PRN Nursing Jobs in Virginia: Ultimate Guide [2024]

Want to pick up high-paying PRN jobs in Virginia? Nursa is a marketplace that connects nurses and CNAs with shifts near them.

Subtropical climate. Virginia Beach. Picturesque wineries. Virginia is the state you were dreaming of, with both opportunities for leisure and work. 

Are you a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), certified nursing assistant (CNA), or patient care technician (PCT) seeking a thriving and fulfilling career in healthcare? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the ultimate guide for nurses working in Virginia, where opportunities abound and the healthcare landscape is as diverse as the state itself. Keep reading to learn more about average salaries, PRN nursing jobs, the cheapest cities to live in, and more.

Table of Contents

With a population of 8,683,619 according to the latest census data, Virginia is a vibrant and dynamic state nestled along the East Coast of the United States. But what makes Virginia the ideal destination for nurses to call home and build a prosperous career? In this guide, we will explore the many facets of Virginia and the reasons why this state is a beacon of opportunity for healthcare professionals.

From the vibrant urban centers of Northern Virginia to the picturesque historic towns in the southern reaches of the state, Virginia provides an array of urban and rural settings tailored to a wide range of healthcare requirements. Whether you’re searching for jobs for nurses in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU), emergency room (ER), or operating room (OR), Virginia offers abundant prospects.

How to Become a Nurse in Virginia

To become a licensed nurse in Virginia—as in the rest of the United States—an aspiring nurse must complete a nursing program and pass a national examination. 

There are different programs to choose from depending on the type of license aspiring nurses wish to obtain and the time they are willing to invest:

  • Practical nursing programs take about a year to complete and qualify graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Successful candidates can then become licensed practical nurses.
  • Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADNs) take about two years and prepare graduates to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), after which they can become registered nurses. 
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees take approximately four years and also prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN and become licensed RNs.

Besides these most common nursing programs, aspiring nurses can also pursue a variety of accelerated programs and bridge programs, as well as Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees, which also qualify graduates to take the NCLEX-RN.

Some of the Best Nursing Programs in Virginia

Before embarking on their nursing journey, aspiring nurses in Virginia should ensure that the Virginia Board of Nursing accredits their chosen nursing program. This accreditation ensures that graduates can apply for a Virginia nursing license and practice as nurses in the state. 

After graduating and passing the NCLEX, nurses can also utilize the Virginia nursing license lookup tool provided by the Virginia Board of Nursing to verify their licensure status.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs often achieve superior NCLEX-RN pass rates compared to Associate Degree in Nursing programs because BSN graduates undergo a more extensive nursing education, extending their studies by approximately two years beyond the ADN program graduates. Here, we delve into some of the best nursing programs in the state based on their first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates (including only schools with 10 or more candidates).

BSN nursing schools NCLEX-RN pass rates
Averett University 100%
Bon Secours Memorial 100%
Chamberlain University College of Nursing- Tysons 100%
George Mason University - BS 100%
Liberty University - Accelerated - BS 100%
Longwood University 100%
Marymount University 100%
Mountain Empire Community College 100%
Old Dominion University - BS 100%
Radford University - Carilion Campus - Traditional BS Program 100%
The George Washington University - BS 100%
Virginia Commonwealth University - BS 100%
James Madison University 97.37%
Bryant and Stratton College 96.67%
Blue Ridge Community College 96.55%

Source: Virginia Board of Nursing - NCLEX-RN Results (Most recent data as of October 2023)

How Much Do Nurses in Virginia Make?

When considering nurse jobs in Virginia, it’s crucial to weigh the potential earnings against the cost of living in the state. Virginia’s minimum wage is $12.00 per hour, providing a baseline for income considerations. However, nurses in the state generally enjoy salaries well above this minimum threshold.

