10 Best Virginia FNP Programs (Online & Campus) – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you an RN in Virginia who’s looking for more significant clinical challenges? Enrolling in one of the FNP programs in Virginia is a great way to gain more autonomy. As a family nurse practitioner in the Old Dominion State, you’ll work with a diverse patient population in settings that include hospital clinics, physicians’ practices, schools, and state and local healthcare agencies. You’ll make $116,690 a year, and demand for your services will be high. In fact, employment opportunities for family nurse practitioners in Virginia are expected to increase by 57 percent within the coming decade. Does this sound intriguing? You can learn more by reading through this list of the 10 best FNP programs in Virginia for 2024.


FOLLOWING ARE THE 10 BEST FNP PROGRAMS IN VIRGINIA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024

(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 10 best campus-based and online FNP programs in Virginia.)


1. University of Virginia - Charlottesville


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: The University of Virginia at Charlottesville is home to one of the best FNP programs in Virginia. Among its many accolades, U.S. News & World Report ranks the university as a best public school for master's in nursing, best for public DNP programs, and public Family Nurse Practitioner programs. The university offers the Family Nurse Practitioner program with three options, the MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master's Certificate.

The University of Virginia offers high-quality nursing education based on approaches that foster awareness of cultural and social diversity and critical thinking. The FNP program pathways feature faculty dedicated to identifying and developing each student's unique qualities.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program features an on-campus learning experience. The program offers full-time and part-time study options, which can be completed in two and three years, respectively.

This pathway features a 46-credit hour curriculum. Students in the MSN-FNP program take classes including Advanced Pharmacology, Health Policy: leading Change to Advance Population Health, Child & Family Health & Wellness, Skills for Family Nurse Practitioner Practice, and Transition to Advanced Practice. In addition to didactic instruction, students complete a minimum of 600 hands-on clinical practice hours at various affiliate clinical sites.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program offers registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or generalist MSN degree the opportunity to achieve a Doctor of Nursing Practice and specialize as a Family Nurse Practitioner. The program is delivered in a campus-based learning format and is available in both traditional and accelerated study plans. The traditional BSN-to-DNP typically takes four years to complete, and the accelerated program can be completed in three years.

The curriculum for the BSN-to-DNP-FNP consists of two years of master's level coursework followed by two years of DNP coursework, totaling 85 credits. After completing the 46-credit hour MSN curriculum, you will transition to DNP coursework and earn an additional 39 credits. This pathway's DNP component includes the classes Applied Statistics for Clinical Practice, Nursing Ethics for Advanced Practice, Culturally Sensitive Care/Population Health, and Evidence-Based Practice.

In alignment with the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing mandates, all DNP students in this family nurse practitioner program in Virginia complete a minimum of 1,00 hours of preceptor-supervised clinical experiences.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: If you have a Master of Science in Nursing and want to become a Family Nurse Practitioner without pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing, the Post-Master's Certificate pathway could be a great choice for you. This pathway is available to registered nurses with an active, unencumbered license to practice as an RN and hold certification as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Students in this pathway complete didactic coursework in a classroom setting and participate in clinical practicum at various clinical sites. Full-time students can complete the Post-Master's FNP Certificate in two years, including a summer session in the first year.

All Post-Master's Certificate program candidates must complete three admissions prerequisites: Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, and Advanced Pharmacology. The PMC curriculum includes 23 credits, which are earned through classes, including Child & Family Health and Wellness, Skills for Family Nurse Practitioner Practice, and Women's Health Seminar. Students in the Post-Master's Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner program must complete a minimum of 600 clinical hours to meet graduation requirements.


2. Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Professional Certificate

About the School: If you’re looking for a great FNP program in Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University has some terrific options. The university is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for having some of the Best MSN and Best DNP programs in the nation. With low student-to-faculty ratios, you can benefit from individualized faculty attention and instruction.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Family Nurse Practitioner program is designed to prepare students to foster leadership and collaboration skills used in providing healthcare services to patients across the lifespan. One of the attractive features of the university is its nursing clinical resource laboratory where you can learn essential skills before transitioning to clinical practicum and professional practice.

