Online ADN Programs in Virginia

Online ADN Programs in Virginia


Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by II Editor

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs have experienced explosive growth in recent years, largely fueled by the flexibility and accessibility of online education. In Virginia, dozens of traditional and online options abound—providing community college students with an affordable way to start down the nursing career path. In this article, we handpicked Virginia’s top-rated online ADN programs in 2024, analyzing course formats, prerequisites, career outcomes, and more. By comparing the strengths of each program, you can feel confident selecting the best fit to achieve your dream of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN).

The Top Online ADN Programs in Virginia 

Virginia’s robust online nursing education ecosystem offers students a variety of high-quality options from leading public and private institutions. Here are overviews of the six top-ranked online ADN programs in the state for 2024:


#1. Norfolk State University 

  • Location: Norfolk, Virginia 
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Program Length: 5 semesters 
  • Est. Completion Cost: $16,000 (in-state tuition)
  • Prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I-II, Microbiology, English Composition

Home to one of the largest nursing programs in the state, Norfolk State University’s online ADN pathway delivers flexible, community-based learning experiences. The 5-semester program incorporates online didactic coursework and hands-on clinical training at local medical facilities under instructor supervision. Students gain expertise across acute care, long-term care, and community nursing settings. Students are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed RNs upon graduation. The affordable, reputable program consistently sees high pass rates on licensure exams.

#2. Old Dominion University

  • Location: Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Acceptance Rate: 35%
  • Program Length: 5 semesters.
  • Est. Completion Cost: $26,500 (out-of-state tuition).
  • Prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I-II, Microbiology, Psychology, Nutrition.

An advocate for interprofessional collaboration, Old Dominion University’s ADN pathway includes online curricula paired with clinical experiences at area health systems. Small class sizes allow for personalized instruction. The program is known for embracing diversity and innovation – preparing graduates to meet the complex demands of today’s healthcare landscape. In addition to core nursing courses, students take medical ethics, therapeutic communication, and pathophysiology classes to strengthen their clinical reasoning abilities. Graduates enjoy high employment rates and earn substantial starting salaries with regional healthcare heavyweights like Sentara Healthcare.

#3. Marymount University

  • Location: Arlington, Virginia
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Program Length: 5 semesters
  • Est. Completion Cost: $24,000 (out-of-state tuition)
  • Prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I-II, Microbiology, Developmental Psychology
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Marymount University’s person-centered approach to online nursing education emphasizes holistic care, service learning and social justice. Courses integrate concepts from liberal arts, sciences and humanities to nurture well-rounded, compassionate RNs. Clinical training happens on-site at diverse healthcare facilities in Northern Virginia and beyond. Small class sizes of 20 students maximize interaction with faculty. While the program is intense, academic advisors provide wraparound support services. Graduates have high first-time NCLEX pass rates and gain positions at hospitals, public health departments and more across the D.C. metro region.

#4. University of Charleston

  • Location: Charleston, West Virginia (also serves Virginia students)
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Program Length: 5 semesters
  • Est. Completion Cost: $28,000
  • Prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I-II, Microbiology, English Composition.

The University of Charleston’s online ADN program delivers flexible RN preparation that fits any schedule. The curriculum blends virtual classes, labs and clinical experiences to build well-rounded nursing competencies. Students gain real-world skills through clinical rotations scheduled on evenings and weekends to accommodate working learners. Faculty provide one-on-one mentoring and career advising. The program maintains a strong reputation amongst regional employers and sees high graduate satisfaction rates. Graduates qualify for nursing licensure in Virginia and beyond. Financing options, including scholarships, can help offset costs.


#5. George Mason University

  • Location: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Program Length: 5 semesters
  • Est. Completion Cost: $22,000 (in-state tuition).
  • Prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I-II, Microbiology, Statistics, Developmental Psychology.

George Mason University prioritizes bringing quality, affordable healthcare education to Northern Virginia through its nationally accredited online ADN program. Students benefit from small class sizes of 30 or fewer peers and gain clinical experience at regional medical centres, including Inova Health System. The flexible asynchronous course delivery allows working students to learn on their schedule. Additionally, distance learners enjoy direct access to academic advising, library resources, tutoring and other student support services via telephone and videoconferencing technology. Graduates have outstanding licensure exam pass rates and career prospects in the expansive D.C. metro clinical landscape.

#6. Radford University

  • Location: Radford, Virginia
  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Program Length: 5 semesters
  • Est. Completion Cost: $20,000 (in-state tuition)
  • Prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I-II, Microbiology, Developmental Psychology

Radford University School of Nursing has a long history of producing highly skilled nursing professionals throughout Southwest Virginia. Its asynchronous online ADN pathway blends didactic nursing courses with clinical rotations scheduled on evenings, nights and weekends to fit any schedule. Students engage in low-cost simulations and virtual clinical experiences to build skills before patient care. Regional clinical partners include Carilion Clinic and LewisGale Medical Center. Dedicated faculty and advising teams help students every step of the way. With a strong reputation as a leader in nursing, Radford University readies graduates for rewarding nursing careers.