The average hourly rate for RNs in Virginia is approximately $39.36, reflecting the higher earning potential associated with this profession. You can see the annual income of nursing professionals based on their license type here: 

It’s important to note that these figures can vary based on factors such as experience, location within Virginia, and specific healthcare facilities. Here we offer a table of average annual income in different cities: 

Metropolitan Area Average CNA Salary Average LPN Salary Average RN Salary
Roanoke $31,600 $49,900 $74,760
Harrisonburg $32,450 $50,180 $73,840
Staunton-Waynesboro $32,790 $49,340 $73,370
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford $31,830 $48,530 $70,340
Lynchburg $31,060 $49,280 $73,650
Winchester $33,010 $50,890 $78,930
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News $31,470 $50,680 $79,450
Richmond $32,850 $53,560 $82,670
Charlottesville $34,090 $54,130 $80,890
Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area $29,700 $49,990 $75,300
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area $31,520 $52,030 $71,580
Northwest Virginia nonmetropolitan area $31,820 $53,380 $71,600
Southwest Virginia nonmetropolitan area $29,970 $47,510 $66,790

Information from the MIT living wage calculator and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Most recent data as of October 2023)

As you can verify in the table above, the highest-paying cities for nurses are Winchester, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, and Richmond

What Is the Cost of Living in Virginia?

In terms of the cost of living in Virginia, it’s worth noting that the state’s living wage for a single person is $19.04 per hour. However, this cost can significantly vary based on the number of family members in a household and their specific needs. Utilizing a living-in-Virginia cost calculator can provide a more accurate assessment of the cost of living tailored to individual circumstances. 

For those with families, expenses can include additional housing and healthcare costs—as well as childcare and education—which can impact the overall cost of living. Therefore, nurses in Virginia may adjust their financial planning based on their unique family situations and the location within the state where they choose to work and reside. Nurses need to consider both their earning potential and the cost of living in Virginia when making career and lifestyle decisions.

Cheapest Cities in Virginia

Just as the compensation can fluctuate across various regions, the living wage requirements also exhibit substantial variations. Below, we outline the hourly income needed to sustain oneself in different parts of Virginia, commencing with the most budget-friendly cities:

  1. Roanoke: $15.41
  2. Harrisonburg: $16.19
  3. Staunton, Waynesboro: $16.27
  4. Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford: $16.33
  5. Lynchburg: $16.36
  6. Winchester: $17.27
  7. Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News: $18.02
  8. Richmond: $18.50
  9. Charlottesville: $18.68

Source: MIT living wage calculator (Most recent data as of October 2023)

Best Hospitals and Clinics in Virginia

When pursuing per diem nursing jobs in the dynamic healthcare landscape of Virginia, nurses have a wealth of options at their fingertips. The hospitals in Virginia, alongside clinics and other medical centers throughout the state, offer a myriad of opportunities for healthcare professionals seeking flexibility and career growth. In this section, we’ll explore the world of per diem nursing in Virginia, shedding light on the range of facilities that cater to nurses looking to make a positive impact while enjoying a flexible work schedule. 

Here is a list of 10 notable hospitals and clinics in VA, along with a brief note on what makes each remarkable. Please note that this list is not in any particular order, as healthcare quality can vary depending on specialties and patient needs.

  1. UVA Health: A renowned academic medical center and health system known for its exceptional patient care, groundbreaking research, and commitment to medical education
  2. VCU Health: A leading academic medical center dedicated to advancing healthcare through research, education, and high-quality patient care
  3. Inova Health System: A prominent not-for-profit healthcare network known for its cutting-edge medical services, research, and commitment to improving the health of the communities it serves
  4. Sentara Health: An integrated healthcare system renowned for its high-quality medical services and its focus on innovation and patient-centered care
  5. Bon Secours Richmond Health System: A faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to providing compassionate care and healing to individuals and communities while emphasizing quality, innovation, and community well-being
  6. HCA Healthcare Virginia: A leading healthcare provider committed to delivering high-quality medical services, innovation, and patient-centered care throughout the state
  7. Centra Health: A healthcare system dedicated to improving the health and well-being of its communities through a wide range of medical services and community outreach programs
  8. Mary Washington Healthcare: A not-for-profit regional healthcare system dedicated to providing exceptional medical care, wellness programs, and health services to its communities
  9. Sovah Health: A healthcare system committed to providing accessible, high-quality medical care to the residents of southern Virginia through its network of hospitals and healthcare facilities
  10. Riverside Health System: A healthcare organization focused on delivering top-notch medical services, innovative healthcare solutions, and community well-being throughout the region

Each of these hospitals and clinics brings its unique strengths and specialties to the healthcare landscape in Virginia, contributing to the state’s reputation for quality medical care. The best facility for a particular patient will depend on their healthcare needs and preferences.

