Becoming an LPN in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia offers nearly 50 practical nursing programs in community colleges, vocational schools and private colleges across the state. With so many options to choose from, there is sure to be the right program for every aspiring licensed practical nurse (LPN). An aging population has led to an increase in practical nursing jobs nationwide, and LPNs in Virginia can expect an average annual wage of $42,550 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With so many options for LPN training programs across the state, aspiring nurses in Virginia are sure to find the program that fits their schedule, budget and needs.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Virginia? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Virginia are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 52 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 20 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Virginia click here.
Details on Virginia LPN Schools & Classes
With nearly 50 practical nursing programs around the state to choose from, nursing students in Virginia will have several options in their geographic area of the state to consider. Most practical nursing programs are designed to be completed in one to two years depending on whether the student attends classes on a full- or part-time basis.
A typical course load for an LPN program in Virginia includes classroom and clinical learning experiences. Course titles may include the following:
- Body Structure and Function
- Nursing Fundamentals
- Drug Dosage Calculations / Pharmacology
- Care of Maternal, Newborn and Pediatric Patients
- Principles of Psychology
- Child Psychology
- Medical Surgical Nursing
- Trends in Practical Nursing
The Virginia Board of Nursing approves nursing education programs to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A full list of Virginia Board of Nursing approved LPN programs can be found on the Board of Nursing website. In addition, aspiring practical nurses should also inquire as to a school’s program accreditation. Nursing program accreditation is a volunteer and peer review process by which a school’s education program is evaluated according to specific standards. This means that a student can be assured that a properly accredited program will provide a high quality nursing education and will prepare him or her for the important NCLEX-PN exam following graduation.
Before applying to any LPN program, it is critical to make sure you meet or exceed all the entrance requirements. While specific entrance requirements may vary slightly from school to school, they often include the following:
- Completion of high school or GED program (including transcripts)
- Cumulative GPA of 2.5 in all relevant coursework including prerequisite courses
- Completion of all prerequisite courses, such as college-level Math, English I and Basic Physiology & Human Anatomy
- Standardized test scores, if necessary, such as the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam
- Background check, drug screen and proof of required immunizations
- Submission of completed application and associated fees
Tuition and Costs
Deciding how you will pay for your practical nursing education is an important consideration for aspiring LPNs. All schools will have their own unique set of fees, so make sure you understand the full range of costs associated with your program before you apply. In general, costs for a practical nursing program include tuition, mandatory school and course fees and supplies (including textbooks, stethoscope, etc.). In addition, students should factor in the costs of housing and/or commuting to classes into the total price tag. Financial aid, loans, and scholarships are options to consider for those who need assistance covering the costs of their LPN program.
To provide an example of program costs, the estimated cost for the practical nursing program at Virginia Beach Technical & Career Education Center is $5,915. This estimated cost includes tuition, as well as the cost of textbooks and other required materials. It does not include room and board or commuting costs.
Virginia LPN Licensing Requirements
To become an LPN in Virginia, individuals must complete a state-approved nursing program, which includes a minimum of 400 hours of direct client care across the lifespan. Once that is complete, he or she must sit and pass the NCLEX-PN exam—the required state-test to show proficiency.
In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the Virginia Board of Nursing, including:
- Official transcript from state-approved nursing program
- Proof of passing score of the NCLEX exam
- Complete fingerprint-based criminal background check
- Application fee of $170
Virginia LPN licenses must be renewed every two years.
NCLEX Exam Information
Before a practical nursing program graduate can receive licensure, they must first sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN examination. Your LPN program coursework should adequately prepare you for this important exam. To read more about the NCLEX-PN exam, please visit our overview page here. In addition, our NCLEX-PN practice test is available to help students prepare and study.
LPN Reciprocity and eNLC
Virginia is a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which allows nurses to work in multiple states that are in the compact area without additional licensing. LPNs can apply for licensure by endorsement in Virginia by submitting proof of current licensure and having passed the NCLEX.
