Sure, “Virginia is for Lovers,” with its scenic mountain vistas and numerous beaches; however, Virginia also hosts history and genealogy addicts, sports buffs, politicians who live in this state and work in Washington DC, and medical centers that are growing and gaining status as some of the best places to work in the country. This eighth-largest state in the Union provides student nurses with great places to learn, and management, geriatric and neonatal jobs abound for the graduate. Roanoke, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Richmond and Arlington are counted among many urban centers in this state. But, the nurse who seeks rural life can find this in abundance throughout this state as well.

Becoming a Nurse in Virginia

Nurses who wish to study in Virginia can find opportunities in major urban centers and in smaller communities. For instance, a nurse who wishes to study near the nation’s capital can earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in nursing at George Mason University in Fairfax. Going further south, the Hampton University near Norfolk offers the BSN, MSN and doctoral degrees in nursing with specialties in administration, education, family care and geriatrics. In the western part of the state, College of Health Sciences/Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley provides students with opportunities to earn certifications and a BSN in programs such as adult care, anatomy, community health and family care. Many smaller schools also exist to earn certifications and an associate’s degree, such as Dabney Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge and John Tyler Community College in Chester.

Nursing Jobs in Virginia

Some of the largest health care employers in Virginia include SEntara in Norfolk, the largest integrated health care provider in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina; Inova Health System, a not-for-profit health care system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services including emergency and urgent care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes; and, Amerigroup Corporation, headquartered in Virginia Beach. Amerigroup Corporation improves healthcare access and quality for low-income Americans by developing innovative managed health services for the public sector. Nursing salaries in Virginia vary, depending upon the nurse’s experience and degree earned, and the job description and location. LPNs in Virginia can earn between $29,000 and $59,000 per year, and RNs in this state can earn between $56,000 and $124,000 per year.

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Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix — BSN, MSN, and Certificate. The University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university and currently offers several nursing programs at three different degree levels, based on previous nursing education and experience.

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Kaplan University
Kaplan University — Bachelor's, and Master's Nursing Degrees. Kaplan's School of Nursing offers specializations for nurse administrators and nurse educators.

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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University — BS in Nursing (BSN) and MBA/MS in Nursing. Grand Canyon University offers a unique MBA/MS in nursing degree program that teaches students about the business aspect of healthcare, specifically nursing healthcare. Current nurses who want more business experience will find this may be an ideal fit.

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Liberty University
Liberty University — RN to BSN Degree and MSN Degree. The Department of Nursing at Liberty prepares students for baccalaureate level nursing, putting strong emphasis on Christian ethical standards and viewing nursing as a ministry of caring.

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Walden University
Walden University — M.S. in Nursing (RN Track), M.S in Nursing (BSN Track). Walden offers a wide variety of nursing degrees and certificates that are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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