Medical consultations in hospital
Virginia hospitals offer quality medical care to patients.

Nursing Workforce in Virginia

Virginia boasts a robust healthcare system, and at its heart are the dedicated nurses and nursing assistants who provide essential care to the state’s residents. Whether you’re considering pursuing RN, LPN, or CNA jobs in Virginia, it’s valuable to understand the scale of the nursing workforce in the state. Below are the numbers of nursing professionals actively contributing to Virginia’s healthcare industry:

  • RN Jobs in Virginia: 69,510
  • LPN Jobs in Virginia: 18,490
  • CNA Jobs in Virginia: 36,830

These figures represent the collective efforts of nurses across various specialties, all working together to ensure the well-being of Virginia’s diverse population. Whether you’re a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, a patient care tech, or a certified nursing assistant, you’re an essential part of the healthcare fabric in the Old Dominion State.

How to Apply for Insurance in Virginia

Securing appropriate insurance coverage is a crucial aspect for any nursing professional, and per diem nurses in Virginia are no exception. Whether you’re considering remote RN jobs in Virginia or planning to work on a per diem basis within healthcare facilities across the state, understanding the insurance options available is essential for your peace of mind. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for insurance in Virginia:

  • Evaluate Your Needs: Before diving into the insurance application process, take some time to assess your specific healthcare needs. Consider factors such as your overall health, existing medical conditions, and whether you have dependents who may require coverage. These considerations will help you determine the type of insurance that best suits your situation.
  • Consider Individual Health Insurance: You can explore the Health Insurance Marketplace, which offers a range of health plans to meet various needs and budgets. Visit the official website to browse available plans, check for subsidies, and begin the application process.
  • Medicaid and CHIP: You may qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), depending on your income level and family size. These government-funded programs provide healthcare coverage to eligible low-income individuals and families. To determine your eligibility and apply for these programs, visit the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) website.

By following these steps, per diem nurses in Virginia can confidently navigate the insurance application process, ensuring they have the coverage they need to safeguard their health and well-being while pursuing their rewarding healthcare careers, including remote RN jobs in the state.

Exploring Virginia’s Diverse Climate

One of the unique aspects of living and working in Virginia is the state’s diverse climate. From the coastal plains to the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia offers a variety of weather experiences that cater to different preferences. Let’s look at the climate in various regions across the state.

  • Richmond: Located in the central part of the state, Richmond experiences a humid subtropical climate. Summers are warm and humid, with temperatures often reaching the 90s°F (32-37°C). Winters typically bring moderate temperatures, occasionally accompanied by snowfall.
  • Blacksburg: Nestled in the southwestern mountains of Virginia, Blacksburg enjoys a humid continental climate. Summers are warm, while winters can be cold and snowy. This region is known for its picturesque winter landscapes, making it a haven for snow enthusiasts.
  • Arlington: As part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Arlington experiences a humid subtropical climate similar to Richmond. Residents here enjoy all four seasons, with hot summers and moderately cold winters.
  • Great Falls: Located in Northern Virginia, Great Falls experiences a climate similar to Arlington. The area boasts beautiful parks and outdoor recreational opportunities along the Potomac River.
  • Fairfax: Another Northern Virginia gem, Fairfax shares its climate characteristics with Arlington and Great Falls. It offers a blend of urban amenities and suburban tranquility.
  • Leesburg: Known for its historic charm, Leesburg also enjoys a humid subtropical climate. Its proximity to Washington, D.C., makes it an attractive place for healthcare professionals.
  • Salem: Situated in the southwestern part of the state, Salem has a humid subtropical climate with a slightly cooler average temperature than central Virginia. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains provide a scenic backdrop.
  • Springfield: Like its neighboring Northern Virginia cities, Springfield experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and relatively mild winters. Its location offers easy access to the nation’s capital.
  • Abingdon: Located in the Appalachian Highlands of Virginia, Abingdon enjoys a humid subtropical climate. The region is known for its outdoor recreational opportunities and cultural attractions.
  • Alexandria: Situated along the Potomac River, Alexandria shares a climate with Arlington and other nearby Northern Virginia cities. Its historic Old Town and waterfront add to the city’s appeal.