MSN Program Details: The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at Virginia Commonwealth University is another excellent choice among the FNP programs in Virginia. The program is offered as an on-campus learning option with part-time and full-time plans. Part-time students can anticipate graduating in three years, while full-time students usually take two years to graduate.

This FNP pathway consists of a 44-credit-hour curriculum. You will earn 23 credits from core courses, including Health Policy Leadership & Advocacy and Epidemiology & Population Health. 21 credits are earned in concentration-specific classes, which include complex Problems in Family Practice Care, Primary Care of the Adult-Gerontology Population, and Maternal & Child Health in Primary Care. You will participate in three Family Primary Care practicum courses in this pathway, earning a minimum of 600 clinical practice hours.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP FNP is a direct clinical practice concentration with a 66-credit-hour degree curriculum. The program's focus is on quality and safety for advanced nursing practice. The coursework consists of core classes, direct care concentration core classes, and concentration-specific classes. In this pathway, you will study topics, including Health Information & Emerging Health Care Technologies, Health Policy Leadership & Advocacy, Complex Problems in Family Primary Care, and Evaluating Evidence to Improve Health Outcomes.

Students complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours in the BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner pathway. 600 clinical hours are earned from direct patient care. This clinical component focuses on your role as a care provider, including assessing, diagnosing, and managing patient care. The remaining 400 clinical hours are focused on developing advanced leadership skills to help improve healthcare outcomes for patients.

Post-Professional Certificate Program Details: The Post-Professional Certificate program offers an option for master's- or doctoral-prepared registered nurses to specialize as Family Nurse Practitioners. The program offers two start dates yearly. The Post-Professional Certificate FNP pathway is a six-course program consisting of 21 credit hours.

The curriculum includes three in-person classes: Primary Care of the Adult-Gerontology Population, Maternal & Child Health in Primary Care, Complex Problems in Family Practice Care, and three clinical practicum courses. All students earn at least 600 clinical hours in family practice-related settings.


3. George Mason University - Fairfax


Programs Offered: MSN and BSN-to-DNP

About the School: George Mason University prides itself on offering an innovative, technologically advanced, competency-based curriculum to provide some of the best FNP programs in Virginia. The school offers two pathways for registered nurses to earn a graduate degree and become Family Nurse Practitioners, the MSN-FNP and BSN-to-DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner programs.

George Mason University's School of Nursing boasts nationally, and internationally recognized faculty mentors dedicated to student success. The university promotes a collaborative environment supporting faculty in research efforts designed to contribute to the nursing profession and improve patient and student outcomes.

MSN Program Details: The Master of Science in Nursing-FNP program offers on-campus and fully online coursework options, making it possible for you to choose a study format best suited to your needs. You can complete the program in two years of full-time study or three years if you enroll part-time.

The MSN-FNP program requires students to complete 49 graduate credits. The curriculum includes 15 core course credits focused on Ethical and Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Nursing Informatics, Organizational Structure of Nursing and Healthcare Delivery Systems, and Nursing Research & Biostatistics. The remaining 34 credits are FNP-focused and include Decision Making & Pharmacologic Management in Practice, Physiology & Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice, and Pharmacotherapeutics. The program includes three clinical practicum courses/internships through which students earn a minimum of 600 clinical practice hours.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: If you have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and desire to earn a doctoral nursing degree and practice as an FNP, the BSN-to-DNP program at George Mason University could be a good choice for you. This excellent family nurse practitioner program in Virginia is designed to be completed in eight semesters, including two summer sessions. It is offered in a hybrid format with a mix of in-person and online coursework and clinical site-based practicum experiences.