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Making Your Choice: Factors to Consider

Now that you’ve reviewed program highlights, it’s time to weigh key criteria as you determine the best online ADN fit:

Location & Costs

Consider your residence—in-state public programs offer lower tuition, while some out-of-state options have merit scholarship aid. Suppose you are relocating to a campus; factor in living expenses like housing. Understand all potential costs to budget appropriately.

Program Reputation & Outcomes 

Compare NCLEX first-time pass rates, job placement percentages and graduate satisfaction rates. Consider reviews from nurses and prospective employers on program culture and preparedness.

Prerequisites & Academics

Evaluate prerequisite course requirements and course formats/schedules to ensure they align with your academic background and availability. Small class sizes lead to more instructor interaction.

Hands-On Training

Weigh clinical rotation sites, type of simulation lab access, and models for blending virtual and in-person skills building. Nearby placements allow for less travel time commitments.

Student Support & Advising

Programs with dedicated nursing advisors, tutoring resources, career counselling and other wraparound services give students the best chance of success.

Specializations (if applicable)

Some programs offer emphases, such as public health, medical-surgical nursing, or pathways to BSN completion, that may suit career interests.

Nursing as a Career: What Graduates Can Expect 

After obtaining your Associate in Applied Science in Nursing degree and RN licensure, a wide array of career opportunities awaits in various healthcare settings across Virginia and nationwide:

  • Hospitals: Work in medical-surgical units, critical care, labour/delivery, paediatrics, and other acute care facilities. Advance to roles like charge nurse, case manager, or care coordinator.
  • Long-Term Care: Provide skilled nursing services to elderly populations in nursing homes, assisted living or rehabilitation facilities. Specialize in areas like wound/ostomy care or dementia care.
  • Home Health: Make a difference by serving patients recovering from illness or injury in their private residences. Opportunities exist nationwide.
  • Outpatient Care: Work in ambulatory surgery centres, private practices, public health clinics, dialysis centres and more. Roles include pre-op/post-op care, disease management and health education.
  • Military Nursing: Serve your country while gaining specialized experience through the Army, Air Force, Navy or Veterans Affairs nursing corps.

The generous demand for RNs across these settings sets new ADN graduates up for excellent earning potential and the flexibility to switch specialities as desired. The average annual salary for RNs nationwide is over $75,000; even higher pay is offered in metropolitan areas. Online ADN programs in Virginia lay a strong foundation for fulfilling, in-demand nursing careers. 

Making the Transition to RN 

Virginia’s online ADN programs smoothly guide graduates through licensing and specialized certification processes:

  • NCLEX-RN Exam: All new RNs must pass this national licensing exam within two years of graduation. Programs report first-time solid pass rates for graduates.
  • Virginia Nursing License: Once you have passed the NCLEX, you can apply for an initial registered nursing (RN) license through the Virginia Board of Nursing. This license allows you to practice as an RN within the state. 
  • Specialty Certification (Optional): Pursuing credentials in medical-surgical nursing, critical care, emergency nursing, etc., demonstrates expertise and can improve career opportunities and earning potential. Extra education and exam requirements apply.
  • BSN Advancement: Many nurses continue their education to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) within five years. This opens doors to management roles, advanced practice programs, and magnet hospital requirements. Nearby universities like ODU offer affordable RN-to-BSN online programs.
  • Advanced Practice: With 2-3 years of clinical experience, RNs can enter master’s degree programs for Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) roles with more independence, high demand and salaries over $100,000.
  • Online ADN programs in Virginia grant new opportunities to build a meaningful career helping others. By selecting a reputable, accredited nursing school customized to your needs, you can become a licensed RN while maintaining daily responsibilities – ideally within two years of full-time study.
  • With ongoing faculty mentorship, clinical skill development and career guidance, these programs prepare graduates for initial RN licensure and lifelong learning in the ever-changing healthcare field. Whether continuing education as a bedside nurse or advancing practice as a specialist, Virginia’s ADN pathways are a robust stepping stone into the rewarding nursing profession.
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Final Thoughts

As you can see, earning an Associate Degree in Nursing online from one of Virginia’s premier nursing schools opens the door to countless possibilities. By choosing from these programs tailored for working adults at Norfolk State, Old Dominion, Marymount and beyond, community college students everywhere gain an affordable, flexible path to this in-demand career.

Through comprehensive didactic and hands-on lessons, online ADN programs supply graduates with the clinical acumen and soft skills needed for today’s complex healthcare landscape. They also support licensing exam success and smooth career entry in high-growth specialties across diverse settings.

If you have a passion for patient care and seek the personal fulfilment of a high-demand helping role, consider launching your nursing journey through one of Virginia’s top-rated online ADN programs. Your future as a registered nurse—and the bright horizons ahead for those you serve—await. Get started today exploring admissions requirements and available financing options towards your bachelor’s degree in nursing.


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