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The nationwide nursing shortage is expected to hit critical levels over the next decade, and Virginia is no exception. That is why SMCAH College of Nursing is expanding its nursing program to offer qualified students a new 14-months (LPN) and 24-months (RN) path to nursing.

SMCAH College of Nursing is proud to announce the launch of its Registered Nursing and Licensed Practical Nursing programs in Virginia. These programs are designed for students like you who want to change careers without starting over. Students can leverage their existing non-nursing college experience to earn an LPN or RN license in as few as 14 months through class coursework, onsite experience at a state-of-the-art lab, and clinical rotations inside top-area hospitals.

Is SMCAH College of Nursing’s Registered Nursing (RN) or Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) programs in Virginia right for you?

Here are three questions to answer before you apply.

1. Are you qualified?

SMCAH College of Nursing student

Before you continue to learn exactly how our program works, finding out if you are qualified to apply is essential. Nursing’s Registered Nursing (RN) program requires all applicants to have the following:

  • A non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution OR a minimum of 60 completed credits with a cumulative 3.0 GPA in all undergraduate coursework.
  • Completed application
  • Resume and letter of intent to the School of Nursing
  • Two professional or academic references
  • All official academic transcripts

Even if you have the previous college education required for admission, you may still need to complete some prerequisites before enrolling in the RN program.

Many factors may impact which prerequisites you may have to take, including your previous college education and grade point average. Your dedicated admissions counselor will be able to explain which courses you may still need to take and how you can complete them.

2. Are you prepared for your nursing education?

SMCAH’s Registered Nursing (RN) program in Virginia is a 24-month program, so it is fast-paced and rigorous. That means YOU are responsible for staying on top of studying and completing your curriculum in the timeframe set by your instructor.

It is also important to note that while your coursework is demanding, it does not mean you are on your own. Our faculty members are available for you to contact, as well as your cohort, via email, phone, or in person.

Hands-On Labs Nursing Simulation Lab

Our state-of-the-art skills lab allows you to put your classwork into practice in a risk-free setting. You will work with your cohort and instructors to hone essential nursing skills like checking vitals and inserting IVs in a realistic hospital environment. This environment includes medical manikins, hospital beds, and advanced medical equipment.

Clinical Rotations

Gain diverse clinical experience through the area’s top healthcare system and other clinical partners in the area. As a student of SMCAH’s RN program in Virginia, you will gain real-world experience with patients in a variety of areas, including:

  • Medical-surgical nursing
  • Mental health
  • Maternity (OB)
  • Pediatrics

3. Why do you want to become a nurse?

Was it a calling? A career change? A personal event? So many reasons people choose to transition into a rewarding new career as a nurse. Having the drive is only part of what it takes, though. Before applying to a nursing program like SMCAH’s Registered Nursing program, you must know why you want to earn your RN and precisely what it takes to be a successful accelerated nursing student and a successful nurse.

What traits do nurses need to have to be successful? Here are just a few qualities nurses need to have.


As a nurse, you will assist patients and their family members during a stressful time, so you must show compassion as you help them recover. Empathy can be demonstrated through listening to their needs and addressing their concerns. Caring for patients is not just about healing them physically—but also spiritually and mentally.

Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills are essential for nurses because they will be on the front lines of life-and-death situations. Nurses are responsible for providing vital care, so they must be prepared to make critical decisions for the health of their patients. In addition, they must interpret, analyze, and evaluate information to help identify problems and solve them.

Physical Endurance

Being a nurse means you will work long hours on your feet. Not only will you be standing while helping to assess patients, but there are also many physical demands you will have to accomplish, like transporting or adjusting patients, lifting heavy medical equipment, and carrying out other activities daily. So great nurses need the energy to get through their shift and remain positive.

Ready to get started?

You have the passion. You understand what it takes to be an accelerated nursing program student. You have the qualifications. Now you are ready to get started on your nursing school journey. SMCAH’s Registered Nursing (RN) program in Virginia is prepared to help you take your next step toward nursing. Contact an admissions counselor today and start your journey.

We hope that you found this blog post beneficial. If you have questions about this post or related topics, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime at 📞+1 (202) 388-5500 | 📨 | We are always excited to hear from our readers and help them with any concerns they may have. Thank you for reading, and we hope to hear from you soon!

At SMCAH, we provide support and guidance with a host of tools, resources, tuition information, and student advisors to help you succeed from application through graduation — and beyond.