The BSN-to-DNP pathway features a minimum 72-credit curriculum. Coursework focuses on topics including Healthcare Delivery Systems, Ethics, and doctoral-level courses focused on Administration, Informatics, Policy and Evidence-Based Practice.

All students in the BSN-to-DNP program must complete at least 1,000 precepted clinical hours. As a student in this program, you will complete two doctoral practice inquiry project courses culminating in a DNP Scholarly Project.


4. Marymount University - Arlington


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: Marymount University is a Catholic university dedicated to the ethical, spiritual, and intellectual development of students. The university prides itself on offering high-quality, accredited nursing programs focused on in-depth studies, leadership models, and evidence-based and informed clinical experiences. At Marymount, you can choose from three paths to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, the MSN, BSN-to-DNP, or Post-Master's Certificate program.

MSN Program Details: Marymount University offers one of the best MSN online FNP programs in Virginia. The program is designed for baccalaureate-prepared nurses and offers 100% online coursework, making it an excellent option for working nurses. The program features expert faculty who are practicing Family Nurse Practitioners dedicated to helping you transition to an advanced role as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program, which features a 45-credit-hour curriculum, can be completed in a little more than two years. The program is only offered in a part-time format. Coursework in the MSN-FNP program includes classes such as Innovative Models of Care Delivery, Population Health, and Leadership, Quality, & Ethics in Healthcare.

In addition to theoretical instruction, you will participate in laboratory simulations and on-campus residency experiences to prepare you for your clinical practicum. Clinical Placement Coordinators facilitate clinical assignments and support you as a primary point of contact throughout your clinical experiences. All students complete a minimum of 700 clinical practice hours.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP program at Marymount University is available to BSN registered nurses with an active, unencumbered license to practice as an RN and one year of full-time experience as a practicing registered nurse. The program is offered in a part-time, online format, making it a convenient option for working nurses.

The BSN-to-DNP pathway consists of a 63–70-hour curriculum. If you pursue this pathway, you will take classes, including Advanced Health Assessment, Epidemiology, Multivariate Analysis, and Advanced Pathophysiology. Doctoral nursing students complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours while enrolled in the program. The BSN-to-DNP program culminates with a Doctoral Project, which you will disseminate to healthcare and nursing communities.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: Another option for an FNP program in Virginia is the Marymount University Post-Master's Certificate with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration. The program takes 20 months to complete. The program includes a 30-credit hour, eight-course online curriculum. It also includes two campus residencies and 700 clinical hours.


5. Radford University - Radford


Programs Offered: MSN and DNP

About the School: Radford University is home to two of the best FNP programs in Virginia. The university is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Graduate Nursing Programs. Whether you want to pursue a master's-level graduate degree or a terminal doctoral degree in nursing and become a Family Nurse Practitioner, Radford University has options to fit your needs.

At Radford, students have access to a state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Center where classroom theory is applied in a safe, controlled environment. Experienced, renowned, and dedicated faculty are a main asset to the Radford University FNP program, acting as mentors and supporters to students through the program and beyond.

MSN Program Details: The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at Radford University builds upon your knowledge and experience as a licensed registered nurse, preparing you to advance to graduate-level nursing in a family practitioner role. The program is available in a hybrid format blending on-campus and online learning. The MSN pathway is offered part-time and is designed to be completed in eight semesters.

The MSN pathway features a rigorous curriculum that includes 50 credit hours of coursework. In addition to theoretical course presentations, students participate in two to three on-campus intensives designed to help develop hands-on skills relevant to FNP practice. Students also complete a minimum of 605 clinical practice hours.

DNP Program Details: If you’re searching for an FNP program in Virginia where you can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice and specialize as a Family Nurse Practitioner, the DNP program at Radford University may be a perfect choice for you. The program is offered in a distance-based format, promoting flexibility for working nurses.

As a student in the DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner program, you will complete 81 credit hours. From Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing to advanced classes in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Health Assessment, you will obtain the knowledge needed to begin your transition into the role of a Family Nurse Practitioner.

