Nursing Programs in Northern Virginia with School Information

Northern Virginia has 3 colleges that offer nursing programs. Learn about the degree options, tuition info and program options for these 3 schools to make an informed education decision.

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Nursing Programs in Northern Virginia

The Virginia Board of Nursing requires all aspiring nurses to complete an approved educational program prior to seeking licensure. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) may attain licensure by passing the appropriate National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). All undergraduate programs mentioned in the next section prepare students for the NCLEX exam. There are 3 schools in Northern Virginia offering nursing programs; these 3 are presented below.

George Mason University

Based in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University was ranked one of the top 5 'up-and-coming institutions' in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report also ranked the School of Nursing graduate program as a Top Online Education Program. The School of Nursing, through the College of Health and Human Services, offers both undergraduate and graduate program options. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prepares students for nursing careers in hospitals, long-term care centers and other healthcare facilities. Students must complete 120 credit hours in prerequisite, core and elective nursing courses, as well as general education courses. Accelerated options for the BSN are available for working RNs and candidates holding bachelor's degrees in non-nursing fields.

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs offer the concentration areas of nursing administration, nurse educator, advanced clinical nursing and nurse practitioner; the nurse practitioner program features the further specializations of family nurse practitioner and adult nurse practitioner. Focused on leadership and research, the PhD in Nursing program familiarizes students with the process of conducting quantitative and qualitative nursing research, analyzing data and proposing healthcare policy changes based on their findings. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is intended for those individuals who wish to become expert clinical nurses. Students may concentrate in advanced clinical nursing, adult gerontology nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner or nursing administration.

Marymount University

Marymount University in Arlington is located right outside of the nation's capital. It was founded in 1950 and remains a coeducational Catholic institution. BSN program options are available for individuals at all points in their careers: high school graduates, current RNs and second-degree students. Typical nursing courses include nursing fundamentals, health assessment, pharmacology and illness management. Students are also required to complete a capstone project and internship.

The MSN program allows students to become family nurse practitioners. The curriculum comprises lab and clinical experiences and prepares students for certification exams offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Committee. Coursework includes advanced pathophysiology, health care data analysis and nursing research design. There is also a DNP program available for students who wish to focus on advanced clinical practice. Prior to graduation, all DNP candidates must prepare a manuscript and present it at a national conference.

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) has six campuses across northern Virginia, with its main campus located in Annandale. NVCC's Nursing Division offers a number of options for its associate's degree in nursing. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree program prepares students for nursing positions in diverse healthcare environments. The program usually takes two years to complete and covers topics such as nursing principles, nursing management, pharmacology and psychology. The AAS program may be completed through a traditional 4-semester track, an accelerated track with summer classes, a hybrid online track or a transfer track designed for students continuing into bachelor's programs. Graduates of all tracks of the program are eligible to sit for the Virginia nursing licensure examinations and pursue registered nursing (RN) positions.

School Comparison Table

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2012-2013
George Mason University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice
PhD in Nursing
$9,620 in-state*
$27,764 out-of-state*
Marymount University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Northern Virginia Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Nursing$3,485 in-state*
$8,159 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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