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Registered nurses (RNs) form the largest group of nursing professionals in Virginia, numbering over 60,000 throughout the state. Virginia is also home to 37,360 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and 21,760 licensed practical nurses (LPNs). These figures reflect a large and growing demand for nurses by the state’s healthcare providers. To meet this employer demand, Virginia has a wide array of accredited schools and programs for each nursing role.

Several pathways lead to licensure as an RN. The bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is a four-year degree program offered at roughly 30 Virginia schools. The associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) provides a condensed two-year path into registered nursing; it is offered at almost 50 campuses across Virginia. The state also has a small handful of hospital diploma and direct-entry master’s degree programs. Regardless of pathway, all aspiring RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN national exam to gain licensure.

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Virginia’s LPNs typically complete a 12- to 18-month certificate program. They must also pass the NCLEX-PN national exam to gain licensure. LPN certificate programs are offered at numerous community colleges and private career schools throughout the state. Aspiring CNAs must complete a much shorter certificate program offered at several of Virginia’s career schools.

Class size is one important attribute that varies significantly across nursing schools. Virginia’s private nursing schools, like Chester Career College and Southampton Memorial Hospital, enjoy lower student-to-teacher ratios, state-of-the-art facilities, and tightly knit alumni networks. The state’s public nursing schools offer access to shared resources across a large network of public institutions, including the knowledge and instruction of actively practicing healthcare professionals.

To help organize the many options available, we’ve listed below the top nursing programs in Virginia. You’ll find them ordered by class size within each major city.

Featured Schools

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Greater Richmond metro area

Virginia Commonwealth University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 141 students during the 2018 period
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 108 students during the 2018 period
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 99 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 16 students during the 2017 period
LPN-to-ADN Bridge Program: 14 students during the 2018 period
LPN-to-ADN Bridge Program (Evening/Weekend): 5 students during the 2018 period
John Tyler Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96 students during the 2018 period
Bryant & Stratton College - Richmond
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 54 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 7 students during the 2018 period
South University - Richmond
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 44 students during the 2018 period
ECPI University - Richmond
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 32 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 23 students during the 2018 period
Southside College of Health Sciences
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 29 students during the 2018 period
Chester Career College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 27 students during the 2018 period
Henrico County / St. Mary's Hospital School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 27 students during the 2018 period
Fortis College - Richmond
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 19 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2018 period
Chesterfield Career & Technical Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2018 period
Petersburg City Public Schools
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 4 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
Virginia Commonwealth University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 141 students
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing 108 students
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 99 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 16 students
LPN-to-ADN Bridge Program 14 students
LPN-to-ADN Bridge Program (Evening/Weekend) 5 students
John Tyler Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 96 students
Bryant & Stratton College - Richmond Associate's Degree in Nursing 54 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 7 students
South University - Richmond Bachelor of Science in Nursing 44 students
ECPI University - Richmond Certificate in Practical Nursing 32 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 23 students
Southside College of Health Sciences Associate's Degree in Nursing 29 students
Chester Career College Certificate in Practical Nursing 27 students
Henrico County / St. Mary's Hospital School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 27 students
Fortis College - Richmond Associate's Degree in Nursing 19 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 8 students
Chesterfield Career & Technical Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 8 students
Petersburg City Public Schools Certificate in Practical Nursing 4 students

