8 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in Virginia Today (BSN & MSN)

With accelerated nursing programs in Virginia, you can transition from a non-nursing background to being a registered nurse in the commonwealth- in as few as 12-15 months!

Demand for qualified nurses in Virginia is on the rise, and there have been calls for state intervention to expand colleges & universities to train more future nurses.

In this article, we list the best accelerated nursing programs in Virginia today. They include accelerated BSN & direct-entry MSN programs.

7 Best Accelerated BSN Programs in Virginia

1. Virginia Commonwealth University- Accelerated BSN

The VCU Accelerated BSN program transitions you into nursing in just 18 months. This five-semester program covers 67 credit hours to ensure you’re well-equipped with the skills and knowledge needed in today’s dynamic healthcare landscape.

Duration: 18 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Richmond, VA

Clinical Experience

VCU has a partnership with the VCU Medical Center, a Level I trauma center that enjoys Magnet status. You’ll do your clinical here and at other leading healthcare facilities.

Why choose VCU’s Accelerated BSN?

One significant advantage is its location. VCU is situated in Richmond, Virginia- a vibrant city that combines the buzz of urban living with a welcoming community spirit.

But, more importantly, VCU’s ABSN program stands out for its affordability. While providing top-tier education, the tuition cost remains competitive, especially when compared to more costly programs like the accelerated BSN at George Washington University.

About VCU School of Nursing

VCU School of Nursing was founded in 1893 based on the Florence Nightingale methods. It then evolved from a diploma program to a four-year degree program in 1953.

It is recognized as one of the top nursing graduate schools in the US, and enrolls about 900 students.

2. Shenandoah University- Accelerated Second Degree BSN

Shenandoah University’s Accelerated Second Degree BSN is a 15-month, intensive program with 65 credits.

Duration: 15 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Winchester, VA & Leesburg, VA

The Accelerated Second Degree BSN track is available at two convenient locations. You can choose between the Health and Life Sciences Building in Winchester or Scholar Plaza in Loudoun, which is strategically located just east of Leesburg on Route 7.

Both campuses boast state-of-the-art facilities, designed to foster an immersive learning environment.

Clinical Experience

Thanks to collaborative relationships with many regional hospitals, you’ll gain hands-on nursing practice in various real-world healthcare settings.

If you opt for the Winchester location, your clinical rotations will be conducted at hospitals within the Valley Health System, including Winchester Medical Center, Warren Memorial Hospital, Shenandoah Hospital, and WVU East Berkeley Medical Center.

On the other hand, studying at Scholar Plaza will give you access to clinical placements at the prestigious INOVA Health System Hospitals, which include Loudoun, Fair Oaks, Fairfax, and Alexandria hospitals. You may also have the opportunity to gain experience at the Reston Hospital Center and the Virginia Hospital Center.

About SU School of Nursing

Shenandoah’s nursing program started in 1962 when Winchester Medical Center moved its diploma program there. Now, it’s one of the biggest programs at Shenandoah University, with over 480 students and almost $6 million in grants and scholarships.

The program has a strong 95+% pass rate on the NCLEX. The school’s mission is to empower lifelong learners who provide evidence-based, compassionate care to promote wellness for all.

3. Old Dominion University- BSN Prelicensure

Many ABSN programs require you to hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. But ODU’s BSN Prelicensure program is quite flexible. It welcomes high school graduates, holders of associate’s degrees, and those with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing.

Duration: Approx 18 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

It is a 5-semester academic program, consisting of 66 credits.

Clinical Experiences

You’ll do clinical rotations on clinical practice sites throughout Hampton Roads. These placements enable you to gain hands-on experience in diverse healthcare settings.

About ODU School of Nursing

Old Dominion University was started in 1930. The School of Nursing began in 1962 and has been training nurses for over 50 years. The school is fully accredited by CCNE since 1999, and boasts an 89% average NCLEX pass rate.

It’s dedicated to transforming healthcare by nurturing excellent nurses, advancing nursing knowledge, and partnering up with the global community.

