A Complete Guide to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia State

Published 9:21 pm Monday, June 12, 2023

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The Virginia Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine oversees the regulations regarding NP (Nurse Practitioner), CNA (Certified Nurse Anesthetist), CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist), and CNM (Certified Nurse-Midwife). Candidates must have a Virginia RN (Registered Nurse) license to be eligible to apply for any of the above.

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Nurses that have an RN license from another state can apply for Licensure by Endorsement or Licensure by Examination. Nurses that once had Virginia RN licensure can opt for Licensure by Reinstatement instead. The best part is that the online MSN FNP program available in Virginia makes it easy to complete the education required to become a specialized NP, such as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), from the comfort of your home. If you wish to pursue a career as a nurse in Virginia, you are in the right spot. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is an NP?

An NP or Nurse Practitioner is a nurse with a graduate degree, advanced training/skills, and experience working as a nurse. An NP can provide services similar to a doctor. They focus on enabling patients to live a healthy life and help prevent diseases. They can also act as specialty care providers in a clinic, hospital, emergency room, urgent care setting, nursing home, college, or physicians’ office. NPs may also be referred to as APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses). 

Steps to Successfully Become a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia

Step 1: Obtain a Graduate Degree

To become an NP, CNM, CNS, or CRNA, candidates must obtain a graduate degree approved by the Joint Boards in Virginia. Prescriptive authority can be further obtained by getting NP licensure. Programs accredited by either the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, American Midwifery Certification Board, National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education are accepted by the Virginia Boards.

Accepted Courses

  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Physical assessment and evaluation 
  • Pathophysiology 


  • Adult nurse practitioner
  • Diabetes Management
  • Home Health CNS
  • Gerontological CNS
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Acute care nurse practitioner
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner
  • Adult Health CNS
  • Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health CNS
  • Child and Adolescent Psych and Mental Health CNS
  • Pediatric CNS
  • Geriatric nurse practitioner
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • Certified nurse midwife
  • Neonatal nurse practitioner
  • Women’s health nurse practitioner
  • Public/Community Health CNS

Prescriptive Authority Conditions 

  • Continued professional certification 
  • Graduate course completion in either pharmacotherapeutics or pharmacology within five years of application (30 contact hours)
  • 1,000 hours of NP practice 
  • 15 continued education units related to the specialization within two years of application

Step 2: Get National Certification 

Once education is complete, candidates are required to sit for the nationally certified exam based on their specialty. The Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine considers the 3 following:

  • CNA 
  • CNM
  • NP

If a candidate obtained licensure after May 2002, they are expected to get a certification from a national body in their nursing specialty. These organizations are accredited by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or the U.S. Department of Education.

Step 3: Apply for Licensure 

Candidates can apply for Licensure online on the Virginia Department of Health Professions Initial Applications by creating an account. An application fee of $125 needs to be paid, and all relevant details must be correctly filled out. Candidates that have not yet received national certification can apply for provisional NP licensure that lasts for six months. NP licensure endorsements can be opted for if:

  • Your current NP licensure has been verified
  • You have an expired license with verification of reinstatement 
  • You have evidence of a professional certificate showing your specialty that the Board has approved

You can request prescriptive authority licensure online on the Virginia Department of Health Professions Initial Applications by paying a $75 fee.

Step 4: Renew Licensure 

NP licensure needs to be renewed along with the RN license:

  • Candidates born in an even-numbered year need to get renewal by the last day of their birth month in an even-numbered year and vice versa
  • All renewal notices are sent to the known address, so current information must be updated to avoid hassle
  • Renewal can be requested online at the Virginia Department of Health Professions Online by paying an $80 fee

How Much Do NPs Earn In Virginia?

Nurse Practitioners can easily earn a six-figure salary in Virginia. They earn $120,497 on average annually. This ranges from $111,812 to $130,903 on the lower and higher ends, respectively. On the other hand, RNs in Virginia earn $44.12 per hour on average. The highest-paying cities include Lynchburg, Roanoke, Portsmouth, Richmond, and Alexandria.


Pursuing a career as a nurse is a great idea if you wish to help people and earn a hefty income. The best part is that numerous online programs have emerged that allow you to study as you work or focus on other things.