Hampton Roads

ECPI University - Virginia Beach
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 129 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 102 students during the 2018 period
ECPI University - Newport News
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 92 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 90 students during the 2018 period
Riverside College of Health Careers
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 78 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 39 students during the 2018 period
Tidewater Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 71 students during the 2018 period
Sentara College of Health Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 68 students during the 2018 period
Rappahannock Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 64 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 32 students during the 2018 period
Old Dominion University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 54 students during the 2018 period
Thomas Nelson Community College - Hampton
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 40 students during the 2018 period
Thomas Nelson Community College - Historic Triangle
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 29 students during the 2018 period
South University - Virginia Beach
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 27 students during the 2018 period
Norfolk State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 19 students during the 2018 period
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 7 students during the 2018 period
Virginia Beach School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2018 period
Chesapeake Career Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 12 students during the 2018 period
Hampton University - College of Virginia Beach
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 12 students during the 2017 period
Centura College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2018 period
Central School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 9 students during the 2018 period
Fortis College - Norfolk
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 7 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 6 students during the 2018 period
Hampton University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 7 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
ECPI University - Virginia Beach Associate's Degree in Nursing 129 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 102 students
ECPI University - Newport News Certificate in Practical Nursing 92 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 90 students
Riverside College of Health Careers Associate's Degree in Nursing 78 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 39 students
Tidewater Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 71 students
Sentara College of Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing 68 students
Rappahannock Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 64 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 32 students
Old Dominion University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 54 students
Thomas Nelson Community College - Hampton Associate's Degree in Nursing 40 students
Thomas Nelson Community College - Historic Triangle Associate's Degree in Nursing 29 students
South University - Virginia Beach Bachelor of Science in Nursing 27 students
Norfolk State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 19 students
Accelerated Second Degree BSN 7 students
Virginia Beach School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
Chesapeake Career Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 12 students
Hampton University - College of Virginia Beach Bachelor of Science in Nursing 12 students
Centura College Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Central School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 9 students
Fortis College - Norfolk Certificate in Practical Nursing 7 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 6 students
Hampton University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 7 students

Lynchburg

Liberty University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 174 students during the 2018 period
Centra College of Nursing
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 42 students during the 2018 period
University of Lynchburg
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 49 students during the 2018 period
Bedford County School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
Liberty University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 174 students
Centra College of Nursing Associate's Degree in Nursing 87 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 42 students
University of Lynchburg Bachelor of Science in Nursing 49 students
Bedford County School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 15 students

Roanoke

Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 64 students during the 2018 period
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 47 students during the 2018 period
Virginia Western Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 58 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 25 students during the 2018 period
ECPI University - Roanoke
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 49 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 46 students during the 2018 period
Radford University - Roanoke
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 25 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
Jefferson College of Health Sciences Accelerated Second Degree BSN 64 students
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 47 students
Virginia Western Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 58 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 25 students
ECPI University - Roanoke Associate's Degree in Nursing 49 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 46 students
Radford University - Roanoke Bachelor of Science in Nursing 25 students

Washington, DC suburbs

George Washington University - Virginia Science & Technology Campus
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 219 students during the 2018 period
Standard Healthcare Services College of Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 121 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 48 students during the 2018 period
Northern Virginia Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 117 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing (Online): 29 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2018 period
Chamberlain University - Arlington
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 110 students during the 2018 period
George Mason University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 110 students during the 2018 period
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 29 students during the 2018 period
Marymount University
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 79 students during the 2018 period
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 49 students during the 2018 period
Ultimate Health School
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 68 students during the 2018 period
Eastern Virginia Career College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 55 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2018 period
ECPI University - Northern Virginia
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 47 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 41 students during the 2018 period
Stratford University - Falls Church
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 32 students during the 2018 period
Prince William County School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 25 students during the 2018 period
America School of Nursing & Allied Health
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 20 students during the 2018 period
Stratford University - Woodbridge
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 18 students during the 2018 period
Fairfax County School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2018 period
Monroe Advanced Technical Academy
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2018 period
Medical Learning Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 7 students during the 2015 period
Saint Michael College of Allied Health
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 5 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
George Washington University - Virginia Science & Technology Campus Bachelor of Science in Nursing 219 students
Standard Healthcare Services College of Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 121 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 48 students
Northern Virginia Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 117 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing (Online) 29 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 19 students
Chamberlain University - Arlington Bachelor of Science in Nursing 110 students
George Mason University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 110 students
Accelerated Second Degree BSN 29 students
Marymount University Accelerated Second Degree BSN 79 students
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 49 students
Ultimate Health School Certificate in Practical Nursing 68 students
Eastern Virginia Career College Associate's Degree in Nursing 55 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 19 students
ECPI University - Northern Virginia Certificate in Practical Nursing 47 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 41 students
Stratford University - Falls Church Bachelor of Science in Nursing 32 students
Prince William County School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 25 students
America School of Nursing & Allied Health Certificate in Practical Nursing 20 students
Stratford University - Woodbridge Bachelor of Science in Nursing 18 students
Fairfax County School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
Monroe Advanced Technical Academy Certificate in Practical Nursing 8 students
Medical Learning Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 7 students
Saint Michael College of Allied Health Associate's Degree in Nursing 5 students