As you advance to the doctoral-level coursework, you will learn in classes like Clinical Scholarship & Population-Based Outcomes for Advanced Practice Nurses and Synthesis for Evaluation of Evidence-Based Data for Advanced Practice Nurses. All students complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours and a DNP Scholarly Project.


6. Old Dominion University - Norfolk


Programs Offered: MSN and Graduate Certificate

About the School: With more than 20 years of experience providing Family Nurse Practitioner Education, Old Dominion University is a great option if you're looking for FNP programs in Virginia. Old Dominion is dedicated to helping nurses broaden their knowledge, skills, and professional reach through strong academic and clinical experiences.

At Old Dominion University, you will learn from nationally renowned faculty who are actively involved in efforts to improve healthcare, and professional education, and promote positive student outcomes. Graduates of the Old Dominion MSN and Graduate Certificate FNP programs have excellent pass rates on certification examinations, indicating the school is a great choice for a place to pursue an FNP program in Virginia.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner pathway features a 49-credit-hour curriculum. In this program, students complete 21 master’s-level core courses and 28 credits from the FNP curriculum. Coursework includes classes like Aging in the 21st Century, Health Promotion & Maintenance, and Primary Care Approaches for Women.

Graduate Certificate Program Details: The online Graduate Certificate with FNP specialization is an excellent opportunity for master's-prepared advanced practice registered nurses to become licensed Family Nurse Practitioners in a short amount of time. The program is designed to be completed in four semesters or approximately 18 months.

The Graduate Certificate FNP program consists of a 23-24 credit hour curriculum, including three practicum experiences. The program includes classes such as Primary Care Approaches for children, Family & Community Primary Care Assessment, and Advanced Family Nursing: Management of Acute Illness/Management of Chronic Illnesses.


7. James Madison University - Harrisonburg


Programs Offered: MSN and BSN-to-DNP

About the School: James Madison University’s School of Nursing prides itself in preparing graduate nurses capable of using evidence and research-based practices to promote positive patient outcomes. The school is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Nursing Schools for MSN Programs, Best DNP Programs, and Best Nursing Schools for Online Graduate Nursing Programs, indicating it truly is an excellent choice to pursue the best FNP programs in Virginia.

The university offers a Simulation Lab, Skills Lab, and Standardized Patient Suites, providing students with realistic primary care settings to practice and hone skills before transitioning to direct patient care in clinical practicum. FNP students benefit from small cohort sizes, which makes engagement with faculty and peers easier.

MSN Program Details: The Master of Science in Nursing-FNP program prepares bachelor's-prepared registered nurses to meet the needs of patients of all ages throughout complex healthcare environments as licensed Family Nurse Practitioners. The MSN-FNP program is offered in a hybrid format, with most classes conducted online and minimal face-to-face campus requirements. You have the option of part-time or full-time study. Part-time students typically complete the program in three years, while full-time students usually graduate in two years.

The curriculum includes 49 credit hours, which are earned from coursework and clinicals. MSN students take classes, including Research for the Advanced Health Professional, Care & Delivery Coordination, Epidemiology & Population Assessment, and Healthcare Policy. There are also three practicum courses through which you will earn at least 780 clinical practice hours before graduation.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: James Madison University offers another excellent BSN-to-DNP family nurse practitioner program in Virginia. The program is presented in a hybrid format, blending online and in-person classes and incorporating face-to-face clinical experiences. This BSN-to-DNP program is designed as a full-time plan of study and can be completed in three years.

The BSN-to-DNP pathway features a rigorous curriculum that includes 65 credits. In this program, you will study Organizational Behavior in Healthcare, Analytical Methods for Healthcare, and Evidence-Based Practice: Clinical Prevention & Population Health Promotion. Students complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours in this program.


