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Get your Graduate Degree in Virginia
Earn your National Certification in Virginia
Apply for your License/Registration in Virginia
Renewing your License/Registration in Virginia

In Virginia, the Committee of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine (phone: 1-804-367-4515, nursebd@dhp.virginia.gov) administers the regulations governing the licensure of nurse practitioners (NP), certified nurse midwives (CNM), certified nurse anesthetist (CNA), and the registration of clinical nurse specialists (CNS).

To be eligible for a NP, CNM, or CNA license, or registration as a CNS, you must hold a valid, unencumbered Virginia RN license:

  • If you are already licensed as an RN in another state or are scheduled for your NCLEX in another state, you can apply for the Licensure by Endorsement
Virginia Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in VA: $98,960
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Virginia: 83.1%
  • There were 8703 APRNs licensed in VA in 2015
    • NPs: 6064
    • CNMs: 259
    • CRNAs: 1952
    • CNSs (registered, not licensed): 428
  • As of 2014, CNSs are not defined as APRNs
  • In Virginia, APRNs are regulated by the Boards of Nursing and Medicine; CNSs are regulated by the Board of Nursing only
  • As a Canadian nurse, you may also be eligible for Licensure by Endorsement if you hold an unrestricted license in Canada, if your training in Canada was primarily in English, and if you passed the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) or other Canadian nurse licensing examination after 1970
  • If you received your nursing education in a foreign country or in Puerto Rico, you must contact the Board at 804-367-4555 for additional information
  • If you are a recent graduate from a state-approved nursing program, you can apply for Licensure by Examination.
  • If you once held an RN license in Virginia, you can apply for Licensure by Reinstatement

Applications for RN licensure by Endorsement and Examination can be completed online at the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Initial Applications.

Nurse Licensure Compact

Virginia is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Compact offers practice privileges for registered nurses in all compact states. If your primary state of residence is in a compact state, you must apply for licensure by examination there: Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina.

If your primary state of residence is in Virginia or in a non-compact state, you must apply for licensure by examination in Virginia.

With an active RN license, you may review the steps required to enter advanced practice in Virginia as follows.


Step 1. Get your Graduate Degree

To work toward your NP, CNM, or CRNA license or your CNS registration, you must complete a graduate program approved by the Joint Boards.

The Joint Boards approve any nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist program that is accredited by

  • The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs/Schools
  • The American Midwifery Certification Board
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

Course Requirements

The Virginia Board of Nursing and the Virginia Board of Medicine requires the following core courses for NPs, CNMs, CRNAs, and CNSs:

  • Pathophysiology (all general principles applicable across the human lifespan)
  • Advanced pharmacology (includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of agents)
  • Physical evaluation/assessment (includes assessment of all systems of the body, advanced assessment methods, techniques and concepts)

Specialization

The Virginia Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine may license NPs and CNS in a specialty or patient population focus. As an NP or CNS pursuing specialization in a specific patient population focus, you’ll be expected to complete a graduate program specific to that area of expertise.

Nurse Practitioner:

  • Adult nurse practitioner
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Geriatric nurse practitioner
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • Certified nurse midwife
  • Neonatal nurse practitioner
  • Women’s health nurse practitioner
  • Acute care nurse practitioner
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner

Clinical Nurse Specialist:

  • Adult Health CNS
  • Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health CNS
  • Child and Adolescent Psych & Mental Health CNS
  • Diabetes Management
  • Home Health CNS
  • Gerontological CNS
  • Pediatric CNS
  • Public/Community Health CNS

Prescriptive Authority Requirements

To be granted prescriptive authority in Virginia, you must hold an unrestricted license as an NP in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, you must also provide one of the following:

  • Show continued professional certification as required for initial licensure as an NP
  • Complete a graduate level course in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics within five years of applying for prescriptive authority
  • Practice as an NP for a minimum of 1000 hours and complete 15 continuing education units related to your nursing specialty within the last two years before applying for prescriptive authority
  • Complete 30 contact hours of education in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics approved by the Boards within five years of applying for prescriptive authority
  • Practice as a nurse practitioner for no less than 1000 hours and 15 continuing education units related to the area of practice for each of the two years prior to applying for prescriptive authority


Step 2. Earn your National Certification

After you complete your graduate education, you are then eligible to take an exam to become nationally certified in your nursing specialty. The Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine recognizes three clinical specialties:

  • Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CNA)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Nurse practitioners (NP)

If you were licensed on or after May 8, 2002 as an NP, you must be certified in your nursing specialty through a national certifying body. A national certifying body is recognized by the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine as a national organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or accepted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and certifies either nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives or nurse practitioners.

