, and DNP programs, are accredited by the CCNE.

3. Galen College of Nursing

Galen ensures an exceptional student experience by blending academic rigor with dedicated support services. The nursing program offers hands-on learning, clinical-based practicum, and quarterly enrollment with four start dates per year. No prerequisites are required to start the program, and transfer credits are accepted. Nursing courses cost $435 per quarter credit hour.

Programs Offered:

The ADN programs at Galen College of Nursing is accredited by the ACEN. 

4. Virginia Western Community College

Located in the heart of Roanoke, VA, Virginia Western Community College is also home to several nursing programs. The College prides itself on providing affordable, community access to high-quality nursing education programs with a concept-based curriculum. It proudly offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program that prepares students for entry-level RN practice. In-state residents are expected to pay $175.20 per credit, while Out-of-State residents are charged $375.30 per credit.

Programs Offered:

  • AAS

The AAS program at Virginia Western Community College is accredited by the ACEN. 

Types of Nursing Programs in Roanoke

Many different types of nursing schools, certificates, and diplomas are available. However, the most common programs obtained by nursing professionals include:

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Graduate Nursing Programs

When selecting the best nursing program for you, it's essential to align your professional goals and personal preferences with comprehensive research on each school.

Studying Nursing in Roanoke

Roanoke is known for its natural beauty, vibrant community, and excellent healthcare facilities. Here's what it's like to study there:

  • Nursing Schools and Programs: Roanoke is home to several reputable nursing schools and programs, including universities, community colleges, and technical institutions. These schools offer various nursing degrees, such as ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP.
  • Clinical Experience Opportunities: Roanoke's healthcare landscape provides diverse clinical experience opportunities for nursing students. The city's hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and nursing homes offer hands-on training and exposure to various patient populations and medical conditions.
  • Faculty and Resources: Nursing schools in Roanoke typically have experienced faculty members dedicated to providing high-quality education and mentorship. These schools often offer well-equipped simulation labs, libraries, and academic support services to enhance students' learning experiences.
  • Community Involvement: Roanoke emphasizes community engagement and service. Nursing students may have opportunities to participate in health fairs, outreach programs, and volunteer initiatives, contributing to the local community's well-being and gaining valuable real-world experience.
  • Career Opportunities: Upon completing their nursing education in Roanoke, students can access various nursing career opportunities within the city's healthcare system. Roanoke's healthcare facilities, including Carilion Clinic, offer potential roles in multiple specialties and healthcare settings.
  • Networking and Professional Growth: Roanoke's nursing community fosters networking opportunities for nursing students. Engaging in nursing events, joining professional associations, and attending healthcare conferences can help students build connections and facilitate future career opportunities.
  • Scenic Surroundings and Lifestyle: Roanoke's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains provides a picturesque backdrop for studying nursing. Students can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and exploring nature, offering relaxation and stress relief during their studies.
  • Clinical Challenges and Rewards: Nursing education can be academically and emotionally demanding. Roanoke's nursing students encounter various medical conditions and patient scenarios, which require critical thinking and empathy. These experiences also provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Supportive Nursing Community: Roanoke's nursing community is known for its camaraderie and support among students and healthcare professionals. The city fosters an environment where nursing students are encouraged to collaborate and learn from one another.
  • Preparation for Licensure: Roanoke's nursing programs are designed to prepare students for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or other licensure exams, depending on the program level. Successfully passing these exams is essential for becoming a licensed nurse and commencing your nursing career.

Remember that nursing education requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others. Studying nursing in Roanoke not only offers quality education but also provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in this charming city's warm community, natural beauty, and rewarding healthcare environment.

Steps to Increase Your Chances of Admission to Nursing Programs

Applying to nursing programs in Roanoke requires a comprehensive and methodical approach. By thoroughly preparing your application and demonstrating your dedication to nursing, you can significantly improve your chances of being accepted.

Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate Nursing Programs:

    • Complete Required Courses: Verify each program's prerequisites, which typically include biology, chemistry, and anatomy.
    • Achieve a Strong GPA: Target a GPA of at least 3.0 in highschool and/or prerequisite courses.
    • Prepare for Standardized Tests: Gear up for tests like the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills).
  • Graduate Nursing Programs:

    • Hold a Relevant Bachelor's Degree: A degree in nursing or a related field is typically necessary. For those with an associate degree, pathways like the RN to MSN are available.
    • Maintain a High GPA: Aim for a GPA well above 3.0 in undergraduate studies.
    • Prepare for Advanced Entrance Exams: Some programs might require tests such as the GRE.

