Board of Nursing
Frequently Asked Questions
The occupations of Registered Nurse, Licensed Practice Nurse, Certified Nurse Aide, Certified Massage Therapist, Medication Aide, and Nurse Practitioner (Only If You Have a Virginia Registered Nurse License) can renew your license online if you have received a renewal notice.
Nurse Practitioner (Registered Nurse License in Another Compact State):
You cannot renew a nurse practitioner license online if you have a registered nurse license in another compact state. You will need to provide a copy of your valid multi-state compact license in another compact state. (If your state does not issue a paper license for your registered nurse license, you will need to print a copy of your registered nurse license verification off your state’s license website.)
The fee for on-time renewal of a Nurse Practitioner License can be found
in the regulations.
Remember that you must also renew your Registered Nurse License. If you
have Prescriptive Authority, please add that fee to your total fee to renew
this license. Make your check or money order payable to "Treasurer
of Virginia" and attach a note to your payment that includes your name,
correct address, Social Security number, and Virginia License number (if
you know it). Mail this information to us at Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland
Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463. On a separate sheet of paper,
please attest to the following:
• If you were licensed as a Nurse Practitioner PRIOR to May 8, 2002, you must hold current professional certification OR have completed at least 40 hours of continuing education in the area of specialty practice from one of the certifying agencies designated in 18 VAC 90-30-90.
• If you were licensed as a Nurse Practitioner AFTER May 8, 2002, you must hold current professional certification in the area of specialty practice from one of the certifying agencies designated in 18 VAC 90-30-90.
In addition, if you have prescriptive authority, please attest to the following:
• You also have eight hours of continuing education in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics for each biennium.
Please note that it will take 10-14 days for the renewed license to reach you once it has been issued. If your license has already expired, you need to speak with someone in the Board of Nursing to request information on reinstatement.
Clinical Nurse Specialist:
You cannot renew a clinical nurse specialist registration online. If you have a registered nurse license in another compact state, you will need to provide a copy of your valid multi-state compact license in another compact state. (If your state does not issue a paper license for your registered nurse license, you will need to print a copy of your registered nurse license verification off your state’s license website.)
The fee for on-time renewal of Clinical Nurse Specialist Registration can be found in the regulations. Remember that you must also renew your Registered Nurse license. You may enclose the renewal fee for your Registered Nurse license with your Clinical Nurse Specialist renewal. Make your check or money order payable to "Treasurer of Virginia" and attach a note to your payment that includes your name, correct address, Social Security number and Virginia License number (if you know it). You must also provide evidence of your current national specialty certification as a clinical nurse specialist. Enclose a photocopy of your latest card or letter from the national certifying organization. Mail this information to us at Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463. Please note that it will take 10-14 days for the renewed license to reach you once it has been issued. If your license has already expired, you need to speak with someone in the Board of Nursing to request information on reinstatement.
For additional information concerning renewing your licenses online, please
read the Frequently Asked Questions
for our online renewal site.
Virginia became part of the Nurse Licensure Compact in January 2005. Therefore, as of February 4, 2005, the Virginia Board of Nursing will no longer be verifying Virginia R.N. or L.P.N. licenses to other states. Verification of Virginia licenses will be processed through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing through the NURSYS system. You can contact the NURSYS License Verification Department at (866) 819-1700 or https://www.nursys.com. There is a $30 fee for NURSYS to verify your licensure to another state.
All name and address changes must be submitted in writing (fax, mail, or e-mail) to our office. Please include your name, address, social security #, and license or certificate # (if you know it). If you have a name change, you must also enclose a copy of your marriage license or other court order which authorizes the change. We will acknowledge all name and address changes with a letter. There is no fee to make the change if you do not want a new copy of your license.