The following national certifying bodies are recognized by the Virginia Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine:


Step 3. Apply for your License/Registration

NP Licensure

Applications for Licensure for NPs, CNMs, and CRNAs can be completed online at the Virginia Department of Health Professions Initial Applications page. If you want to add additional specialties, including CRNA or CNM, you must contact the Board of Nursing at 1-804-367-4515 to have a paper application mailed to you.

Before you can apply for your NP license online through the Department of Health Professions, you must create a user name and password that is linked to your records. You can begin the process by entering your last name and social security number in the appropriate fields.

In addition to completing the online application, you must pay the application fee of $125 (payable online using a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card) and submit evidence of a professional certification from a national certifying body recognized by the Joint Boards. You may also use the online application system to update your address, provide emergency contact information or request duplicate licenses.

If you awaiting your national certification, you may apply for a provisional NP license, which lasts for six months from the date of issuance or until your application has been accepted or denied, whichever comes first. To be eligible for a provisional license, the Board of Nursing must receive verification from the national certifying body of your eligibility.

You may also apply for NP licensure by endorsement if you:

  • Provide verification of your current NP license or advanced practice license in another U.S. jurisdiction (or, if the license has lapsed, verification of your eligibility for reinstatement)
  • Submit evidence of a Board-approved professional certification in your specialty area

Prescriptive Authority

Applications for Authorization to Prescribe (Prescriptive Authority) can be completed online on the Virginia Department of Health Professions Initial Applications. To apply for prescriptive authority, you must also either submit an application for a NP license or already hold an NP license.

In addition to your online application, you must also pay a fee of $75 (payable online using a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card) and submit a Practice Agreement form found here. It must be completed, signed and mailed to the: Department of Health Professions Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463. The Practice Agreement form must also be submitted if you have any changes to an existing practice agreement form on file with the Board of Nursing.

CNS Registration

To apply for registration as a clinical nurse specialist, you must complete the Application for Registration as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS registration cannot be completed online), sign it and have it notarized. In addition to completing the application form and sending in the required fee of $130, in a check or money order may payable to “Treasurer of Virginia,” you must also:

  • Contact the college or university where you received your master’s degree and request that they send your transcript directly to the: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463.
  • Contact the national certifying body where you received your national certification and request that they send verification of your specialty certification as a CNS (a copy of your card or certificate will not be accepted) to the: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463.

Your application for CNS registration cannot be faxed. Your application and fee must be sent directly to the Board at: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463. Any incomplete applications will be kept by the Board for one year. After one year, you must submit a new application and fee.


Step 4. Renew your License/Registration

NP License Renewal

You must renew your NP license biennially at the same time you renew your RN license. If you are licensed as an NP with RN multi-state license privileges to practice in Virginia you must renew your licenses as follows:

  • If you were born in even-numbered year you must renew your license by the last day of your birth month in an even-numbered year
  • If you were born in an odd-numbered year, you must renew your licenses by the last day of your birth month in an odd-numbered year

All renewal notices will be sent to your last known address, so it is important to make sure the Joint Boards has your current address information so you can receive renewal notices in a timely manner. Failure to receive your renewal notices before the expiration of your licenses does not relieve you of your responsibility for renewing your licenses before the expiration date.

Applications for Renewal of NPs can be completed online at the Virginia Department of Health Professions Online Licensing page.

In addition to completing the online application, you must pay the renewal fee of $80 (payable online using a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card). You may also use the online application system to update your address, provide emergency contact information or request duplicate licenses.

Prescriptive Authority Renewal

You must renew your prescriptive authority biennially at the same time you renew your RN and NP license.

