Virginia Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022

AKA: Virginia NP License, APRN Licensure, Certificate of Authority

Last Reviewed: October 1st, 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Virginia

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Virginia.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?Skip to the next section

If you want to pursue an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) role (this includes NPs), you are expected to have a registered nurse (RN) license. If you don’t have one, you will have to apply to the Virginia board of nursing to take the National Certification Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to get the RN license. If you already have this license from a non-compact state then you can go ahead to apply for licensure in Virginia by endorsement.

RN by Examination

People who have graduated from board-approved nursing programs but have not been licensed as registered nurses in Virginia are required to follow this route.

  • Complete a state-approved nursing program in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a minimum of an Associate Degree In Nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • A requirement for licensure via this route is an attestation letter from your nursing program sent to the board. If the program does not offer attestations, your official transcripts will be required.
  • You must submit an application to the Board of Nursing and pay the required fee. The application fee is currently $190, paid either by credit or debit card online. These applications are only available online in Virginia.
  • Register for the NCLEX examination with PearsonVUE. All NCLEX examination registrations will be open for a 365-day period during which the board will decide if you are eligible to take the exam. A nonrefundable fee of $200 is to be paid for the exam. You will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN once the Board of Nursing has received, reviewed, and accepted your application and any relevant supporting documentation. An Authorization to Test (ATT) will be sent to the e-mail address you used to register with Pearson Vue. The ATT is only valid for a certain amount of time. An ATT’s validity period is usually around 90 days. Within this deadline, you must arrange and complete your test. It is critical to keep an eye out for your ATT. Always check your mail because the validity dates of ATTs cannot be extended.
  • Pearson Vue transmits exam results to the Board of Nursing directly. Within 6 weeks of completing the exam, you will receive your results in the mail. You will acquire your license if you passed the NCLEX-RN. Check with the Board of Nursing for information about your license, as it may take some time to become official.

RN by Endorsement

An RN who is already licensed in another state in the United States may apply through endorsement.

  • Applicants who apply through this route are required to have passed the NCLEX-RN or an equivalent exam, as well as all other prerequisites for acquiring an RN license by examination in their home state.
  • You can apply here for licensure by endorsement at a fee of $190.
  • The board requires the verification of the original RN license. License verification can be done online at Nursys in several cases. The exception is verification of licensure for states like Michigan, California, and Pennsylvania that are not identified with Nursys. Contact the board of nursing of any of these states for information on verification of licensure.

A fingerprint-based criminal background check (CBC) is required from all applicants for the RN license. More information on the CBC is available here. All fees are non-refundable and can be paid online via either credit or debit card. A check payable to the Treasurer of Virginia is also accepted if applicable. The wizard tool on the board’s site provides more information on getting an initial RN license in Virginia.

Advanced Education Requirement

Aspiring APRN-NPs are expected to go through advanced education and training to prepare them for the role. You will need to complete a minimum of a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree to qualify for NP licensure.

Here you can find, sort, and filter all schools offering nurse practitioner degree programs in Virginia.

Getting an advanced education is necessary to help you understand the advanced nursing practice. In getting a MSN degree, you’ll learn in-depth the concepts you have been taught previously and how you can apply the knowledge in your desired area of specialization. Your advanced education must be on a specific APRN focus. All you’ll learn will mostly be things relevant to your chosen specialty and this should also prepare you for certification in that specialty by a nationally accredited certification organization.

National Certification

If your NP certificate of authority (license) is to stay valid, you must hold and maintain national certification with a recognized agency. A prospective NP must be certified by a national certifying organization authorized by the board for a specific role and population emphasis after earning an advanced degree from an NP preparatory school. Certifying agencies are in charge of evaluating your NP education. This evaluation is done through an exam conducted for prospective NPs by the certifying organization. Listed below are some of the agencies recognized by the board for certifying NPs:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse practitioner in Virginia

Getting an NP license requires at least an RN license. Further education in an NP preparatory school is also a prerequisite, as well as national certification in a specific area of specialization. The board will also require your official transcript from your advanced nursing program.

To apply for the license, you are required to pay a fee of $125 to the board. You can apply either by endorsement or by examination here.

If you already have an NP license in another jurisdiction, you can apply for the NP license by endorsement. Alongside the other requirements stated above, you’ll also need to provide verification of licensure sent directly from the state’s board where the license was acquired to the Virginia Board of Nursing’s office via mail or email to appsupportdocs@dhp.virginia.gov

The transcripts must also be sent directly to the board from a graduate degree program. The national certification will also need to be verified by the particular certifying organization you applied to, and the verification must be sent directly to the board’s office by mail or email too. You can check the status of your application here.