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Nurse Practitioner Zone

Virginia Nurse Practitioner Certification

In Virginia, NPs, certified nurse–midwives, and CRNAs must be licensed as NPs. The Boards of Nursing and Medicine regulate NPs in the state of Virginia.

Nurse Practitioners in Virginia may work in a variety of venues, including rural health clinics, collaborative clinics, migrant clinics, nurse-managed clinics, parish clinics, specialty practices, HMOs, hospitals, doctor’s offices, hospices, and research facilities. The NP may perform many duties, including assessing and diagnosing patients; providing care for acute and chronic health issues; managing prenatal care at the time of delivery; counseling patients regarding disease prevention and health promotion; and performing clinical research.

If you would like to become an NP in Virginia, you must first hold a valid RN license to practice in the state of Virginia. In addition, you must complete a graduate-level program designated to prepare an NP. Your program must be in an area of nursing specialty or in a related field that qualifies you to take the certification examination of a national certifying organization. Virginia recognizes the following areas of specialty: adult, family, pediatric, family planning, geriatric, Ob/Gyn, emergency, school, medical, maternal child health, CNM, neonatology, women’s health, acute care, and psychiatric.


If you wish to obtain prescriptive authority, you must complete a graduate level course in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics, obtained as a part of your NP education within the past 5 years. If you did not graduate within the last 5 years, other options are available. Visit the Virginia Board of Nursing at for more information.

Some schools in Virginia that offer Board-approved NP programs include: University of Virginia, Shenandoah University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Radford University, Old Dominion University, Marymount University, James Madison University, Hampton University, and George Mason University. Many online schools also offer nationally accredited graduate-level NP programs. The training and education from these schools is comparable to that of traditional campus-based schools. All components, including the clinical requirements, are met by various schools including: Philadelphia University, University of Cincinnati, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Liberty University, South University, and Graceland University. Check with the Virginia State Board of Nursing to find out whether the online school you wish to attend is approved by the Board.

After you have completed your advanced practicing nursing degree and received your master’s degree or post-master’s certificate, you will be eligible to take an exam offered by a national professional nurse certifying body. Your exam must be taken in your chosen specialty area. The state of Virginia recognizes the ACNM Certification Council, ANCC, NBCRNA, PNCB, NCC for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties, and AANP.

On average, NPs in the state of Virginia earn $95,000 per year. Factors such as experience, type of practice, education, area of specialty, and location can affect your salary rate.

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Last Updated: 05/19/2014