West Virginia is a relatively small state with about 1,855,364 citizens. While its population increased by only a small percentage in the past year, the number of nursing graduates has risen substantially. This is likely due to the severe nursing shortage predicted by the West Virginia Center for Nursing back in 2001. The Nursing Shortage Study Commission [PDF] was established by the 2001 West Virginia Legislature to address the need for qualified healthcare professionals, such as RNs and nurse practitioners. The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses handles the licensure of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), as well as issues licenses to Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM).
Nursing Licensure in West Virginia
The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses works to ensure that registered nurses and nurse practitioners are qualified to practice. The Board also investigates complaints and advocates on behalf of RNs and nurse practitioners.
To work as a nurse in West Virginia, you must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Completed application with required fee.
- Receipt in the RN Board office of an official final transcript issues by the school and sent directly to the Board office.
- Receipt in the RN Board office of both the State and Federal criminal background check results.
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
It’s important to note that each state licenses advanced practice nurses differently. Your area of specialty will determine what steps are required to maintain your eligibility.
Average Nursing Salaries in West Virginia
All salary data is as of May 2011.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a registered nurse in the state of West Virginia is $56,820 compared to the national average of $69,110. The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area reported the highest average earnings at $74,710 annually while smaller, less populated cities reported significantly lower wages. The table below compares the mean annual wages for RNs in the top five largest metropolitan areas in the state:
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|North Central West Virginia nonmetropolitan area||2,960||$51,890|
|Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division||30,860||$74,710|