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A master of science in nursing (MSN) degree enables experienced registered nurses (RNs) to enter advanced fields such as clinical nursing leadership, nursing administration, nursing education, or family practice nursing. At least a dozen Virginia universities offer accredited MSN programs. As an example, The University of Virginia offers MSN degrees in specialized nursing fields like adult gerontology, acute care, and psychiatric and mental health.

A select few MSN programs, known as “direct-entry” programs, admit non-nurses and train them for initial RN licensure before embarking on advanced nursing study. Virginia has two esteemed public universities with a direct-entry MSN degree program: Virginia Commonwealth University and The University of Virginia. Students focus the first year of study on general nursing topics in preparation for the NCLEX-RN national licensure exam, before progressing to specialized subfields.

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Many MSN graduates pursue licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in their chosen field of specialization. The three most common APRN roles are nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, and nurse anesthetist. Virginia has a select workforce of 160 nurse midwives who provide comprehensive care for expecting and new mothers. They typically earn $65,000 per year. The state’s 3,000 nurse practitioners work in a broad range of areas including neonatal nursing, family practice nursing, and gerontology. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $88,000; the top 25% earn $100,000 or more per year. Nurse anesthetists not only administer anesthesia but also care for patients before, during, and after medical operations. Virginia’s 1,200 nurse anesthetists are very handsomely compensated, with a median annual salary of $157,000.

To help those interested in pursuing a master of science in nursing, we have compiled below a list of the top MSN programs in Virginia.

Featured Schools

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Greater Richmond metro area

Virginia Commonwealth University
1100 East Leigh Street | Richmond, Virginia 23298
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration and Leadership
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
School Address Programs offered
Virginia Commonwealth University 1100 East Leigh Street
Richmond, Virginia 23298
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration and Leadership
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia

Hampton Roads

Hampton University
100 East Queen Street | Hampton, Virginia 23668
  • MSN: Occupational Health Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Old Dominion University
1881 University Drive | Virginia Beach, Virginia 23453
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Sentara College of Health Sciences
1441 Crossways Boulevard, Suite 105 | Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
  • Direct Entry MSN
School Address Programs offered
Hampton University 100 East Queen Street
Hampton, Virginia 23668
  • MSN: Occupational Health Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Old Dominion University 1881 University Drive
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23453
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Sentara College of Health Sciences 1441 Crossways Boulevard, Suite 105
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
  • Direct Entry MSN

Lynchburg

Liberty University
1971 University Boulevard | Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Lynchburg
1501 Lakeside Drive | Lynchburg, Virginia 24501
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
School Address Programs offered
Liberty University 1971 University Boulevard
Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Lynchburg 1501 Lakeside Drive
Lynchburg, Virginia 24501
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Roanoke

Jefferson College of Health Sciences
101 Elm Avenue SE | Roanoke, Virginia 24013
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
School Address Programs offered
Jefferson College of Health Sciences 101 Elm Avenue SE
Roanoke, Virginia 24013
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Washington, DC suburbs

George Mason University
4400 University Drive | Fairfax, Virginia 22030
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Marymount University
2807 North Glebe Road | Arlington, Virginia 22207
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
School Address Programs offered
George Mason University 4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Marymount University 2807 North Glebe Road
Arlington, Virginia 22207
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Other Virginia cities

Eastern Mennonite University
1200 Park Road | Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
James Madison University
235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way | Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Radford University
801 East Main Street | Radford, Virginia 24142
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Shenandoah University
1460 University Drive | Winchester, Virginia 22601
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of Virginia
225 Jeanette Lancaster Way | Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
School Address Programs offered
Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
James Madison University 235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Radford University 801 East Main Street
Radford, Virginia 24142
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Shenandoah University 1460 University Drive
Winchester, Virginia 22601
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of Virginia 225 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion