9 Top Accelerated Nursing Programs in Virginia-The Cost

Are you currently searching for accelerated nursing programs in Virginia? This article will provide you with the list of the best 9 schools offering these accelerated nursing programs in Virginia.

Accelerated nursing programs are designed to help students earn their bachelor’s and master’s of nursing in just one year or two. The best accelerated nursing programs in Virginia are offered at several schools throughout the state, including Eastern Mennonite University, Radford University Carilion, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and many more. 

Accelerated nursing programs combine classroom work with clinical experience that allows students to earn college credits from high school or other colleges while they prepare for a career as a nurse.


Accelerated nursing programs are designed for students who want to become a nurse, but only after completing their bachelor’s degree. They are intensive and require you to take on heavy course loads that can be completed in as little time as 2 years.

Students at accelerated nursing programs typically work full time while attending school, either at the hospital or place of employment where they have been hired. These programs tend to cost more than (or as much as) traditional four-year nursing schools because of their accelerated nature and small class sizes (usually 12-18 students). 

However, this does not mean that you must quit your job or take on additional student loans just to attend one of these schools; rather it shows how committed these institutions are to providing excellent education services at affordable prices for everyone who wants them but cannot afford them otherwise.

Curriculum Information

If you plan to study in any of the accelerated nursing programs in Virginia, then this is a brief highlight of what you should expect to learn in four semesters (Radford University Carilion): 

Semester 1Foundations of IP Leadership & Professional Nursing Skills
Semester 2Nursing Process in Gerontology
Semester 3Informatics & Technology in Healthcare
Semester 4Leadership & Health Policy in Nursing

Also, you are expected to begin your clinical training (Clinical Practicum) as early as the end of the second semester and continue to do so until the program completion.

Other notable course highlights from top accelerated nursing programs in Virginia lay emphasis on Pathophysiology; Nursing Care for Children, Adults, and the Elderly; and Behavioral healthcare to mention a few.

When you’re choosing a nursing program, it’s important to make sure that the curriculum is the best match for your learning style.

If possible, visit various schools before applying and talk with current students about their experience at each school. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How well do I fit in? Do I feel comfortable?
  • Is this school close enough that I could get there every day without problems?
  • What kinds of resources does the school have available (labs, computer labs, etc)?

Tuition Information

The tuition costs for accelerated nursing programs in Virginia vary depending on the school and program. 

The average yearly tuition for accelerated nursing programs in Virginia is between $30,000 – $40,000.

Thus, from gathered information, the cost of an accelerated nursing program at each institution is noted below:

Schools Offering ABSN in VirginiaTuition Fee (per academic year)
Eastern Mennonite University$32,900
George Mason University$37,720
Radford University Carilion$20,246
Marymount University$35,500
University of Virginia-Charlottesville$31,298
Shenandoah University$32,510
Virginia Commonwealth University$34,814
Old Dominion UniversityNot Available
James Maddison University$24,814 (estimated)

Salary of Nurses in Virginia

Registered nurses in Virginia earn an average salary of $93,393 (according to Indeed) per year, making them decent earners in the healthcare workforce.

Admission Requirements for Enrolling in Accelerated Nursing Programs in Virginia

According to Eastern Mennonite University, you’ll need to meet the following requirements before you can apply:

  • You must have completed a baccalaureate degree. If you have no prior degree in a related healthcare field, you can apply to programs for non-nurses to kickstart your nursing career.
  • If a baccalaureate degree is not complete at the time of application, the degree must be conferred by the 2nd Sunday of May in the year the student wishes to begin the accelerated program.  Such applicants must submit two letters of academic reference  – one from an academic advisor and one from a professor – indicating readiness for an accelerated program and readiness to graduate on or before the 2nd Sunday in May.
  • 2.8 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • 3.0 prerequisite GPA or higher.
  • Applicant must have completed at least 6 of the 8 prerequisite courses before the time of application.
  • All 8 prerequisite courses must be completed before beginning the program.

To enroll, applicants need to do the following:

  • Have their TB test results from within one year of applying available for review and approval by the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON).
  • Have a current physical exam and drug test that meets VBON standards for approval before attending classes on campus or online.

Generally, some other schools may not require this much for their accelerated nursing programs in Virginia; but ideally, to stand any chance of gaining entry into some of these top schools, a 3.0 GPA will do you a world of good.

The Following are Schools in Virginia Offering ABSN programs

To find out more about accelerated nursing programs in Virginia, you can check out the following schools:

Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg

Eastern Mennonite University is a private liberal arts university located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. EMU was founded in 1917. The university offers a prelicensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program for students who have already completed the required general education courses. 

The RN to BSN program is designed for registered nurses who want to earn their degrees and become more competitive in the job market.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges (SACSCOC), which makes it a good choice for those who want to earn their BSN but may not have previously completed an associate’s degree in nursing.

View the program.

George Mason University, Fairfax

George Mason University is a public research university in Fairfax, Virginia. The George Mason University Department of Nursing offers several accelerated nursing programs in online format: MSN-RN Bridge Program; MSN Advanced Practice Clinician Track; and Post Baccalaureate Accelerated Option with Concurrent Enrollment (for RNs). 

The school also has an on-campus 12-month accelerated nursing program in Virginia for entry-level RNs to obtain their Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree requiring only an Associate’s degree as a prerequisite, among other things.

If you are interested in schooling at George Mason University, then this is a great choice as it is considered one of the top accelerated nursing programs in Virginia.

You can view the program.

Radford University Carilion, Roanoke

Radford University Carilion is a private, nonprofit university in Roanoke, Virginia. It was established through a partnership between Radford University and Carilion Clinic and is known to offer one of the most complete accelerated nursing programs in Virginia – due to its focus on providing students with an accelerated path to obtaining their BSN or MSN degree. 

The school offers flexible options for both degree completion and continuing education courses. The accelerated BSN program at Radford University is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree but need to earn their BSN in order to become registered nurses. 

Students can take general education courses online through the school’s Open Learning Program or at another university that offers transferable credits.

View the program.

Marymount University, Arlington

Marymount University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university. The university is located in Arlington County, Virginia, and was founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSCM). The school has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1962 and offers degrees from bachelor’s to doctorate level programs.

Marymount University offers accelerated nursing programs on its Virginia campus for students who wish to enter the field of nursing but may not have enough time or money for the traditional program length of 4 years. These accelerated programs can be completed in less than two years (12 – 15 months) and are offered at both their Arlington location as well as their Springfield campus in northern Virginia.

As stated, Marymount University’s Accelerated BSN Program is designed for students who want to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing faster than the traditional four-year format. Thus, it is not a suitable problem for students who have no background in nursing education.

This program focuses on both general education and nursing courses that will prepare you for your career as a nurse. The curriculum includes topics such as health assessment, pharmacology, and clinical practice experiences that are designed to help you develop the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in this field. 

Learn more

University of Virginia – School of Nursing, Charlottesville

The University of Virginia’s School of Nursing offers a variety of programs for students who want to pursue an accelerated degree in nursing. Some of its programs include a 2-year accelerated nursing program and a DNP program for students who want to pursue a higher education level in the field of nursing.

The 2-year Accelerated BSN Program is designed for students who have already completed their bachelor’s degree and are looking to earn their BSN quickly. This program lasts three years, with classes starting every fall semester. Students will complete the same curriculum as they would in any other BSN program, but at an accelerated pace with less clinical experience required.

View the program.

Shenandoah University, Winchester

Shenandoah University is a private university located in Winchester, Virginia. The university has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,821, with a gender distribution of 40% male and 60% female.

Shenandoah University is known for its nursing program which has consistently ranked third to sixth in Virginia among four-year colleges with an RN to BSN completion rate of 90% over the years.

Shenandoah University offers top-rated accelerated nursing programs in Virginia that prepare students for the following roles: 

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Registered Nurse (RN) 
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

View the program.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing is ranked as one of the top nursing schools in Virginia for the number of nurses it graduates yearly. The school also ranks eighth for the number of nurses it graduates. 

Students who attend VCU School of Nursing receive a strong education in various nursing fields such as psychology and physiology. The VCU accelerated nursing program prepares students to enter a variety of positions within their field, including but not limited to: nurse practitioner; nurse midwife; clinical specialist; public health specialist; educator, or researcher.

VCU School of Nursing has several options available for students wishing to pursue accelerated nursing programs in Virginia:

  • Accelerated BSN program – This program takes 19 months (to 24 months) to complete if you successfully complete summer coursework at VCU School of Nursing before beginning Fall semester classes each year (or 23 months if you do not finish Summer coursework). 

Like most other accelerated nursing programs in Virginia, VCU accelerated nursing program requires that you pass all required courses with no grade lower than C-minus before moving on to the next level or module within this degree plan.

In addition to the accelerated nursing program, VCU also offers a traditional BSN program, as well as an online RN-BSN program that allows the enrolled students to complete their coursework online, but also attend physical classes for clinical practice.

View VCU Accelerated Nursing Program

Old Dominion University, Norfolk

Old Dominion University is a public research university located in Norfolk, Virginia. The university was founded in 1967 and has since cemented itself as one of the top nursing schools in Virginia.

Situated on campus with modern facilities, it currently has an enrollment of over 25,000 students who come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world. In addition to its academic programs offered at its main campus location, Old Dominion University also operates multiple satellite campuses throughout Virginia, including The Graduate School at ODU-Norfolk which offers graduate-level degrees including Master’s degrees (MA), PhDs (Ph.D.), and MSN programs; ODU-Peninsula Center which offers Diplomas & Certificates; ODU-Virginia Beach Campus which offers Certificate Programs.

ODU offers an accelerated nursing program in Virginia through partnerships with multiple colleges and universities in Virginia, including Virginia Community College System (VCCS) schools.

Tagged “Concurrent Nursing Program,” ODU’s online accelerated nursing program (although not popular), allows students who already possess a bachelor’s degree to complete their ABSN program in two years, and get licensed as Registered Nurses in the state.

It is a decent program for anyone looking to jump-start their nursing career; and in terms of cost, it remains in the region of $30,000 – $40,000 per year-just like most other accelerated nursing programs in Virginia. 

They also offer an RN-BSN program for students with a nursing history.

View the program.

James Madison University, Harrisonburg

James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is a public university with an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that students can complete in just two years rather than four. 

The program was designed to allow students to take some science courses during their freshman year and then begin taking nursing courses after graduating from high school. Within the first year of the program, students will be able to choose one of three tracks: traditional BSN track accelerated BSN track, or RN-to-BSN track.

To get into this accelerated nursing program you’ll need a minimum GPA of 2.75 as well as completing prerequisite coursework including anatomy & physiology 1 & 2; microbiology; chemistry 1 & 2; Statistics for Health Sciences I & II; psychology 1 & 2; general psychology research methods 1&2 – all taken within your first year at James Madison University or elsewhere prior to admission into our program.

View the program.

Popular FAQs About Accelerated Nursing Programs in Virginia

  • How much does it cost to attend an accelerated nursing program in Virginia?

At the time of this writing, the average annual tuition fee for a full-time student at a public university in Virginia is between $19,857 to $31,456 per year. In private schools, that number jumps up to $33,896—but there are some great accelerated nursing programs available through these institutions as well. If you’re willing to take out loans or earn some money while you study and pay off your debt as soon as possible, then consider applying with one of these options.

  • What are the requirements for accelerated nursing programs in Virginia?

Like most other states, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED (some universities do require at least two years of college), but beyond that, it’s pretty much open season! 

If you want to go straight into an accelerated BSN program after graduation from high school—and we think everyone (who wants to be a nurse) should try this option—you’ll need good grades from your first-year classes and a solid recommendation letter from one of your teachers who knows what they’re talking about.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in learning more about accelerated nursing programs, here are some of the key takeaways from this article:

  • Accelerated nursing programs can be very beneficial for students who want to enter the workforce faster. These programs typically take around 12 – 24 months to complete, which is much faster than the traditional four years of school.
  • You’ll need to have a high GPA and an excellent score on the GRE or MAT exam in order to gain admission into an accelerated nursing program at Virginia’s universities.
  • The best way to find out which institution offers suitable accelerated nursing programs for you is by checking with your local college or university’s admissions office and asking them directly if they offer them at their school or not. 

If they do, ask who exactly should be contacted regarding further information about it such as course requirements and deadlines.


As you can see, there are a lot of great options for accelerated nursing programs in Virginia. If you want to start your career as a nurse, then consider looking at some of these schools if they meet your needs.

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