Welcome to the Old Dominion!

Each state needs a competent medical workforce to meet the needs of it's citizens. However, the requirements for some health care professions are not the same in each state. That is why it is important to find out what is required of you as a future or current registered nurse before moving across state lines. Contact information is located at the bottom of this page.


Virginia is a compact state. If you are moving to Virginia or claiming it as your primary state of residence, you will need to apply for application by endorsement in order to use your license in Virginia. General instructions are listed below.

You may apply for your initial license online. The Virginia Board does not accept paper applications. Below are some general requirements

  • You must be a graduate from an approved nursing program

  • Your license must be in good standing

  • You must satisfy the same requirments of an applicant seeking an original Virginia license

  • If your education program does not provide 500 hours of direct, supervised client care, then you must have at least 960 hours of clinical practice

  • Passing licensure examination results (i.e. NCLEX, SBTPE)

  • Proof of original licensure

  • Official transcripts

Renewals take place every two years

Continuing Competency

The following is a list of general requirements for continuing competency:

  • Specialty certification (must be from a national certifying organization), or

  • three credit hours of relevant, academic education.

    • college or university must be regionally accredited, or

  • Completion of a refresher course that is approved by the Board

  • Practice projects or research that is nursing-related and evidence-based

  • Teaching three semester hours of college coursework

    • must be nursing-related

    • must be a 15 week course or,

    • a specialty certification

  • Teaching 30 contact-hours of continuing education

  • 640 hours of active practice as an RN and 15 contact hours including

    • workshops

    • conferences

    • seminars

    • relevant coursework, or

  • 30 contact hours including

    • workshops

    • conferences

    • seminars

    • relevant coursework

You will be exempt from competency requirements for your first renewal. Maintain documents proving your participation in a continuing education program for at least two years. For more information on continuing education, down load the Regulations Governing the Practice of Nursing and click on Continuing competency requirements for renewal of an active license in the table of contents.

This state requires nurses to hold current ACLS certification.

Contact Information

Web Address:

Virginia Department of Health Professions

Perimeter Center

9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300

Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463 - Directions

Office Hours are from Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays

Phone: (804) 367-4400

Fax: (804) 527-4475

Registered Nurses NCL


Click here for Virginia Board of Nursing FAQs.

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