2020 Accredited BSN Programs in Virginia - Information & Rankings

The demand for registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to grow. By the year 2020, according to the Virginia Nurses Association, the demand for nurses will exceed the number of practicing professionals in the field by 32 percent. Bachelor of Science in Nursing courses in VA are a gateway into an exciting career that offers financial security and a chance to touch other people’s lives in a meaningful way. Here’s a look at the top BSN programs in VA.

How We Ranked Virginia’s Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs?


Programs Evaluated31
Programs Ranked10
CriteriaApproved by Virginia Board of Nursing
Accredited by ACEN or CCNE
4 Years NCLEX-RN Pass Rates
Weightage Assigned To NCLEX-RN Pass Rate Years2014 = 0.10
2015 = 0.20
2016 = 0.30
2017 = 0.40


View The 10 Best Out of 31 Virginia Board of Nursing Approved BSN Programs For 2020


1) Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, Richmond

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing in Richmond offers a four-year BSN program. Its curriculum consists of 56 general education credits and 68 nursing credits, but the College does not teach general education classes: Students are encouraged to complete this requirement at nearby community colleges. Students can enter the College twice a year: March 15th and August 31st respectively are application deadlines for fall and spring.

You’ll begin attending nursing lectures at the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing campus during your freshman year. Clinical instruction in the College’s state-of-the-art simulated hospital environment starts sophomore year. Clinical rotations will take place in major metropolitan hospitals, community clinics and specialized health care settings throughout Virginia’s bustling capital region.

As a hospital affiliated with the Catholic religion, Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing offers international mission trips and community service activities you may not be able to find any place else. Admission to the College is open to aspiring nurses of all faiths.

2) Sentara College of Health Sciences, Chesapeake

Sentara College of Health Sciences in Chesapeake is affiliated with the Sentara Healthcare System, which is a prestigious network of hospitals, assisted living facilities and outpatient care campuses serving Virginia and North Carolina. The BSN program admits incoming students each January, and the application deadline is June 15th. The College uses the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) to screen applicants. Applicants to the College’s nursing program will also need to have completed 30 hours of general education and nursing prerequisites to be accepted into the program.

The nursing baccalaureate track itself consists of 73 hours of academic coursework and clinical experiences. Clinical placements use Sentara Healthcare System facilities, and you’ll need to pass a criminal background check and a drug-screening test before you’ll be allowed on the floor. Graduates of Sentara College of Health Sciences receive priority placement if they apply for employment within the Sentara Healthcare System network.

3) Radford University, Radford

Radford University admits students into the BSN program on its Radford campus after they’ve completed 124 hours of general education and nursing prerequisite coursework with a GPA of 2.8 or higher. Applicants are required to take the Kaplan Nursing Admission Test and must pass a criminal background check and a urine drug screening. November 15th is the deadline for fall semester admission while August 1st is the cut off for spring.

Hands-on clinical learning experiences will begin during your junior year at the Clinical Simulation Center affiliated with the Waldron College of Health and Human Services. Clinical rotations are carried out at hospitals and clinics throughout the Blue Ridge Mountain region. This is a rigorous program, and Radford strongly advises students to work no more than 10 hours a week while they are enrolled.

4) Longwood University, Farmville

If a public university in a small town located in the heart of Virginia’s agricultural countryside sounds like the right setting for your nursing school years, then Longwood University in Farmville is for you. The BSN program accepts students at the beginning of their freshman year. Hands-on learning experiences in the program’s simulated patient care environment commence right away. Before students can begin clinical rotations at the start of their junior year, they will be required to pass a criminal background check and a urine drug screening.

This nursing school maintains a 16:1 student to faculty ratio. Nursing students are also assigned faculty advisors who meet with students regularly to lend counsel and support. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to deliver high-quality patient care in a variety of different clinical settings.

