Registered Nurse Certification in Virginia

Registered nurse certification in Virginia proves that the nurse has met the highest standard of practice. It helps them enhance their confidence and professional credibility. The certification in the state is issued by the Virginia Board of Nursing, which aims to offer competent and safe care to the severely ill patients by providing information to the public and health care practitioners, insisting on standards of practice, and licensing health professionals.

Requirements for Acquiring RN Certification

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1. Examination

If you have recently completed your graduation successfully in a nursing education program approved by the state, you are required to take the licensure exam, NCLEX-RN, in order to apply for licensure by examination.

If any one of the following is applicable on you, you must contact the Board office at (804) 367-4555 for further assistance:

  • You have not completed your graduation recently in a nursing education program approved by the state; or
  • If you had attended a nursing education program outside the state of Virginia, which did not provide at least 500 contact hours of direct client care administered by a qualified faculty.
  • If you are an RN who has finished his/her education in a foreign country.

2. Endorsement

The applicants may apply for licensure by endorsement, if they fulfill the following requirements:

  • Completed their graduation in nursing education program approved by the state.
  • Obtained the licensure by examination in any other U.S. state or are scheduled to sit for the NCLEX exam, in any other state of the United States.

Canadian Nurses

All applicants who have completed their graduation from Canada can apply for endorsement, if they meet the following requirements:

  • Hold an unrestricted nursing license in Canada,
  • Obtained the nurse training program in Canada where English was the primary language, and
  • Passed the CRNE (Canadian Registered Nurse Examination) or any other nurse licensing examination in Canada, administered since 1970.

Foreign and Puerto Rico Nurses

If you have completed your graduation in any other foreign country or Puerto Rico and did not take the licensure exam, then you must contact the Board before filling the application on the following numbers.
Call:  (804) 367-4555


Procedure to Obtain RN License in Virginia

All applicants are required to follow the below procedure to acquire a registered nurse license in the state of Virginia:

  • Whether you are applying for licensure by examination or by endorsement, you need to fill the initial licensure application online, using the below provided link:
    https://www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/apply/
  • If you have applied for licensure by examination, you must follow the below steps:
    • Step 1:
      Register with the testing agency, Pearson VUE, to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses). Using any one of the following ways to get registered:

      • Online at: www.pearsonvue.com/nclex
        After opening the link, select “Register” option. You can pay the registration fee of $200.0 via MasterCard, Visa, or American Express.
        OR
      • By mail
        You may contact the Board of Nursing office to send the NCLEX registration form. Attach a money order or cashier’s check of $200.0 (made payable to the NCSBN) with the application and submit it to the following address:NCLEX Operations
        Post Office Box 64950,
        St. Paul, Minnesota- 55164-0950

      Step 2:
      Upon notified by the Board, the Pearson VUE will send you an ATT (Authorization to Test) making you eligible to take the test.

    • Step 3:
      After receiving the ATT, contact the testing agency to schedule the exam.
    • Step 4:
      Take and pass the exam.

Verification of RN License

You may verify your Virginia license using any one of the following methods:

Renewal of RN License

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All RN licenses in Virginia require renewal in every 2 years. The applicants who are renewing their license after August 1, 2015, are required to complete at least one of the following continued competency requirements, in the specified renewal period:

  • Current specialty certification which must be issued by a national certifying organization; or
  • Completion of at least three (3) contact hours of post-licensure academic education applicable to nursing practice, conducted by a regionally-accredited university or college; or
  • Complete a board-approved nursing refresher course; or
  • Completion of research study or an evidence-based practice project relevant to nursing; or
  • Completion of any publication as the co-author or author within the period of a renewal cycle; or
  • Teaching any nursing-related course of at least 3 (three) semester hours of specialty certification or college credit; or
  • Teaching nursing-related CE (continuing education) courses for a period of thirty (30) contact hours; or
  • 15 contact hours of conferences, seminars, workshops, or any other courses pertaining to the practice of nursing and an additional 640 practice hours as a nurse.
  • 30 contact hours of conferences, workshops, seminars, or any other courses relating the nursing practice.

Method to Renew Your License

Licenses may be renewed online using the following link:
https://www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/license/

License Lookup

To search for a license, you may use the following link:
https://secure01.virginiainteractive.org/dhp/cgi-bin/search_publicdb.cgi

Inactive to Active License Status

If your licensure has remained in an inactive status for more than two years, you are required to provide any one of the following documents to convert your license to an active status:

  • Submit evidence of successful completion of 15 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CE), which must be approved by professional nursing organization or a regionally accredited educational institution such as approved by another state’s Board of Nursing or ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), approved during the period when the license was in inactive status. You may submit copies of the actual certificates.
    OR
  • Provide passage of NCLEX-RN throughout the period when Virginia license was in inactive status.
    OR
  • Submit photocopy of your current and unrestricted license from another state and evidence of active nursing practice during the period when license was inactive. You may provide copy of a recent pay stub (do specify the job title, if you have not listed on stub).

FEES:

The fees required to changing your license status to active are:

1 At the time of renewal

$140

2 If license is presently in an inactive status (during 2 year renewal cycle) and paid an inactive fee of $70 previously

$70

3 If license is presently in an inactive status and paid fee of $50 prior to 7/6/2011.

$90

You may download the application using the following link:
http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_forms.htm

Upon opening the page, click on “Inactive to Active Request Form (RN and LPN)” mentioned in the rectangular box. The form will get downloaded on your PC.

