Attending a Practical Nursing Program in Virginia

The Old Dominion is an excellent state to attend a practical nursing program. You have your choice of terrain and environment — from the mountains in Bristol, the coast at Norfolk, the bustling Washington, D.C. area, to the state capital in Richmond and much in between.

Requirements for Licensed Practical Nurses

According to the Virginia Board of Nursing, to qualify as a licensed practical nurse in the state, you must:
  • Have completed two years of high school or its equivalent
  • Possess a diploma from an approved nursing program
  • Have passed a written examination (the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX) as required by the Board
  • Committed no acts which are grounds for disciplinary action as set forth by regulations
There are two primary methods for obtaining a practicing nurse license in Virginia. Licensure by endorsement is an option if you are a graduate of an approved nursing program but are licensed in another state by examination. It also extends to those scheduled to take the NCLEX in another state and who have graduated from an approved nursing program. If you have graduated from an approved nursing program but have yet to take the NCLEX, then you need to apply for licensure by examination. The Board also has special provisions for veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Up Close and Personal

Wherever you practice, Virginia's different regions each exhibit distinct characteristics. Virginia is a southern state, making for hot summers. East Virginia includes coastal regions, either along the Atlantic seaboard or the Chesapeake Bay. High humidity combined with hot summers can mean sweltering conditions in this section of the state. The mountainous western region includes stunning vistas and beautiful valleys, such as the Shenandoah. Both summer and winter can be intense in this area, so having an all-wheel drive vehicle is useful. The District of Columbia borders the northern section of the state, which is dense in both population and traffic. There are numerous job opportunities for nurses in this primarily suburban area. A traditionally high-fat Southern diet among Virginia's native population contributes to higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. The state has been a tobacco-growing region almost since it was founded as a colony in 1607. Although in decline, cigarette smoking is heavier here than in many other parts of the country, rendering some Virginia residents prone to certain cancers and heart disease. These factors may increase the demand for nurses as people continually develop health issues.

Nursing Jobs in Virginia

After you complete your practical nursing program and obtain licensure, the next step is to find a job; rest assured, Virginia is filled with such opportunities. With 90 hospitals, a health department in every county, nearly 300 skilled nursing facilities and numerous clinics and government positions, finding a practical nursing job in the state is likely. Some of the better nursing programs in Virginia can provide placement assistance. "Old Virginia," a land of variety in people, weather and medical needs, welcomes new nurses of all kinds. From Monticello to Jamestown, Virginia is home to some of the nation's most beautiful environments and historic locations. One thing is for sure: Wherever you go in the state, a practical nursing program is sure to be nearby. Photo Source: Flickr [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf]

Tags: allied-health, LPN, nursing, Vocational & Practical Nursing

Charles R. Hooper, MSW

About Charles R. Hooper, MSW

With over 20 years experience as a medical social worker and a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have been honored to dedicate most of my professional life to service in health care. I have worked in multiple medical/nursing settings, including cardiology, orthopedics, neurology, trauma care and others. I also founded the medical social work program at a regional trauma center and a very busy emergency department. View all posts by Charles R. Hooper, MSW →