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Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia -Educational Requirements and Practice Authority

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia -Educational Requirements and Practice Authority

Scope of Practice Worksheet

Nursing is a regulated practice. The nursing scope of practice delineates nursing roles and responsibilities and the range of interventions qualified nurses can engage in. The scope of practice of nursing is jurisdictional, with variations existing across states and nationalities. Notwithstanding, nursing remains integral in modern healthcare. Nurses’ position in healthcare makes them valuable in-patient care. Even with the variation in the apparent scope of practice, nurses are involved in patient protection, health promotion and preservation, and advocacy.

Intended Scope of Practice

I intend to practice nursing in Virginia (VA). Information on educational and professional nursing is provided by Virginia’s Board of Nursing. This is a regulatory body mandated under the Virginia statutes to oversee nursing practice and education. Information on the board, including its responsibilities, is available online through the Virginia Board of Nursing website and can also be found in the state’s Department of Health Professions. This is an umbrella body under Chapter 30 of Title 54.1, otherwise known as the Nurse Practice Act (Virginia law, n.d). This interpretation of nursing laws defines standards of practice in the state and the individual responsibilities of all nurses within the state.

Educational and Certification Requirements

Virginia recognized varying levels of nursing practice, corresponding with the levels of qualifications, skill set, and subsequent responsibilities. Aspiring nurses in the state require a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in nursing, along with the required clinical hours as defined by the board, to be able to practice in the state. They must also pass a mandatory licensing exam before being allowed to practice. ADNs typically take two years, while BSN programs take four years, with an exemption for accelerated programs.

To become a nurse practitioner (NP), one must be a baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse. Additionally, they must have completed an accredited master’s degree program, including a 24-month coursework and a clinical experience of not less than 800 hours. Being a nurse licensure compact state, licensed nurse practitioners from other compact states can practice in the state without applying for another state license.

Virginia recognizes diverse nursing certification. The Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine committee establishes the regulations for nurse practitioners. Certifications recognized in the state and regulated by the joint board include certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anaesthetists, and nurse practitioners. Eligibility criteria for these certifications include having an unencumbered and valid RN license in the state or having an RN license from any other nurse licensure compact state. Persons licensed in other states, and have an active application for NCLEX exams can also meet these criteria by applying for licensure by endorsement. For full certification, one must pass a certifying exam administered by a certifying body recognized by the state’s joint board. Certifying bodies recognized by the Virginia Joint Board of Nursing and Medicine include the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), among others (Virginia Department of Health Professions, 2023). Eligible candidates are issued with a certification upon passing the exam and paying any statutory fees.

Practice Environment

Virginia is a restricted practice authority state. NPs in Virginia are only allowed to practice independently after having full-time practice experience with a physician for not less than five years. Those with less than five years of experience must work collaboratively with physicians. However, a 2021 enactment saw CNMs granted full practice authority after completing 1000 hours of clinical experience under which they were supervised by a physician (Smith et al., 2020). CRNAs in the state do not possess independent practice authority in the state and must work collaboratively with physicians.

Prescribing Regulations

Prescribing regulations defined by the NPA of Virginia also vary. As detailed in chapter 34 of the state’s NPA, NPs have the authority to prescribe Schedule II to Schedule IV medications independently. This code also limits the number of engagements or collaborations a physician can enter into with NPs at the same time. Forthwith, physicians can only serve as team physicians for a patient care team with more than six NPs. NPs in Virginia are not allowed to prescribe controlled substances. As per state regulations, only a practitioner of medicine, podiatry, dentistry, osteopathy, and veterinary medicine can prescribe controlled substances.

Continuing Education

In the resolve to ensure quality nursing care, Virginia’s nursing board provides requirements for continuing education. These requirements should be met before applying for licensure renewal. As per these requirements, RNs and LPNs are required to renew their licenses after every two years. To qualify for a renewal, they must have attained at least one of the items in the licensure renewal criteria. This includes having completed at least thirty contact hours of nursing-relevant courses, seminars, conferences, and workshops, having at least 15 hours of nursing-practice-relevant workshops, seminars, courses, or conferences, 640 hours of active nursing practice, speciality certification from a national certifying body, and others. These requirements are targeted at ensuring that nurses practising in the state maintain competency to deliver quality care.


Smith, S., Buchanan, H., & Cloutier, R. (2020). Virginia NP scope of Practice. The Nurse Practitioner, 45(2), 33–37.

Virginia law. Code of Virginia – Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations. (n.d.).

Virginia Department of Health Professions. (2023, January 9). Licensing health professionals.


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Kindly adhere to the guidelines provided below and respond to each question using an essay format (APA). To do the project, you also need to be aware that I reside in the state of Virginia, the US.

Intended State of Practice

Identify the state in which you intend to practice.
Identify the source used to obtain information about the NP scope of practice in that state. Appropriate sources include state boards of nursing or regulatory bodies.
Educational and Certification Requirements

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia -Educational Requirements and Practice Authority

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Virginia -Educational Requirements and Practice Authority

Describe the educational requirements for NP licensure in the state in which you intend to practice.
Describe the certification requirements for NP licensure in the state in which you intend to practice.
Practice Environment

Identify the state practice environment (full, reduced, or restricted NP practice).
If the state has reduced or restricted NP practice, specify what supervision or collaborative practice agreements are required. (Students who intend to practice in California should also include the use of written standard procedures that guide NP practice in the state and physician supervision ratios).
Prescribing Regulations

Discuss NP prescriptive authority in the intended state of practice.
Explain regulations related to prescribing controlled substances.
Continuing Education

Describe the continuing education requirements for ongoing NP practice.

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