Regardless of your preferences, you can find a climate that suits your tastes, from the milder coastal areas to the more seasonal variations in the mountainous regions. This diversity extends to the career opportunities for nurses, making Virginia a welcoming destination for healthcare professionals from all walks of life.

Virginia: Fascinating Tidbits

Beyond healthcare, Virginia reveals a treasure trove of intriguing facts and cultural wonders. Let’s delve into some captivating nuggets about the state, each highlighting a distinct facet of Virginia’s allure.

  • Historical Riches: Virginia, particularly Richmond, is steeped in history, serving as the capital of both Virginia and the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
  • Academic Excellence: Blacksburg stands as a bastion of innovation, housing the renowned Virginia Tech, a leading research university in the nation.
  • Honoring Heroes: Arlington is renowned for Arlington National Cemetery, a hallowed resting place for numerous US service members and the site of the solemn Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  • Colonial Charm: Alexandria’s Old Town exudes historic charm, while George Washington’s Mount Vernon nearby provides an intimate glimpse into the life of America’s first President.
  • Baseball Enthusiasm: Salem’s love for baseball shines through the presence of the Salem Red Sox, a beloved Minor League Baseball team.
  • Wine Country Gem: Leesburg offers a scenic escape for wine connoisseurs, surrounded by picturesque wineries and vineyards.
  • Seaside Record: Virginia Beach boasts a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest pleasure beach, attracting visitors with its vibrant boardwalk and oceanfront.
  • Living History: Williamsburg serves as a living history museum, transporting visitors to the 18th century in a meticulously preserved colonial setting.
  • Naval Hub: Norfolk houses one of the world’s largest naval bases, further emphasizing its significance in the U.S. Navy’s operations.
  • Educational Nexus: Charlottesville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is renowned for both Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the prestigious University of Virginia.

These captivating insights not only enhance your appreciation of Virginia but also offer unique dimensions to explore as you build your nursing career in the state. Virginia’s blend of history, culture, and natural beauty ensures that your journey as a nurse here is not only professionally rewarding but also culturally enriching.

Navy ship in port of Norfolk
Norfolk is an important U.S. Navy location.

Building Social Connections in Virginia: Making Friends Statewide

With its diverse cities and communities, Virginia offers ample opportunities to forge meaningful social connections. Whether you find yourself in Falls Church, Hartfield, Lorton, Lowesville, Marion, Montebello, Pulaski, Sterling, or Woodbridge, there are common strategies to help you make friends in the state.

  • Local Events: Attend local events, festivals, and gatherings in your area. Virginia’s vibrant culture often comes alive through community events, providing an excellent opportunity to meet new people.
  • Volunteer: Get involved in volunteering opportunities. Not only will you contribute to your community, but you’ll also meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for giving back.
  • Join Clubs and Groups: Virginia boasts an array of clubs and interest groups catering to various hobbies and interests. Whether they involve sports, arts, or a shared hobby, joining these organizations can be a great way to connect with others.
  • Explore Nature: Virginia’s natural beauty is an excellent backdrop for socializing. Consider hiking, kayaking, or exploring parks, which can be fantastic settings for meeting outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Attend Workshops and Classes: Enroll in workshops or classes related to your interests or career. These environments often foster camaraderie among participants.
  • Use Social Media: Use social media platforms and local forums to discover events and gatherings near you. Online communities can be a valuable resource for connecting with locals.

By actively engaging in these social avenues, you’ll have the opportunity to form lasting friendships and become an integral part of your chosen Virginia community.

Choosing Virginia: A Smart Move for Nurses

Virginia is an ideal destination for nurses looking to advance their careers, find a welcoming community, and enjoy a high quality of life. With its diverse healthcare opportunities, renowned healthcare centers, competitive salaries, and vibrant social scene, VA offers the perfect blend of professional growth and personal fulfillment. If you’re an RN, LPN, CNA, or PCT, Virginia invites you to embark on a rewarding nursing career in a state where your talents and ambitions can flourish.

Don’t hesitate; take that first step today to discover your next shift on Nursa and kick-start your fulfilling journey in Virginia’s healthcare landscape.

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