Practical nursing is one of the fastest growing professions in Virginia, making it a wise choice for those looking to enter the healthcare field and help others in need. The US Department of Health and Human Services predicts that the state will actually experience a surplus of LPNs by 2025, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities for aspiring LPNs in this state. The right education and training can lead to a promising career as a licensed practical nurse in Virginia. For a leg up on the competition, read on to explore accredited LPN programs that can help you prepare for the NCLEX-PN and learn how to successfully obtain a valid license.
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Licensure Requirements for Virginia LPNs
Each state has its own licensing requirements for LPNs. To become an LPN in Virginia, one must meet the requirements outlined below.
- Have completed at least two years of high school.
- Graduated from an approved LPN program
- Are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN
Education & Training Requirements
Those who graduated from LPN programs in Virginia must use the Licensure by Examination method. This requires the student to have graduated from a program approved and within the confines of the state of Virginia. After completing the LPN program, students must apply to the Virginia Board of Nursing and sign up to take the NCLEX-PN.
For those who attended an approved LPN program from a state other than Virginia and have become licensed in another state, they must utilize the Licensure by Endorsement method. LPN applicants must have a license in good standing as well as pass a criminal background check.
Either method requires applications to be submitted online only.
Additional Requirements for Licensure by Examination
- Complete the online application
- Have a copy of the official transcript from the LPN program sent to the Virginia Board of Nursing
- Register and pass the NCLEX-PN
- Pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check
- Pay the appropriate fees:
- $170.00 application fee
- $45.95 fingerprint processing fee
- $200.00 to take the NCLEX-PN
Keep in mind that Virginia is a Nurse Licensure Compact State. This means that a graduate of an LPN program who becomes licensed in Virginia can also work in any state that is also part of the compact agreement: This currently pertains to 25 states. This multi-state license can be obtained through Virginia if the applicant’s primary residence – where they live and file taxes – is in Virginia.
Virginia LPNs must renew their license every two years. The renewal process consists of:
- Payment of a $120.00 fee (if the fee is paid late, an additional $40.00 late fee will be assessed)
- Complete a renewal application
- Meet the continued competency (continuing education) requirements, which require a licensee to complete at least one of the following:
- Current specialty certification by a national certifying organization
- A minimum of three credit hours of post-licensure academic education related to nursing practice
- A refresher course in nursing
- Published works in the nursing field
- Completion of a nursing-related, evidence-based practice project or research study
- Teaching or developing a nursing-related course (one that results in no less than three semester hours of college credit, specialty certification, or a 15-week course)
- Teaching continuing education courses for up to 30 contact hours
- 15 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences or courses in addition to 640 hours of active practice as a nurse
- 30 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses related to nursing.
Salary for LPNs in Virginia
The national median wage for LPNs is notably above the national average for all other occupations; the median wage for LPNs in Virginia is no different. The following chart shows what LPNs can expect to make in Virginia compared to the rest of the United States.
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|Annual Wage (25th percentile)||$31,050||$35,780|
|Annual Wage (Median)||$35,470||$42,490|
|Annual Wage (75th percentile)||$40,630||$49,450|
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas
|Year||Annual Wage (25th percentile)||Annual Wage (Median)||Annual Wage (75th percentile)|
|Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area||$35,160||$41,050||$46,600|
|Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area||$34,640||$39,810||$45,750|
Employment Trends for LPNs in Virginia
According to Projections Central, Virginia currently employs 21,880 licensed practical nurses, with an additional 1,120 annual openings expected each year. That’s an increase of 26.7% from 2012 to 2022, which means that those who graduate from LPN programs in Virginia can expect to see excellent employment opportunities. Here is further information on what Virginia nurses can expect:
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC||4,750|
|Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area||1,470|
|Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area||910|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area||760|
|Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area||390|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Source: Projections Central
Helpful Resources for Virginia LPNs
The official government website that covers all aspects of the licensed nursing profession within the state of Virginia.
The Virginia League for Nursing advocates the interests of the National League for Nursing for the state of Virginia.
This professional organization promotes the interests of Virginia LPNs.
The VNSA seeks to advance the profession of nursing by helping nursing students through scholarships, mentorships and community service.
Comprised of over 1,400 nurses who work in Emergency Nursing, this organization works to assist nurses of all licensure levels who work in emergency areas.