You can request a duplicate license or certificate online. If you need a duplicate license or certificate, you can send your request in writing along with the duplicate license fee (see regulations) Your check or money order must be made payable to "Treasurer of Virginia." Include your name, address, social security # and license or certificate # (if you know it). Please note that there is no fee for a duplicate Certified Nurse Aide certificate, but the request cannot be submitted online - a written request must be received before a duplicate C.N.A. certificate is issued. All requests for duplicate licenses may be mailed to the Virginia Board of Nursing at Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463.
1. Is the Board of Nursing going to regulate “Med Techs” in Assisted Living Facilities ?
The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 2005 that required the Board of Nursing to regulate medication aides in Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) beginning July 2007. Initially there was a 12 month transition period to accomplish this task, giving ALFs until July 1, 2008 to assure that all medication aides working in Assisted Living Facilities were registered with the Board of Nursing. This date was extended by the General Assembly to December 31, 2008, and then extended a second time until August 1, 2009.
Currently the date that all medication aides working in ALFs must be registered
with the BON is August 1, 2009.
Eligibility requirements are:
• Complete a Board approved Medication Training Course;
• Complete and submit an Application for Registration by Examination to the BON, inclusive of fees; and
• Pass a standardized exam (administered by PSI, with a separate application to PSI and a separate fee payable to PSI) with a 70% passing score.
These individuals will be referred to as Registered Medication Aides.
This does not apply to those individuals administering medications in Child
Day Care Centers, Adult Day Care Centers, Mental Health Facilities, and
Juvenile Justice/Corrections Facilities.
2. What documentation is required with the application for registration by examination to prove one year of employment as a medication aide?
A letter from the employer stating dates of employment as a medication aide in an ALF.
More than one employer may submit a letter that confirms the following:
• 12 months consecutive employment;
• 12 months immediately prior to applying for registration by examination;
• Employment during these 12 months must be working as a medication aide in an Assisted Living Facility and must be completed by December 31, 2008.
3. What documentation must accompany an application for registration?
The following items need to be submitted to the Board of Nursing for application
• A complete application for registration by examination (application available on our website);
• Application Fee (see regulations);
• Documentation of successful completion of direct care courses or CNA course:
• Documentation of successful completion of Board approved 68 hour curriculum or 8 hour refresher course. (Certificate of completion must include the program provider approval number assigned by the Board of Nursing.)
• If completing the 8 hour refresher course, must have documentation of 12 months employment as a medication aide in an ALF (prior to December 31, 2008).
• A passport photo that has been signed on the front of the picture (driver’s license pictures are not acceptable).
Or, may apply by endorsement for registration, submitting proof of registration in another state with application for registration by examination.
4. Does a Medication Aide in an Assisted Living Facility have to be a CNA?
It is not a requirement of the Board of Nursing.
However, the regulations do require that applicants for the Medication Registry successfully completed the direct care training program approved by the Department of Social Services or have completed an approved nurse aide education program.
5. How can a person find an approved medication aide refresher course or 68 hour course? How can we verify that the course is approved by the Board of Nursing?
If you go to our website, www.dhp.virginia.gov:
• then go under Nursing Board,
• scroll down to and click on “Educational Programs”,
• then click on “Approved Medication Aide Training Programs”.
You will find the list of approved program providers with contact information. This list is updated on a daily basis as program providers are approved.
In addition, all approved program providers will have provider numbers
that are only given to them once they are approved. These numbers
must be on the certificate of completion that they provide to their students
by the approved program provider.
6. How are can I find a train-the-trainer course to teach the Registered Medication Aide Curriculum?
The Board of Nursing does not have the authority to regulate trainers. Therefore, we do not track training courses and/or endorse any one train-the-trainer course.
7. If I am a CNA and want to keep my certification will I have to pay fees associated with nurse aide certification and medication aide registration?
Yes. They are two separately regulated occupations. They have different preparations for the roles and different job requirements involved.
8. How are Registered Medication Aides to sign their name on documentation?
The BON laws and regulations are silent on the title or abbreviation for registered medication aides.
