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Explore Top Online ADN Programs in Virginia for 2024

Jumpstart your healthcare career with an associate degree in nursing — a steppingstone to a wide range of career paths and specialties.

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There are many reasons why you might choose to pursue an associate degree in nursing (ADN), whether you want to eventually pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or dive straight into your nursing career. An ADN is the perfect first step to gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to earn your registered nurse credentials.

The convenience of ADN programs, particularly online ADN programs in Virginia, is only matched by their affordability and flexibility, making them an excellent choice for those who want to enter the field while balancing their current professional and personal obligations.

Online ADN programs in Virginia facilitate most, if not all, classes online in preparation for students’ required clinical rotations. This format allows you to pursue this lucrative degree on your own time, from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you might be), at an affordable rate.

Keep reading to learn more about your options for online ADN programs in Virginia.

There are nearly 100,000 registered nurses working in Virginia, according to the state’s Department of Health Professions, and more than a fourth of them pursued their associate degrees within the state. If you plan to join their ranks in the next few years, consider attending one of the top online ADN programs in Virginia. We’ve profiled three to help you get started.

Brightpoint Community College

With online offerings as well as campus locations in Chester and Midlothian, Virginia, Brightpoint Community College offers an accessible two-year associate degree in nursing program that prepares students for work in a variety of healthcare settings, as well as for further education. Graduates interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree have the option to transfer credits to a four-year institution.

The program’s hybrid format allows students to take online courses supplemented by in-person clinical training.

As part of the application process, students must take a nursing pre-entrance test (results are valid up to three years after the test is completed) and prove that they have completed certain prerequisite courses. Applicants must also have a current CPR certification.

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure (NCLEX) exam, pursue a bachelor’s in nursing, and/or apply for licensure as registered nurses.

Germanna Community College

The two-year ADN program at Germanna Community College blends in-person training with online coursework that prepares students to sit for and pass their licensure exams, and land in-demand jobs in allied healthcare.

The estimated cost of this degree is just over $11,000 — on par with the 2023 national average cost of an ADN program at a public university, which Forbes indicates is between $6,000 and $20,000.

The in-person components of Germanna’s nursing programs are facilitated at its Locust Grove and Stafford campuses as well as partnering medical facilities. The college notes that its nursing programs’ varying clinical and lab hours, are demanding an not meant to be completed on top of full-time jobs.

Mountain Empire Community College

Mountain Empire Community College’s ADN program is designed for students with responsibilities outside their educational pursuits. The community college’s ADN program offers a combination of online courses and in-person courses that take place exclusively during evenings and weekends.

Because the program’s coursework is offered exclusively during evenings and weekends, it is considered part-time and, as such, takes four years to complete rather than the standard two. That said, graduates have the same qualifications as their peers in traditional ADN programs and are equally eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam and pursue licensure as registered nurses.

As of 2022, nearly 80% of Mountain Empire program graduates went on to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, higher than the national average.

Key Features of Top Virginia ADN Programs Online

Regardless of the school you choose for your next educational endeavor, it’s important you look out for a few key features in that school’s ADN program. Not only do you want to ensure you get the necessary hands-on training, but you also want to do so at a program recognized for its quality by accrediting organizations and potential employers alike, setting you up to get the job you want when you graduate.

Accreditation

If one of the online ADN programs in Virginia touts its accreditation, you know that program has undergone a third-party assessment that has found that it meets certain educational standards (set by the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation). An accredited program is more likely to offer an educational experience that properly equips students for the workforce, ensuring they graduate with the skills necessary to fulfill their roles. This is especially important in nursing, where your ability to properly perform your job can literally be the difference between life and death.

Clinical Placement Opportunities

The top online ADN programs in Virginia emphasize the importance of clinical placement opportunities that provide you with the opportunity to work hands-on in the field of allied healthcare at a partnering facility. Think of a clinical placement like an internship. During your clinical placement, you’ll be able to apply the knowledge you gained in the classroom in a safe, supervised setting. All accredited nursing programs will require clinical placements as part of their program.

Graduation & Job Placement Rates

A program’s graduation and job placement rates can clue you in to not only how well-equipped the school’s graduates are upon leaving the program, but also to what degree the program’s reputation serves its graduates. Rates higher than, or in line with, the national averages are a good sign.

Licensure Approval

Completing one of the online ADN programs in Virginia is the first of several steps you must take to become an RN. Registered nurses need a license in the state of Virginia, and earning your license requires not only that you complete an ADN program, but that you take and pass the NCLEX exam, and apply for licensure through the State Board of Nursing (we’ll discuss these steps in greater detail below). The licensure approval rate for graduates of the schools you’re considering can indicate how well those schools’ programs prepare their students for the workforce.

NCLEX Pass Rates

The NCLEX exam, or the NCLEX-RN exam, stands for the National Council Licensure Examination [for] Registered Nurses. Taking this test is a necessary step between completing an ADN program and receiving your RN license. An accredited ADN program will qualify you to sit for the exam, but a program’s NCLEX pass rates can give you an idea of how well the program prepares you for the exam. The Virginia Board of Nursing provides records of NCLEX pass rates for registered nursing programs throughout the state.