In addition, applicants must also submit:
- Fingerprint-based criminal background check
- Clinical Hours Form completed by nursing employer if the applicant graduated from a nursing education program with fewer than 400 clinical nursing hours.
Virginia allows foreign applicants with LPN equivalent background to apply for licensure in the state, but he or she must first submit approval from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) following a completed course-by-course transcript review and English proficiency testing results. The applicant must also sit for and pass the NCLEX exam if he or she hasn’t already.
The table below lists career information retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Virginia. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News||4,400||$19.46||$40,480|
|Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford||350||$17.39||$36,160|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Virginia LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Lord Fairfax Community College is located in Warrenton, Virginia, with additional centers in Middletown and Luray. LFCC offers a multitude of associate degree and certification programs, as well as providing advanced degrees onsite, and providing workforce development programs and industrial courses.
Virginia Beach School of Practical Nursing (VBSPN), located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is an 18-month nursing program, utilizing state-of-the-art labs and on-site hospital experiences. VBSPN offers over 40 years experience producing quality nurses, utilizing small class sizes and hands on instruction to ensure student success.
Graduates of the Northern Virginia Community College Practical Nursing program are prepared and eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN.) The program provides students with the opportunity to enter the field of nursing in three consecutive semesters of study.
The Practical Nursing program at Southside Virginia Community college prepares students to care for people, newborn through aged, who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. Students are trained to measure and record clients' vital signs, prepare and give injections and enemas, monitor catheters, and dress wounds. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN.
Page County Technical Center (PCTC) is located in Luray, Virginia. PCTC provides technical training leading to productive, marketable skills that meet the needs of both secondary and adult learners. Students are offered individualized instruction on state-of-the-art equipment and curriculum focused on not only on knowledge and skill, but also on the attitude required to work successfully in any career.
Valley Career and Technical Center is located in Fishersville, Virginia. VCTC prepares students through career development, workforce readiness, and industry-specific job skills through individualized coursework and hands-on training by industry-experienced faculty, utilizing state-of-the-art technology to ensure student success.
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College-LPN to RN Ladder Program is located in Atlanta, Virginia, designed to create independent nurses with developed curriculum to ensure knowledge, skills, and the ability to deliver safe and competent patient care. Some programs have specific criteria that must be met before admission is considered.
At Eastern Shore Community College, practical nursing students are prepared for becoming practitioners for a career as a Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) with the knowledge and skills to care for clients of all age groups and function as contributing members of the health care team in a variety of health service facilities.
Danville Community College offers a Practical Nursing curriculum that is designed to prepare beginning practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to care for patients of all age groups. In Virginia, a state license is required for this profession. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
The School of Practical Nursing at Prince William County Schools is designed for high school seniors and adults. The overall program is 18 months in length. The preclinical and clinical instruction each run 9 months and follow the public school calendar for holidays and vacations. Upon completion, students are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.
The Practical Nursing program at Eastern Virginia Career College prepares quality nurses to meet the needs of the region’s health care providers. The high quality of theoretical and clinical education ensures the Practical Nursing student opportunities to develop as a nurse and as an individual while practicing in various settings and ensures the student possesses the ability to meet and exceed employer expectations in the job market.
Henrico County Public Schools-School of Practical Nursing is located in Henrico, Virginia, with an additional location in Highland Springs. The Practical Nursing program is designed for student success with a combination of academic coursework and hands-on clinical training to ensure the student is adequately trained to perform the duties of a licensed practical nurse.
Massanutten Technical Center (MTC) is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. MTC plays a role in the community directly benefitting both students and area businesses, creating high-quality employees and allowing men and women to acquire new skills and enhance their career prospects.
The Practical Nursing program at Southside Virginia Community college prepares nursing students to care for people of all ages under the direction of a physician or a registered nurse. Once the program is completed, students are ready to confidently take the licensing exam for Practical Nursing 0 the NCLEX-PN.
