Practical nursing training in Virginia is offered at many of the state's community colleges through undergraduate certificate programs. These programs require completion of 41-56 credits and may take around a year to complete. Students participate in lectures, labs and clinical experiences. In addition to nursing courses, students may complete studies in anatomy and physiology, English composition, psychology and biology. Applicants need to have a high school degree or its equivalent and may need to pass an admissions assessment. Additionally, some programs require candidates to have passed a high school biology class with a 'C' or better.
Danville Community College
At the community college in Danville, practical nursing students can earn an associate of applied science by completing a 65-credit program spanning three to four semesters. Students take courses in college composition, math for the health professions, anatomy/physiology and psychology. They study trends in nursing, medical terminology and pharmacology. During nursing courses that cover mental health nursing, mother/child nursing and nursing in health changes, students learn through classroom lectures and hands-on, supervised experiences that take place in healthcare facilities.
Germanna Community College
Located in Locust Grove, Germanna Community College offers a 42-credit program that leads to a certificate in practical nursing. The program takes three semesters, or about 11 months, to complete. Four general education courses are required: psychology, biology, English composition and student development. Nursing courses include lectures and clinical experiences. Students learn about maternity nursing, mental health nursing and nursing through health changes.
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
At J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, students seeking a certificate in practical nursing enroll as pre-practical nursing students and complete required courses in student success skills, English composition and biology, as well as take an assessment test. They must demonstrate computer competency and be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Nursing courses include nutrition, pharmacology and practical nursing trends. In addition to learning through lectures, students gain practical skills in nursing labs and through clinical experiences in healthcare facilities.
Lord Fairfax Community College
At Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, students can earn a certificate through three semesters of study in the practical nursing program, which totals 49 credit hours. Prerequisite courses include biology, English composition and psychology. The nursing program includes courses in trends in nursing, pharmacology, nutrition and management. Practical nursing students get hands-on training through courses in psychiatric nursing, nursing in health changes and maternity/newborn/pediatric care. Students must earn at least a 'C' in all courses.
New River Community College
The practical nursing program at New River Community College in Dublin grants a certificate to students who successfully complete a one-year program. Admission requirements include holding a high school or GED diploma, passing an assessment test and attending an orientation session. The program totals 50 credits and includes courses in English composition, psychology, anatomy/physiology and student success. The first semester consists of lecture classes, and students move into clinical experiences during the second semester. Clinical work covers several types of nursing and is conducted at the Lewis Gale Hospital at Pulaski as well as at other healthcare facilities.
Piedmont Virginia Community College
Charlottesville's Piedmont Virginia Community College allows students to earn a certificate in practical nursing through a one-year program. Applicants to the program must demonstrate proficiency in algebra, reading and writing; meet requirements for a biology course; and have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 in required non-nursing courses such as psychology, anatomy and English composition. The nursing program consists of 41 credits over three semesters. Students take classroom courses in pharmacology and medical terminology and learn nursing skills through clinical experiences.
Rappahannock Community College
Applicants to the practical nursing certificate program at Rappahannock Community College in Glenns must have a GED certificate or high school diploma, pass the nursing pre-entrance exam and college skills assessment tests and earn a 'C' or better in high school biology. During the three-semester practical nursing program, they'll take classes in nursing terminology, anatomy, calculating drug dosages, sociology and pharmacology. Nursing courses combine lectures and clinical experiences that include working with real clients. The program totals 48 credit hours.
Southside Virginia Community College
Southside Virginia Community College offers the practical nursing certificate program at its locations in Alberta, South Boston, Chase City and Farmville, with clinical sites near each area. Admission requirements include a GED certificate or high school diploma, high school biology with a 'C' or better and satisfactory admissions test scores. The program requires 49 credits, or about one year, but the general education course requirement means that most students need more than a year to graduate. General education courses include human biology, English composition, psychology, nursing terminology and drug dosage calculations. Students get clinical experience through three nursing courses and also study nutrition and nursing trends.
Virginia Western Community College
The practical nursing certificate program at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke requires four semesters of study. Students are admitted only in August of each year. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED certificate and a grade of 'C' or better in high school biology. The program calls for 56 credits, including general education courses, such as psychology and English composition. Nursing courses cover topics including drug dosage calculation, physiology and pharmacology. Students get classroom and clinical instruction in general nursing skills and several specialties, such as mother/child nursing, gerontological nursing and mental health nursing.
Wytheville Community College
Students need five semesters to earn a certificate in the practical nursing program at the community college in Wytheville. The program can be completed in two years. Students learn through classroom work as well as clinical experiences that begin in the third semester. Courses include computer applications, composition, pharmacology and physiology. Mother/child nursing, mental health nursing and pediatric nursing are also covered. The school gives admission preference to rising seniors from the area's participating high schools, followed by adults from the college's service area or from areas of Virginia that do not have practical nursing programs.
Practical nurses in Virginia are licensed through the State Board of Nursing. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) must have completed a state-approved practical nursing education program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Below is a table containing facts about each program, including tuition costs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Practical Nursing Certificates Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Danville Community College||Two-year, public; distant town||Associate of Applied Science in Health Science- Practical Nursing||$4,710 in-state; $10,638 out-of-state*|
|Germanna Community College||Two-year, public; rural||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,913 in-state; $10,841 out-of-state*|
|J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College||Two-year, public; suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,998 in-state; $10,926 out-of-state*|
|Lord Fairfax Community College||Two-year, public; rural||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,739 in-state; $10,667 out-of-state*|
|New River Community College||Two-year, public; town||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,697 in-state; $10,625 out-of-state*|
|Piedmont Virginia Community College||Two-year, public; suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,790 in-state; $10,718 out-of-state*|
|Rappahannock Community College||Two-year, public; rural||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,820 in-state; $10,748 out-of-state*|
|Southside Virginia Community College||Two-year, public; rural||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,695 in-state; $10,623 out-of-state*|
|Virginia Western Community College||Two-year, public; small city||Practical Nursing Certificate||$5,355 in-state; $11,283 out-of-state*|
|Wytheville Community College||Two-year, public; town||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,725 in-state; $10,653 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).