Other Virginia cities

Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 190 students during the 2018 period
James Madison University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 179 students during the 2018 period
Shenandoah University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 124 students during the 2018 period
Germanna Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 12 students during the 2018 period
University of Virginia
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85 students during the 2018 period
Direct Entry MSN: 44 students during the 2018 period
Piedmont Virginia Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 75 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2018 period
Lord Fairfax Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 69 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 14 students during the 2018 period
Blue Ridge Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 61 students during the 2018 period
Wytheville Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 60 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 25 students during the 2018 period
Radford University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 52 students during the 2018 period
Patrick Henry Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 50 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2018 period
Mountain Empire Community College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 45 students during the 2018 period
New River Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 44 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2018 period
Longwood University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 41 students during the 2018 period
Eastern Mennonite University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 40 students during the 2018 period
Paul D. Camp Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 28 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2018 period
Danville Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 25 students during the 2018 period
Associate of Applied Science in Health Science: Practical Nursing Specialization: 9 students during the 2018 period
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 24 students during the 2018 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2018 period
Massanutten Technical Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 23 students during the 2018 period
Smyth Career & Technology Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2018 period
Southside Virginia Community College - South Boston
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 13 students during the 2018 period
Washington County Career & Technical Education Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2018 period
Buchanan County Career, Technology & Higher Learning Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 12 students during the 2018 period
Russell County Career & Technology Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2018 period
Southside Virginia Community College - Alberta
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2018 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 9 students during the 2018 period
Valley Career & Technical Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2018 period
Lee County Career & Technical Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 10 students during the 2018 period
Southside Virginia Community College - Keysville
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 10 students during the 2018 period
Southwest Virginia Community College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 9 students during the 2018 period
Eastern Shore Community College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2018 period
Ridgeview Practical Nursing Program
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2018 period
University of Virginia's College at Wise
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 8 students during the 2018 period
Averett University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 6 students during the 2018 period
Page County Technical Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 6 students during the 2018 period
Giles County Technology Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 5 students during the 2018 period
School Program Class size
Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program Associate's Degree in Nursing 190 students
James Madison University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 179 students
Shenandoah University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 124 students
Germanna Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 93 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 12 students
University of Virginia Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85 students
Direct Entry MSN 44 students
Piedmont Virginia Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 75 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 15 students
Lord Fairfax Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 69 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 14 students
Blue Ridge Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 61 students
Wytheville Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 60 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 25 students
Radford University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 52 students
Patrick Henry Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 50 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 15 students
Mountain Empire Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 45 students
New River Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 44 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 19 students
Longwood University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 41 students
Eastern Mennonite University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 40 students
Paul D. Camp Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 28 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Danville Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 25 students
Associate of Applied Science in Health Science: Practical Nursing Specialization 9 students
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 24 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 15 students
Massanutten Technical Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 23 students
Smyth Career & Technology Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 15 students
Southside Virginia Community College - South Boston Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 13 students
Washington County Career & Technical Education Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
Buchanan County Career, Technology & Higher Learning Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 12 students
Russell County Career & Technology Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Southside Virginia Community College - Alberta Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 9 students
Valley Career & Technical Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Lee County Career & Technical Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 10 students
Southside Virginia Community College - Keysville Associate's Degree in Nursing 10 students
Southwest Virginia Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 9 students
Eastern Shore Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 8 students
Ridgeview Practical Nursing Program Certificate in Practical Nursing 8 students
University of Virginia's College at Wise Bachelor of Science in Nursing 8 students
Averett University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 6 students
Page County Technical Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 6 students
Giles County Technology Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 5 students