Experience Requirements

  • Undergraduate Nursing Programs:

    • Volunteer in Healthcare: Accumulate practical experience in healthcare settings.
    • Participate in Leadership Activities: Get involved in student organizations or community service.
  • Graduate Nursing Programs:

    • Professional Nursing Experience: Work in nursing roles to enhance your skills.
    • Seek Advanced Certifications: Aim to obtain certifications in specialized nursing areas if possible.

Application Components

  • Undergraduate Nursing Programs:

    • Personal Statement: Express your passion for nursing and your career objectives.
    • Letters of Recommendation: Obtain recommendations from educators, employers, or healthcare professionals.
    • Resume Preparation: Detail your educational and volunteer experiences, along with any relevant certifications.
  • Graduate Nursing Programs:

    • Statement of Purpose: Articulate your professional experience, career goals, and reasons for further education.
    • Strong Letters of Recommendation: Secure endorsements from nursing supervisors or professional peers.
    • Updated Professional Resume: Include details of your work history, certifications, and any research or publications.

Before Applying

  • Campus Visits: Tour the facilities and meet faculty to understand the learning environment.
  • Admissions Consultation: Engage with admissions staff for tailored application advice.
  • Interview Preparation: Practice your responses to common interview questions.

Application Checklist

  • Documentation: Ensure all transcripts, test scores, and personal documents are ready and meet program standards.
  • Application Fee: Confirm payment.
  • Interview Readiness: Prepare for potential interviews, focusing on articulating your qualifications and aspirations.

Diligent preparation of each application component and compliance with all requirements greatly increase your chances of admission into a program that aligns with your career objectives. Always verify with the specific programs for detailed application requirements to ensure all standards are met.

How to Choose a Nursing School

The criteria for choosing a nursing school vary based on individual needs. Some students prioritize the cost of education, while others may focus on NCLEX pass rates, the school's 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

Ultimately, prospective students should assess their needs and pick schools that best fit them.

11 Reasons Why Nursing Program Accreditation Matters

In addition to the previously outlined criteria for choosing a nursing school, accreditation of the nursing program is a crucial factor, especially for prospective students in Roanoke. Here's why accreditation matters:

  • High Standards of Education: Accreditation ensures that programs meet stringent criteria in curriculum, faculty qualifications, resource availability, and clinical training.
  • Licensure Requirements: Many states mandate graduation from an accredited program to qualify for licensure.
  • Enhanced Job Prospects: Employers often prefer candidates from accredited programs, potentially improving employment opportunities.
  • Effective Preparation for Licensure Exams: Accredited programs provide thorough preparation for licensure exams such as the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN.
  • Simplified Credit Transfers: Accreditation facilitates the transfer of credits between institutions more seamlessly.
  • Professional Reputation: Graduating from an accredited program enhances your credibility and professional standing.
  • Financial Aid Access: Accreditation is often required for eligibility for federal financial aid and various scholarships.
  • Superior Clinical Training: Accredited programs guarantee quality clinical experiences.
  • Certification Readiness: Necessary for pursuing advanced and specialty certifications.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adheres to vital federal and state educational regulations, validating the legitimacy of your education.
  • Comprehensive Educational Preparation: State approval complies with local standards, while national accreditation ensures extensive and thorough educational quality.

Aspiring nursing students in Roanoke should prioritize enrollment in programs accredited by recognized agencies. The two leading accrediting bodies for reputable nursing programs are:

Understanding the Costs of Nursing Programs: Key Considerations

Understanding the financial aspects of obtaining a nursing degree is crucial. Here are key factors to consider when assessing the costs of nursing programs:

Tuition Fee Breakdown:

  • Resident vs. Non-Resident Rates: Public universities often have different tuition costs for in-state versus out-of-state students, with out-of-state typically being more expensive.
  • Online Programs: These can be more affordable but may still require a technology fee.
  • Cost per Credit Hour: Varies based on the institution, degree level, and whether the school is private or public.