9. Who can teach the refresher course and what curriculum is approved to be followed for the refresher course?
The refresher course is an 8 hour module created from the Board approved curriculum for experienced medication aides that have worked for at least 1 year (consecutively) prior to applying to register as a medication aide. This is now (2009) only an option until August 1, 2009 IF the one year of experience as a medication aide in an ALF was completed on or before December 31, 2008.
To teach the refresher course, you must be a Board approved provider.
The refresher course module was issued with the curriculum after the provider
has obtained program approval from the Board of Nursing.
10. Does the Board of Nursing accept registration or certification of medication aides from other states?
The original regulations did not allow for endorsement from another state to be registered in Virginia. However, the revised regulations will accept medication aides that are registered in other states to take the Virginia state exam. They do not have to take the medication aide training or the direct care course. They must present documentation of registration in another state and sit for the state exam. The application for registration by examination has been adapted to include submission of the documentation for endorsement. You may access this application on our website at www.dhp.virginia.gov.
11. If a Registered Medication Aide works somewhere other than an ALF, are they subject to disciplinary action by the BON?
If a complaint is received about the practice of a person who holds a Registration as a Medication Aide, the Board has the jurisdiction to investigate that complaint and will determine if there has been a violation of Board of Nursing Laws and Regulations.
12. If English is a second language, can an applicant request special accommodations to have the exam read to them?
This is not considered to meet the American with Disabilities Act. The Board of Nursing has been advised that “only physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities are disabilities subject to the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
13. Is there a tutorial on line that students can use to prepare for the state exam?
PSI currently has available on their website (www.psiexams.com) an examination tutorial. This would greatly assist trainers, administrators, and potential medication aides to prepare to take the exam. It does not have medication aide specific questions, but it will prepare the candidate for the computer testing. It is simple and does not require significant computer skills. This tutorial will be helpful in building confidence and allaying test anxiety associated with computer testing.
14. For the 12 months work experience (as a medication aide in an ALF), does it have to be 12 months without a break? If I am out on maternity leave for 2-3 months, would I still qualify?
This is an option that is available to applicants with experience as a medication aide working in ALFs until December 31, 2008. Each case is considered on an individual basis. A legitimate reason to be out on medical leave would not automatically disqualify you for this option. Please provide the information that you feel meets the requirements or contact someone at the Medication Aide Registry for further clarification. Please remember that this requirement is available to experienced medication aides. If you do not feel that your work time has adequately prepared you to take the state exam, you may want to consider taking the 68 hour course.
15. Can I only sit for the state exam in Virginia? Are there opportunities in neighboring states if I live on the border to another state?
Psychology Services Incorporated (PSI) has testing sites all over the United States. For a list of all these sites, please go to their website and click on the map. You may click on any state and find their locations. There are several locations that are close to the Virginia border, specifically in Maryland and Tennessee. This does not mean that you are registered in any other state or that you can practice in any other state. It only means that you may test in another state. It would be the Virginia exam.
16. How long after I pass the exam am I registered?
Within 2-3 business days after you pass the exam, that information is electronically transferred to the Board of Nursing. The registration is mailed to you in 7-10 business days after that. However, you do know when you leave the exam site if you have passed or failed. If you have passed, you know that you will be registered within 2-3 business days. You may go onto our website, www.dhp.virginia.gov, and click on license lookup and see if you are registered. If you have problems or concerns, please call the Medication Aide Registry at 1-804-367-4438 or 1-804-367-4420.
1. Where can I find all the information I need regarding Massage Therapy Certification?
All the information needed can be found here on the Board of Nursing's website. Nursing's Laws and Regulations page contains laws and regulations related to massage therapy certification. Nursing's Forms and Applications page has links to access/download instructions and application forms. Also check with the locality/jurisdiction where you plan to practice for any additional laws, regulations, and restrictions regarding massage therapy.
2. How often do I have to renew?
Biennially (every two years). Certificate holders born in even-numbered years renew their certificates by the last day of the birth month in even-numbered years. Certificate holders born in odd-numbered years renew their certificates by the last day of the birth month in odd-numbered years. Please refer to regulation, 18VAC90-50-70.