4. Marymount University- accelerated BSN

Marymount University stands out by offering flexibility and choices that fit your unique needs and situations through their accelerated BSN program. You can earn a BSN in the following different ways:

  1. Full-Time Study: This path allows you to earn your BSN in just 15 months over 4 consecutive semesters, with enrollment options in both the fall and spring.
  2. Online Learning: If you prefer a distance learning environment, the online program at Marymount can be completed in 16 months (over 4 consecutive semesters), also with entry points in fall and spring.
  3. Part-Time Study: This track caters to students who need to balance their studies with other life commitments. It spans 3 years across 9 consecutive semesters and offers entry in the fall only.

Duration: 15-16 months full-time or 3 years part-time

Format: On Campus or Online

Location: Arlington, VA

Clinical Experiences

The Malek School of Nursing Professions at Marymount University is affiliated with several leading healthcare organizations in the Washington metropolitan area- which will serve as your clinical placement sites.

These include the Inova Health System, Children’s National Medical Center, and Virginia Hospital Center, etc.

The school has a dedicated Clinical Placement Team to coordinate the clinical placement process. They can help secure a placement site and preceptor within a reasonable distance from your location.

About Marymount University’s School of Nursing Professions

The Malek School of Nursing Professions at Marymount University aims to inspire the next generation of leaders in nursing. They aspire to be the leading nursing school in Virginia and beyond, focusing on improving the health of communities locally, regionally, and globally.

5. George Mason University- Accelerated Second Degree BSN

With the Accelerated Second Degree BSN program at George Mason University, you earn 47 credits over the span of just a year. The program admits every fall.

Duration: 12 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Fairfax, VA

Clinical Experience

Since it’s based in the heart of the National Capitol area, George Mason University provides you with an unparalleled opportunity to gain practical exposure in leading clinical settings in the region.

About George Mason’s School of Nursing

George Mason University consistently has a NCLEX pass rate above 90% for its ABSN program. The School of Nursing aims to train future leaders in nursing to tackle the challenges in our complex and diverse healthcare system.

6. ECPI University- BS to BSN

This fast-track program at ECPI University helps you earn 75 credits within a year. In a short span of 12 months, you’ll be ready to sit for the NCLEX-RN!

Duration: 12 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

ECPI University is innovative too, incorporating cutting-edge technology to offer you a unique learning experience. The institution developed a fully operational five-story virtual hospital, that you can access from anywhere, any time.

The goal is for you to explore the inner workings of a hospital and gain a comprehensive understanding of the roles and responsibilities of various healthcare employees.

About ECPI

ECPI (East Coast Polytechnic Institute) University is a private, for-profit institution established in 1966, with its main location in Virginia Beach.

It offers accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and online. Its nursing programs consistently achieve over 90% NCLEX pass rates.

7. Eastern Mennonite University- Accelerated Second Degree BSN

The EMU ASD BSN program is designed for individuals seeking a swift transition into the nursing profession. Over the course of 15 months, you’ll complete 4 semesters of intense study. The program commences in May and ends the following August.

Duration: 15 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Harrisonburg, VA

This accelerated program comprises a total of 60 credit hours, a robust curriculum that provides a comprehensive understanding of the nursing field.

From theoretical principles to hands-on practice, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to excel in healthcare settings.

About EMU

EMU, established in 1917, is a private university affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Their mission is to produce leaders who are culturally competent, dedicated to peace and justice, and grounded in the teachings of Jesus.

The NCLEX pass rate for the ASD BSN program is usually above 90%.

Related: Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

Best Direct-Entry MSN/Entry-Level Nursing Masters in Virginia

1. University of Virginia- Clinical Nurse Leader (Direct Entry MSN)

If you’re a career changer with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you might want to consider the University of Virginia’s Direct Entry MSN-Clinical Nurse Leader program.