Additional Financial Elements:

  • Books and Supplies: Costs can differ greatly, encompassing everything from textbooks to medical gear.
  • Technology and Lab Fees: Common in online or hybrid programs to facilitate digital learning.
  • Miscellaneous Fees: Might include charges for applications, graduation, and other administrative activities.
  • Living Expenses: Important for those needing to relocate or modify work hours.
  • Certification and Licensing Fees: Essential expenses for attaining professional certification post-graduation.
  • Opportunity Costs: The potential financial loss due to decreased working hours while studying.
  • Accreditation and Reputation: Vital for ensuring an education that supports professional growth.

To manage these expenses effectively, explore various financial strategies as detailed in Best Ways to Pay for Nursing School.

Nursing Salaries: What to Expect

The earning potential for nurses can vary significantly based on factors such as your level of education, years of experience, geographic location, specialty area, and the type of healthcare facility where you work. This guide provides a breakdown of nursing salaries by degree level and offers insights into potential earnings for nurses in Virginia.

LPN Earning Potential

  • National LPN Average - Hourly $29.23
  • National LPN Average - Annual: $60,790.00
  • Virginia LPN Average - Hourly $27.79
  • VirginiaLPN Average - Annual: $57,810.00

RN Earning Potential

  • National RN Average - Hourly $45.42
  • National RN Average - Annual: $94,480.00
  • Virginia RN Average - Hourly $42.48
  • Virginia  RN Average - Annual: $88,350.00

ADN RN vs. BSN RN Earning Potential

  • Average ADN Hourly Salary: $39.00
  • Average ADN Annual Salary:  $80,321.00
  • Average BSN Hourly Salary: $49.00
  • Average BSN Annual Salary:  $102,263.00

Graduate-Level Prepared Nurses (MSN/DNP RN/APRN) Earning Potential

Nurse Anesthetist Earning Potential

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $102.98
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $214,200.00
  • Virginia Mean Hourly Wage: $111.66
  • VirginiaAnnual Wage: $232,250.00

Nurse Practitioner Earning Potential

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $61.78
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $128,490.00
  • Virginia Mean Hourly Wage: $58.11
  • Virginia Mean Annual Wage: $120,870.00

Nurse Midwife

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $63.26
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $131,570.00
  • Virginia Mean Hourly Wage: $57.09
  • Virginia Mean Annual Wage: $118,750.00

Nurse Administrator 

  • National Mean Hourly Wage: $64.64
  • National Mean Annual Wage: $134,440.00
  • Virginia Mean Hourly Wage: $65.56
  • Virginia Mean Annual Wage: $136,370.00

Listed as Medical and Health Service Managers on BLS. 

Nurse Educator

  • National Mean Annual Wage: $86,530.00
  • Virginia Mean Annual Wage: $79,950.00

All Virginia specific salary data from the BLS.

To learn more about salary potential by location, degree, or specialty, check out the Nursing Salary Guide.

Final Considerations

Choosing the right nursing school is crucial for a successful career in healthcare. Roanoke, Virginia, offers a variety of reputable programs for both aspiring and experienced nurses. These institutions provide a blend of rigorous academics, innovative research opportunities, and hands-on clinical experiences in a supportive and vibrant environment.

As you explore your options, consider key factors such as the diversity of programs offered, accreditation status, tuition costs, and availability of financial aid. Engage with admissions offices, visit the campuses, and talk to current students to get a comprehensive understanding. Making an informed decision will lay the foundation for a successful nursing career in Roanoke.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I choose the right nursing school in Roanoke for me?

When selecting a nursing school in Roanoke, consider factors such as accreditation, program reputation, faculty qualifications, clinical opportunities, class sizes, and location. Research each school thoroughly and visit campuses if possible to make an informed decision.

What are the clinical experiences like in Roanoke nursing programs?

Roanoke's healthcare landscape provides nursing students with diverse clinical experience opportunities. The city's hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and nursing homes offer hands-on training and exposure to various patient populations and medical conditions.

Are there financial aid options available for nursing students in Roanoke?

Yes, nursing students in Roanoke can explore various financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Some healthcare facilities may also offer tuition reimbursement or assistance for nursing students.

Tana Bao has 8 years experience as a BSN, MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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