5) Stratford University Woodbridge, Woodbridge

Stratford University Woodbridge’s nursing program is designed to help you become a dedicated patient advocate who understands how to put emerging technological innovations in healthcare to best use. You can start the nursing baccalaureate track as a freshman, and every applicant is accepted into the program. (is this right? is every applicant accepted)

Forty classes are required for graduation, and some of these classes take place at Stratford University’s campus in nearby Falls Church. Classes are divided into three areas: arts and sciences prerequisites, core requirements and electives. With a faculty to student ratio of 1:4, you can be confident that you will receive personalized attention from your instructors. You’ll begin your clinical instruction in a simulated health care environment that enables training in a broad range of assessments, procedures and emergency situations.

6) Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

Virginia Commonwealth University is located in one of the most historic cities in the entire United States. Its traditional BSN program is a three-year track that begins in the sophomore year. In order to be accepted into this program, you will need to maintain a GPA of 2.5. Highly qualified high school seniors may petition to be admitted into the program directly from high school. Students will begin taking nursing coursework in the spring of their sophomore year.

There are approximately 18 students for every faculty member. Aspiring nurses begin learning clinical skills in the University’s simulated hospital environment and then go on to participate in clinical rotations at VCU Medical Center and other health care facilities in the Richmond metropolitan area.

7) Liberty University, Lynchburg

The Liberty University School of Nursing is committed to training nurses according to Patricia Benner’s conceptual framework, which stresses clinical experience in addition to academic learning. Liberty University is a Christian institution, and its philosophy is that nursing is a ministry of caring. The School offers a traditional four-year curriculum that emphasizes liberal arts, sciences and Bible study during the first two years. While students are introduced to basic nursing concepts in their freshman and sophomore years, intensive education in nursing does not begin until the junior term.

The student to faculty ratio in clinical placements is 10:1 to help ensure that students receive the personalized attention they need to make the most out of their rotations through the area’s health care facilities. Cross-cultural understanding is particularly highlighted in this BSN program, and students take courses that will enhance their understanding of the nursing profession within the greater context of global health.

8) South University, Glen Allen

The nursing school at South University in Glen Allen, a census-designated area just north of Richmond, is a for-profit institution. This BSN program has an open admission policy, which means that so long as you have a high school diploma or a GED, you are likely to be accepted into it. The program does recommend completing a course in algebra at the college level in order to get the most out of your training.

You will need to undergo a criminal background check and a urine screening for drugs before you can start classes. Nursing coursework focuses on giving you a solid knowledge base, and clinical rotations aim to help you acquire the experiential foundations that will assist you in a variety of nursing specializations.

9) James Madison University, Harrisonburg

James Madison University admits students into the BSN program at its campus in Harrisonburg twice a year; applications for fall admission are due on December 1 while applications for spring admission are due on July 1. Classroom time emphasizes case studies, role-play and stimulating debate in addition to lectures. Students learn basic physical examination skills in state-of-the-art simulation labs. Students must maintain a C average in order to continue progressing along the baccalaureate track.

Your clinical rotations will take place in hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation facilities throughout the Shenandoah Valley. This nursing school believes that the key to student success is to encourage students to seek close relationships with their professors. In order to maintain a 10:1 student to instructor ratio, only 90 students are admitted into each class, and all faculty members have an open-door policy.

10) University of Virginia, Charlottesville

The BSN program at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is one of the oldest in the U.S. and is consistently ranked among the top 5 percent of the nation’s nursing programs. This program offers students the opportunity to begin nursing coursework at the beginning of their freshman year. Students can petition for Early Decision admission into the program by submitting a completed application by November 1st; general applications must be received by January 1st. In order to earn a baccalaureate degree, students must complete 120 credits of classwork. Clinical rotations start sophomore year and continue throughout junior and senior years.

The University of Virginia believes in an interprofessional approach to health sciences, and nursing students often share learning experiences with medical students. This program is one of only a handful in the nation that offers an international exchange program: Fourth-year students have the option of studying in Australia or New Zealand.


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