After filling essential information, submit the form to the following mail address:

Virginia Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463

Reinstatement of a Registered Nurse

You can apply for reinstatement in Virginia, if:

  • Your registered nurse license has been expired for more than 2 years.
  • Your primary state of residence (i.e. the state which you declared your fixed permanent and principal home or domicile for legal documents) is Virginia or any other non-compact state. You may be required to submit proof of your primary state of residence and indicate it on the application.

Note: If your primary state of residence is any of the compact states, you are required to apply for RN licensure in your primary state of residence.

You must complete these pre-requisites to reinstate your license:

  • Provide the completed reinstatement application. You can download the application for reinstatement of a registered nurse using the following link:
    http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_forms.htm
    After opening the page, click on “Registered Nurse” mentioned in the rectangular box and then click “Application and Instructions for Reinstatement of License as a Registered Nurse”. The application will get downloaded on your computer. Submit the completed reinstatement application with the supporting documents and appropriate fee to the Board office.
  • Provide a non-refundable application fee of $225 in the form of money order or check made payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia”.
  • Provide any one of the following:
    • Submit proof of successful completion of fifteen (15) contact hours of continuing education in nursing which must be approved by a professional nursing organization, regionally accredited educational institution, or passage of NCLEX (National Council Licensing Examination) within the duration in which the license has remained lapsed such as the one approved by another state ‘s Board of Nursing or by the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation)
      OR
    • If you hold an unrestricted and current license in another state, or has been an active practitioner within the period when the Virginia license was lapsed, then your continuing education requirements as a nurse may be waived off completely or partly by the Board. You may be required to submit a written verification of active licensure and active practice within the time period the license was expired. (For example, you may provide a letter from your employer on their respective letterhead or a copy of your recent pay receipt indicating your name, name of the medical facility, and job title or position. If your job position or title is not mentioned on the pay receipt, you can add the notation yourself).
  • You may be required to submit additional evidence as requested by the Board relevant to the nurse’s preparation to resume nursing practice in a safe and competent manner.

Reinstatement of License as a Registered Nurse Following Suspension or Revocation

You must follow the below procedure to reinstate your license:

  • Submit the completed reinstatement applicationfollowing suspension or revocation with the applicable fee to the Board office.
    You can download the application using the following link:
    http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_forms.htm
    After opening the page, click on “Registered Nurse” mentioned in the rectangular box, and then, click “Application and Instructions for Reinstatement of License as a Registered Nurse Following Suspension or Revocation”. Thereafter, the application will be downloaded directly on your computer.
  • Provide a non-refundable application fee of $225 in the form of money order or check made payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia”.

Repeat Exam

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You can apply for repeat examination in Virginia, if your primary state of residence is Virginia or any other non-compact state. The Board may request you to submit proof of your primary state of residence. Indicate it on your repeat examination application.

Note: If your primary state of residence is any of the compact states, you are required to apply for RN licensure by examination in your primary state of residence or in a non-compact state.

To complete the repeat examination application, follow the below mentioned instructions:

  • Application for Repeat Examination
    Download application for repeat examination using the following link:
    http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_forms.htmClick on “Registered Nurse” mentioned in the rectangular box and then click “Application and Instructions for Licensure by Repeat Examination as a Registered Nurse” given under “Licensure by Repeat Examination – Registered Nurse”. Once you click, the application will be downloaded directly on your PC. Submit the application including the required documents and fees to the Board office.
  • Fees
    Enclose the processing fee of $50 via check or money order drawn on the name of “Treasurer of Virginia”.
  • Examination Registration Form
    Re-register yourself with the testing vendor, Pearson VUE, to take the licensure exam, using any one of the methods mentioned in the “Procedure to obtain RN license” section of this article.
  • Recheck the Information on Both the Applications
    On receiving all the information provided by you, the Board of Nursing will notify Pearson VUE making you eligible to take the test. An ATT (Authorization to Test) will be sent by the Pearson VUE by email or at the address provided by you during registration. The instructions to schedule the NCLEX exam will be given in the ATT. In case of name or address change, submit a copy of the court order, or marriage certificate verifying the change.
  • Accommodations for Testing
    You may request for special accommodations because of a disability by providing the following documents to the Board of Nursing office:
  • A letter specifying the testing accommodations being requested by the candidate.
  • A written evaluation report (psychological, educational, or physical) from a qualified professional within a period of two years which describes the disability, states a diagnosis of the disability, and suggests specific accommodations; and includes the following:
    • A professionally recognized identification of the professionally recognized and standardized assessments/tests given (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Woodcock-Johnson) and diagnosis of the disability.
    • If the diagnosis was completed for a duration of more than 2 years earlier to this request, you must request a psychologist or physician to provide a brief summary relating why current testing is not required (for example, the reason may be that the particular disability does not change over time and no such new information will be revealed from the testing);
    • Provide the scores resulting from testing, with further evaluation and interpretation and of the scores;
    • The proposals for testing accommodations stating the reason as to why the accommodation is mandatory and suitable for the disability diagnosed previously.
  • Written statement from the designee (or Program Director) of the nurse aide or nursing program describing whether any testing accommodations were provided to the candidate previously during the time s/he was enrolled in the nursing education program.

Send the above information with your application or before the application, keeping in mind the deadlines. The information will be considered by the Board of Nursing at their regularly scheduled meeting and decision will be taken on the request made for accommodation. The accommodation request will be send further for approval to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Upon approval, the candidate will be notified regarding the Board’s decision.

Duplicate License

You may request for duplicate licenses issued by the Department of Health Professions using the online services of the state. Login to the following page using your User ID and Password:
https://www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/license/