West Virginia’s amenities often are neglected, as this state seems to serve as a bridge between Virginia or Pennsylvania and points west. But, West Virginia is filled with beautiful mountains and valleys, where rafters, hikers, fishermen and women and skiers can find numerous opportunities to exercise their skills. As West Virginia gains notice for their natural beauty, the small towns are becoming larger, and health care is expanding along with a need for nurses.

Becoming a Nurse in West Virginia

West Virginia’s educational possibilities might surprise any nurse who seeks any degree or certification. For instance, West Virginia University School of Nursing in Morgantown offers every nursing degree imaginable, including a doctoral degree and a specialty in parish nursing. Marshall University in Huntington offers certifications, a BSN and the MSN in programs such as administration, education, family care and school nursing. If you prefer a smaller college in an urban setting, try West Virginia Northern, where you can earn certifications and an associate’s degree in topics such as anatomy, physiology and radiology.

Nursing Jobs in West Virginia

To prove that this state is growing, check out some of the largest employers in West Virginia – many of them are health care providers. Some of these top-tier employers include Wheeling Hospital, which ranked in the top ten percent nationwide for cardiac care; Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, which offers a wide range of innovative services, including the Thomas Cancer Center, the Sweet Dreams Maternity Services, Sleep Diagnostic Center, Pediatric Care, CareCenter 24, Outpatient Services, Home Health, Physical Therapy and more; and, St. Mary’s Medical Center, the largest medical facility in the tri-state region and Cabell County’s largest private employer, and the second-largest single health care facility in West Virginia. St. Mary’s also is a teaching facility associated with the Joan C. Edwards Marshall University School of Medicine, training medical residents in several specialties. Nursing salaries are high when compared with other states. For instance, LPNs in West Virginia earn between $32,000 and $65,000 per year, and RNs earn between $62,000 and $132,000 per year. A critical care RN in West Virginia can earn, on average, $94,000 per year, whereas that same nurse might earn, on average, $72,000 per year in Florida and $66,000 per year on average in Arizona.