You can renew your prescriptive authority online at the Virginia Department of Health Professions Online Licensing page.

In addition to completing the online application, you must pay the renewal fee of $35 (payable online using a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card). You may also use the online application system to update your address, provide emergency contact information or request duplicate licenses.

NP License Reinstatement

If you need to reinstate your NP license in Virginia because it has lapsed for more than one renewal period, you cannot use the online system. Instead, you must fill out an Application for Reinstatement of License as a Nurse Practitioner found here.

In addition to completing your reinstatement application, you must include a reinstatement fee of $150 in a check or money order may payable to “Treasurer of Virginia.” Your application and fee must be sent directly to the Board at: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463.

If you are reinstating a license that was suspended or revoked, you must complete the reinstatement application and mail it, along with a $200 check or money order may payable to “Treasurer of Virginia,” to the Board at: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463.

CNS Registration Renewal

You must renew your CNS registration biennially at the same time you renew your RN license. The biennial license renewals are as follows:

  • If you were born in even-numbered year you must renew your license by the last day of your birth month in an even-numbered year.
  • If you were born in an odd-numbered year, you must renew your licenses by the last day of your birth month in an odd-numbered year.

The renewal for a CNS registration is not available online. However, you will receive a renewal application in the mail from the Board about 45 to 60 days before the expiration of your registration.

All renewal notices will be sent to your last known address, so it is important to make sure the Board has your current address information so you can receive renewal notices in a timely manner. Failure to receive your renewal notices before the expiration of your licenses does not relieve you of your responsibility for renewing your licenses before the expiration date.

The application must be filled out and sent in to the Board, along with a copy of your current professional certification and check or money order in the amount of $125 payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia,” to: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463.

CNS Registration Reinstatement

If you need to reinstate your CNS registration in Virginia because it has lapsed for more than one renewal period, you must fill out an Application for Reinstatement of Registration as a Clinical Nurse Specialist found here.

The application must be filled out and sent in to the Board, along with a copy of your current professional certification and check or money order in the amount of $125 payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia,” to: Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463.

Reinstatement of Prescriptive Authority

If you need to reinstate your prescriptive authority because it has lapsed for more than one renewal period or if it has been suspended or revoked, you must fill out an Application for Reinstatement of Prescriptive Authority found here.

In addition, you must already hold an NP license and you must submit a Practice Agreement form found here.

Both forms, along with a check or money order for $90.00 made payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia” must be mailed to: Department of Health Professions Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463. The Practice Agreement form must also be submitted if you have any changes to an existing practice agreement form on file with the Board of Nursing. If you are applying for prescriptive authority because it has been suspended or revoked, the fee is $85.

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in Pennsylvania

Consider joining one of the professional associations that support advanced practice nurses in your state:


Virginia Nurse Practitioner Salary

The 2011 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ National Compensation Survey reports that NPs in the southeastern states, including Virginia, earned an average base salary of $87,653 and an average total income of $96,916 when benefits were included. Nurse practitioners in Virginia enjoyed a solid increase in salary in recent years. According to a survey conducted by Advance for NPs and PAs, a leading industry journal, NPs in Vermont earned an average of $94,406 in 2011, up from $81,000 in 2010.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford VA
1000
55230
Danville VA
850
60240
Harrisonburg VA
890
56610
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol TN-VA
3130
55210
Lynchburg VA
2220
62340
Richmond VA
13380
65610
Roanoke VA
4000
57730
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
12570
62280
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
30100
75210
Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
2500
51740
Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area
1310
54950
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
650
59030
Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
1970
62210

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
90
68910
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
890
102580

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Richmond VA
230
62360
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
420
59290
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
890
58640
Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
50
49670

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford VA
100
86000
Charlottesville VA
270
97200
Danville VA
50
82720
Harrisonburg VA
100
80720
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol TN-VA
320
83040
Lynchburg VA
160
105240
Richmond VA
1250
99320
Roanoke VA
330
103730
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
1210
88760
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
4480
103490
Winchester VA-WV
110
117570
Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
230
74760
Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area
180
78390
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
80
96000
Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
180
98340

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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