The LPN program at Fortis college provides the theory, laboratory, and clinical experiences to prepare students for an entry-level position in Practical Nursing. Nursing theory guides clinical practice. The clinical portion of the PN nursing program provides students with hands-on experience; providing nursing care to patients of all ages, ethnic and cultural groups, and stages of wellness/illness in hospitals and other health care agencies affiliated with Fortis.
The Practical Nursing program at Centra College of Nursing is committed to providing excellent care to individuals, families, and patients in the community. Graduates will be prepared to engage in best practices through critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration, and building community relationships.
The Practical Nursing program at Riverside College of Health Careers trains nursing students to use intelligence, care, and compassion to provide direct therapeutic patient care. Students learn to work in a variety of roles and work under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses. The LPN's competence implies knowledge, understanding, and skills that transcend specific tasks and is guided by a commitment to the public and to the high standards of the nursing profession.
New River Community College (NRCC) is a comprehensive community college located in Dublin, Virginia. NRCC prepares students for the future with a variety of occupational programs and college transfer courses, as well as workforce development programs and adult education to meet student goals and ensure success.
The Practical Nursing program at Chesapeake Center for Science and Technology is an 18-month program designed for enthusiastic high school seniors and adults who wish to work closely with doctors and other health care professionals to serve as advocates for patients and families. Upon successful completion of this program, students may earn a certificate of completion and are eligible to take the licensure examination written by the National Council of State Board of Nursing.
The practical nursing program at Bedford Science and Technology Center is 18 months in length. The first nine months of instruction is received at Bedford Science and Technology Center. High school students will receive three units of high school credit for the first year. The remaining nine months of study are at Bedford Memorial Hospital. Students will have assigned learning experiences in the care of medical, surgical, pediatric, and obstetric patients and newborn infants.
Continued List of All Programs in Virginia
255 Stanley Street, Abingdon, VA 24210
121 Bagley Circle, Suite 300, Marion, VA 24354
1073 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046
3094 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, VA 24015
10000 Germanna Point Dr., Fredericksburg, VA 22408
1176 Booth Branch Road, Grundy, VA 24614
1 Vocational School Rd, Lebanon, VA 24266
10101 Courthouse Road, Chesterfield, VA 23832
10021 Balls Ford Rd. #100, Manassas, VA 20109
3441 Mountain Empire Rd, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
100 Pleasants Ln, Petersburg, VA 23803
21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148
7914 Midlothian Turnpike, North Chesterfield, VA 23235
645 Patriots Ave, Martinsville, VA 24112
7839 Ashton Ave, Manassas, VA 20109
1001 Omni Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23606
52 Campus Dr, Warsaw, VA 22572
2000 Westmoreland Street, Suite A, Richmond, VA 23230
3800 Michigan Avenue, Fort Myers, VA 33916
1851 Dickinson Rd, Goochland, VA 23063
5555 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
25 South Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314
1827 Wenonah Avenue, Pearisburg, VA 24134
1000 E Main St, Wytheville, VA 24382
751 W Hundred Rd, Chester, VA 23836
7020 N. Military Highway, Norfolk, VA 23518
1840 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 101, Arlington, VA 22201
501 College Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22902
8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042
Programs Not Included In Rankings
14910 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Woodbridge, VA 22191
100 North College Drive, Franklin, VA 23851
271 Kenyon Road, Suffolk, VA 23434
2017 Virginia LPN Program NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
- Total NCLEX-PN Takers = 899
- Total NCLEX-PN Passers = 1,108
- Total NCLEX-PN Pass Rate = 81.14%
Additional VA Nursing Resources
- Virginia Board of Nursing
6603 West Broad Street, 5th Floor
Richmond, VA 23230-1712
- Virginia Nurses Association
6912 Three Chopt Road, Suite H
Richmond, Virginia 23226
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