Shenandoah University (SU)

Shenandoah University (SU) Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing provides several exceptional undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs including degrees and/or certificates as a Nurse Practitioner as well as a new and innovative Faith Community Nursing program. Schools Scholarships Student Support

Best ProgramsAccredited Hybrid On-campus Online Private

BSN   DNP   MSN   RN-to-MSN   RN-to-BSN   Entry-Level BSN   MSN-to-DNP   CNM   NP   BSN-to-DNP   Accelerated BSN   Post-grad Certificate   Other  

Shenandoah University (SU) was founded in 1875 and is a private institution. SU is one of five United Methodist Church-affiliated institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The school of nursing turned 50 years old on October 5, 2012. Classes for the Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing are held in Winchester at the Health and Life Sciences Building as well as in Fairfax at the Shenandoah Northern Virginia campus.


BSN - Traditional

Courses in nursing begin in the first semester of the freshman year and continue throughout each semester of the curriculum.

Every freshman must complete the TEAS Test by the end of the freshman year and must achieve a minimum overall score of 65% to continue in the nursing program. There is only one repeat allowed.

BSN - Transfer

The transfer track can be started in the fall or Spring semesters and completed within five academic semesters. All prerequisites must be completed before admission.

RN to BSN (Online/Hybrid)

The RN to BSN option is available for Registered Nurses who already hold an associate's degree or diploma in nursing. This program is an online/hybrid option; credit is given for previous work.

Veteran to BSN

Requirement Criteria (not all inclusive)

  • Service member (including reservists) with an honorable or general discharge. Veterans may also apply if planning to separate/retire within six months
  • Desire to earn a BSN
  • Credit for military training

Accelerated Second Degree BSN (ABSN)

Students who already hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field are eligible for the Accelerated Second Degree program. The program is 15-months in length.

Faith Community Nursing

The Faith Community Nurse (FCN) program is a new program for Registered Nurses who would like to centrally focus on the "intentional care of the spirit". The program is based on its former name, Parish Nursing. This specialty is recognized by the American Nurses Association. There are two FCN tracks available at Shenandoah; a Basic Course and an Advanced Course.


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

There are two DNP paths offered: BSN-to-DNP and Post-Master's DNP degrees.

DNP Concentrations

Family Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


The RN-to-MSN degree option is designed for students who are RNs without a BSN.

Specialty Options


Family Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner


The core courses for graduate level Midwifery include face-to-face classes at Shenandoah University's main campus in Winchester, Virginia; usually one or two days per week and are offered in a hybrid format. 

Students completing the final comprehensive exam receive the MSN or post-graduate certificate. Students are encouraged to explore clinical site placement in their home communities and will be assisted by SU clinical site coordinators.

AGPCNP Nurse Practitioner Graduate Program/Certificate

The Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program/certificate is offered at the Inova Center for Personalized Health, located just outside the Beltway on Gallows Road in Fairfax County, Virginia. The graduate is eligible to take the AGPCNP national certification examination given by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Post-Graduate Certificates

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Health Systems Leadership
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Nursing Education
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
  • Patient Navigator

Nursing Education

When the student completes the program successfully, he/she will be eligible to sit for the National League for Nursing nurse educator certification examination.

Patient Navigator Certificate Program

Inova and Shenandoah University have collaborated to offer a Patient Navigator certificate program through the Inova Center for Personalized Health.

The following requirements are for Graduate Nursing Admissions (not all-inclusive)

Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


  1. Undergraduate 3.0 GPA
  2. Current RN license
  3. 3 letters of recommendation
  4. Documentation of clinical experience hours
  5. Resume and interview


  1. Baccalaureate degree - GPA 3.0
  2. Current RN nursing license
  3. 3 letters of recommendation
  4. Clinical experience documented hours
  5. Resume and interview

Doctor of Nursing Practice and Post-Graduate Certificates

  1. Bachelor's or Master's degree - 3.0 GPA
  2. Current RN license
  3. 3 letters of recommendation
  4. Clinical experience documented hours
  5. Writing sample, resume
  6. Interview


US News & World Report (2019-2020)

  • #263 (tie) in National Universities
  • #264-#346 in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #30 (tie) in Nursing-Midwifery

Niche (2019-2020)

  • Best Christian Colleges in America #139 of 358
  • Most Conservative Colleges in America #179 of 1692
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in America #236 of 618
  • Best Small Colleges in America #327 of 984
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #400 of 1,583
  • Top Private Universities in America #422 of 958
  • Best College Locations in America #482 of 1,607
  • Best College Campuses in America #630 of 1,408
  • Best Value Colleges in America #735 of 1,590
  • Best Colleges in America #687 of 1,626
  • Best Christian Colleges in Virginia #5 of 15
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in Virginia #7 of 20
  • Most Conservative Colleges in Virginia #8 of 17
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Virginia #9 of 40
  • Best Small Colleges in Virginia #10 of 23
  • Best College Locations in Virginia #14 of 41
  • Top Private Universities in Virginia #12 of 25
  • Best College Campuses in Virginia #13 of 35
  • Best Value Colleges in Virginia #16 of 41
  • Best Colleges in Virginia #21 of 40


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs.

The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) accredited the Nurse-Midwifery program.

Shenandoah University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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