This fast-track program allows you to become a nurse in just two years. The journey involves intense full-time study, requiring the completion of 75 credits over 4 semesters and 2 summers.

Duration: 24 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Charlottesville, VA

The program starts in mid-May each year.

Clinical Experience

You’ll do over 840 clinical hours spread across five specialties-which are labor and delivery, medical-surgical, psychiatric mental health, community and public health, and pediatric nursing.

You’ll practice in various settings, including the UVA Medical Center, other Charlottesville-based clinics, and even through selected global experiences.

A Stepping Stone Towards Nurse Practitioner

If you have aspirations of becoming a nurse practitioner, this CNL program will earn you 12 credits towards a subsequent Nurse Practitioner MSN, giving you a head start.

Competitive Application Process

With a yearly acceptance of 45 to 50 students from approximately 150 applicants, the University of Virginia Direct Entry MSN- CLN program is competitive- with a 30-33% acceptance rate.

About UVA School of Nursing

The University of Virginia’s School of Nursing is part of the world-class UVA Health. It ranks in the top 2% of US graduate nursing programs.

The UVA Direct Entry MSN- CLN program boasts an average NCLEX pass rate of over 94% in the last 4 years and a CNL Certification Exam pass rate above 90%.

Typical Admission Requirements for Accelerated Nursing Programs in Virginia

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Apart from the Old Dominion University ABSN program, which also welcomes non-nursing associate degree holders & high school graduates, the other accelerated nursing programs in Virginia need a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Most programs require the completion of prerequisite coursework, typically including Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Nutrition, Psychology, Statistics, and potentially other science and humanities courses.
  • Minimum GPA: Many programs require a minimum GPA, often around 3.0 or higher. The VCU ABSN program, however, requires at least a 2.5 GPA.
  • Entrance Exam: These programs require an entrance exam, such as the TEAS or the HESI Admission Assessment Exam.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from academic advisors, professors, employers, or health professionals are typically required.
  • Nursing School Personal Statement or Essay: Most programs require a personal statement or essay explaining the applicant’s interest in nursing, career goals, and why they’re a good fit for the program.
  • Interview: Some programs require an interview as part of the application process.
  • Clinical Experience: While not always mandatory, some programs prefer applicants to have some healthcare or clinical experience.
  • Background Check: A criminal background check is typically required due to the sensitive nature of nursing work.
  • Health Requirements: Programs may require up-to-date immunization records, a physical examination, and proof of health insurance.

Final Thoughts on Accelerated Nursing Programs in Virginia

While nurses are one of the most critical resources in healthcare, the Virginia Employment Commission projects that by 2028, the commonwealth will need 7,746 registered nurses.

Many in the state are calling on the leadership & legislature to expand the capacity of institutions to train nursing students by renovating and establishing new nursing labs.

This push for more qualified nurses makes it even more welcoming for anyone considering practicing as a registered nurse. And even if you do not have a non-nursing background, you can apply to any of the accelerated nursing programs in Virginia.

Besides, BLS data shows that RNs in the commonwealth make a good living, with an annual average wage of $81,860.


  • Information on these programs may change without notice. So, we cannot guarantee their authenticity and accuracy. You’d have to check with the school and do further research. Our review list is simply for guidance and cannot be relied upon exclusively without research on your part.
  • Before enrollment, check with your state regarding licensing rules or whether your desired program meets your home state’s certification requirements and licensure.
  • If you are an administrator/staff for one of the schools listed in this article, and you would like to issue corrections or updates on your program’s information, please contact us here.

Related Nursing Programs:

15 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in Ohio Today

5 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in Maryland

10 Best Accredited ABSN Programs in North Carolina

Related Nursing Resources:

Virginia NCLEX Pass Rates: A Deep Dive into the Statistics

Guide to Accelerated Nursing Programs: What are they?

Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

8 Best TEAS Prep Courses Today, According to Nursing Students

How to Write the Nursing School Personal Statement: Steps, Tips, And Samples

13 Best Books for Nursing Students to Read- Reviewed

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