Certification & Licensure Requirements in Virginia

To obtain an RN license in the state of Virginia, you’ll need to apply for that license (after completing an ADN program from an accredited and approved school) and pass the NCLEX-RN examination. Here’s a closer look at the specific steps you’ll need to take to earn and maintain your certification and licensure.

Continuing Education

Once you’ve earned your RN license, you will have to take steps to maintain it, including renewing it periodically. The Virginia Board of Nursing will send you a renewal notice when your existing license is about to expire, at which point you will have to submit proof of continuing education (CE)that indicates that you are not only maintaining, but expanding your nursing skills and knowledge. This continuing education can take many forms, from earning a specialty certification to taking a nursing refresher course, to teaching a nursing-related course. The number of hours you are required to complete will depend on the kind of CE you pursue.

Criminal Background Check

Before receiving a Virginia nursing license, you must complete a fingerprint-based criminal background check. You can only register for fingerprinting after you’ve submitted your application. Once you receive your application confirmation receipt, you will receive a code to register for fingerprinting via Field Print Virginia at one of their sites across the state.

NCLEX-RN Examination

After you apply for your licensure with a nursing regulatory body, you must register for the NCLEX-RN examination. You will be required to pay an exam fee is required and take the exam in person; you can expect to receive your results in roughly six weeks. While an accredited ADN program will prepare you to sit for this exam, the NCSBN (the regulatory organization that oversees the NCLEX), offers additional resources to help you prepare for the exam, including exam previews, sample tests, and more.

Registration with the Ohio State Board of Nursing

The Virginia State Board of Nursing processes all RN licensing applications within the state and verifies that you have the necessary qualifications to practice as a registered nurse. Once your license is processed and granted, you will be registered with the Board. The Board will contact you when your license is up for renewal.

Answering Your Questions About Online ADN Programs in Virginia

Ready to get into the nitty-gritty details about online ADN programs in Virginia? Here are some answers to your most asked (and most specific) questions about the ADN process and what it entails.

How long do VA ADN programs take to complete?

It depends on the program you choose. However, most colleges offer two-year ADN programs, as is the case at Northern Virginia Community College. Some, however, do offer longer programs that are designed to better fit busy schedules by offering in-person classes, labs, and clinicals at night or over weekends — this is the case at Mountain Empire Community College, which offers a four-year ADN program. On the other end of the spectrum, some schools offer accelerated ADN programs that can be completed in as few as 12 to 18 months.

How much do online associate nursing programs cost in VA?

Forbes reports that the national average cost of an online, two-year associate degree nursing program, at a public university, is between $6,000 and $20,000, total. In Virginia, the cost of an associate nursing program is similar, but costs run the gamut. For example, Germanna Community College’s two-year ADN program costs just over $11,000. At private career colleges in Virginia, though, the Department of Education estimates the cost of an associate degree in nursing totals roughly $27,500.

Is financial aid available to help me fund my ADN program in Virginia?

Yes! Many schools offer financial aid and, of course, federal financial aid is always available through FASFA. However, there are also many grants and scholarships available for Virginia nursing students in particular, such as those from the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority, and the Virginia Department of Health.

What does the job market look like for graduates of Virginia associate in nursing programs?

The job market is very promising for students who graduate from a Virginia ADN program and go on to pursue roles as RNs. According to the state’s Registered Nurse Workforce report, as of 2022, 90% of all RNs in the state are employed. Additionally, industry leaders report that Virginia has a statewide RN shortage and will need nearly 8,000 new RNs by 2028 in order to meet demand.

Resources & Support for Virginia ADN Students

Ready to begin your journey toward a career as a registered nurse in Virginia? You don’t have to do it alone. To help you take the first— and subsequent — steps, take a look at these five helpful online resources designed for prospective and working nurses.

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing can provide you with information regarding Virginia ADN programs online, as well as available financial aid and scholarships. You can also learn more about different nursing career pathways.
  • The Virginia Board of Nursing – The Virginia Board of Nursing provides prospective students with a wealth of resources, including information on approved educational programs across the state and their NCLEX pass rates. These can help you make an informed decision regarding which program is right for you.
  • The Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority – The Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority offers quick insights into what you can expect from a registered nursing career, including what an RN does in an average workday, how much they earn in Virginia, and more.
  • The Virginia Nurses Association – The Virginia Nurses Association welcomes student members preparing for careers in nursing with scholarships, networking opportunities, and more, via their local chapter. They also offer general information about the industry and challenges Virginia RNs face, so you can get an idea of the local landscape.
  • The Virginia Nursing Students Association – Similarly, the Virginia Nursing Students Association offers information on nursing student-specific scholarship opportunities, industry events, and news. It also invites interested parties to contact the Association’s pre-nursing representative, who can answer questions about the career path.