8. Shenandoah University - Winchester


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Graduate Certificate

About the School: If you’re searching for family nurse practitioner programs in Virginia that offer an online learning experience, Shenandoah University could have what you’ve been searching for. With three pathways to earn a degree and study a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration, you can choose the program that is best aligned with your academic goals.

Shenandoah's Family Nurse Practitioner program pathways are taught by practicing NP clinicians, which means you have access to the most current news and information relevant to family practice nursing. The goal of Shenandoah University and the program faculty is to challenge and encourage you as you prepare for your next role, Family Nurse Practitioner.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program at Shenandoah University is a great option for BSN registered nurses desiring a graduate nursing degree and a career as an FNP. The program is designed for online learning with synchronous course delivery. Students who progress successfully in the program typically graduate in seven semesters.

The MSN-FNP curriculum consists of 45 credit hours earned through online coursework and hands-on clinical experiences. In this program, you will study topics including Advanced Nurse Practitioner Role Development, Data Interpretation & Informatics, Advanced Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Advanced Health Promotion & Assessment Across the Lifespan. You will complete at least 600 hours of direct patient care to satisfy the clinical practicum requirements of the program.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The Shenandoah University BSN-to-DNP program is an excellent FNP program in Virginia for registered nurses desiring to earn a doctoral nursing degree and become Family Nurse Practitioners. The program can be completed in three years or nine consecutive semesters, including summers. The program is delivered in a fully online format with synchronous class meetings each week.

The BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program requires students to complete 75 credits and more than 1,100 clinical practice hours. The program offers a dense curriculum with classes such as Research & Evidence-Based Practice, Analytical Methods & Statistics, Advanced Concepts in Physiology & Pathophysiology, and Translational Research.

Post-Graduate Certificate Program Details: The Post-Graduate Certificate program is available to nurses with a current Master of Science in Nursing degree and an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse.

This Post-Graduate FNP program in Virginia is offered in a fully online format and designed to be completed in six consecutive semesters or two years. Current NPs who wish to transition their practice to the role of an FNP typically complete 23 credits and 600 clinical hours and graduate in five semesters. Non-Nurse Practitioner candidates complete the program in seven semesters, earning 28 credits and 600 clinical hours.


9. ECPI University - Virginia Beach


Programs Offered: MSN

About the School: If you love providing direct patient care but want to have a more autonomous and influential role in their care, ECPI University is a school worth considering. The university offers a Master of Science in Nursing program with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration that is one of the best FNP programs in Virginia.

MSN Program Details: The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program is offered exclusively online, which makes it a great choice for busy, working professionals. If you enroll full-time, it is possible to complete your MSN-FNP degree in as few as 22 months.

The program, which is an excellent family nurse practitioner program in Virginia, consists of a 49-semester credit hour curriculum. If you choose to pursue this pathway, you will study classes, including Policy, Politics, & Advocacy in Healthcare, Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice, Healthcare Technologies, and Advanced Pharmacology for Prescribers. Students complete a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practicum.


10. Liberty University - Lynchburg


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP

About the School: Liberty University offers students seeking for FNP programs in Virginia the option to learn from professionals in the field. The university is grounded in Christian faith, and nursing faculty work to demonstrate their faith through excellence in nursing practice and education.

Students in Liberty University’s nursing programs have access to a state-of-the-art Simulation Center to learn new skills and techniques relevant to professional practice. The center is equipped with examination rooms and laboratory equipment, including high-fidelity mannequins, allowing you to practice in a safe, controlled, yet realistic environment.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: At Liberty University, baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses can pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice and FNP-focused studies through the BSN-to-DNP program. The program features a residential program option that takes an average of four years to complete and an online format that typically takes three years. With high certification examination pass rates and employment placement rates, both pathways are among the best family nurse practitioner programs in Virginia.

Some of the courses you will take in the 78-credit hour curriculum are Issues in Global Health, Healthcare Operations & Financial Management, Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Practitioners, and Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology. Students in both the Residential and Online pathways are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient care.


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Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).



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