3. Can I fax my application?
No. We cannot accept photocopies of your application for certification; we must have your original application.
4. How long does it take to process my application?
The initial process to acknowledge receipt of your application and notification of any missing documentation is 7-10 business days from the date your initial application is received at the Board of Nursing. The length of time required to completely process an application for certification varies depending on the completeness of the application, how long it takes for us to receive missing documentation (i.e. transcripts, exam results, verifications, court documents), and if there are causes for denial to consider, such as convictions, disciplinary action on another license, or disciplinary action in another state. Everything required for initial certification can be found in the regulations, 18VAC90-50-40. Once the application is considered complete (all documentation required has been received) and your application for certification has been approved, you should receive certification in the mail within 5-7 business days.
Note: Certification by Endorsement can be found in the regulations, 18VAC90-50-50. Endorsement applies if you already hold a license or a certificate to practice massage therapy in another state. Requirements for renewal/reinstatement can be found in the regulations, 18VAC90-50-70 and 18VAC90-50-75 (Continuing Competency Requirements).
5. I have a felony conviction or misdemeanor. Will that automatically disqualify me from certification as a Certified Massage Therapist?
Convictions do not automatically disqualify an applicant. The Board considers each application with convictions on a case-by-case basis. It is not possible to “pre-screen” applicants with such issues. The best thing to do is be honest, provide a written explanation, and any relevant documents (i.e. letters from court, judges, probation officers) for consideration. Please refer to Guidance Document 90-59, Impact of Criminal Convictions on Registration of Medication Aides and Certification of Massage Therapist in Virginia.
6. Is there another place besides your website to get information?
You may contact our office at (804) 367-4515 to request information be
mailed to you or by email to email@example.com.
You may also send your request in writing to:
Department of Health Professions
Board of Nursing
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
7. I lost my certification, can I get another one?
8. If I already have my certification, how do I change my name or address?
All name changes must be submitted in writing. Address changes may be made in writing, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or online. Written requests can be mailed to our office or faxed to (804) 527-4455. Please print your full name, your old address, your new address, certification number, or social security number on your written request. For a name change, you must submit the legal document that changed your name (copy of marriage license, divorce papers, or official court documents).
9. Is my address public information?
The Code requires the Board to collect an official address of record but also to provide an opportunity for a health professional to provide a second address for the purpose of public dissemination. If there is no second (public) address provided, the official address of record will be used as the public address for the purpose of public dissemination. If the health professional would prefer that his/her address of record remain confidential, then an alternative public address must be provided to DHP. An individual is not required to submit a place of residence for either the official address of record or the public address. A post office box or a practice location is acceptable.
Changes to either address may be made at the time of renewal or at any time by written notification to the Board. Changes to the address of record may also be made at any time by accessing your licensure information through the online system. Any change that is made to one of the addresses does not automatically update the other address. Address information should be kept current for the address of record and the public address (if different from the address of record) at all times.
10. How can I expedite my application process?
To make sure your application is processed in a timely fashion, make sure your application is filled out correctly and completely with initial submission of your application. Assure supporting documentation is attached to the application in a sealed envelope directly from the source or is promptly forwarded to the Board of Nursing directly from the source.
11. What are the fees for certification?
A list of all fees may be found in the regulations, 18VAC90-50-30.
12. If I am a massage therapy student or if I am certified in another state and move to Virginia, do I have to wait until I’m certified to practice as a Certified Massage Therapist in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Only someone who is certified by the Board of Nursing as a Massage Therapist may practice massage therapy using the designation that he/she is a certified massage therapist or massage therapist.
13. I am a graduate of a school that no longer exists and cannot locate anyone to verify my graduation, what can I do?
The law does not empower the Board of Nursing to act as an agency to verify credentials, only to verify credentials when you apply. Please use every resource available in order to obtain this information. We can use an original transcript. If you have been certified/licensed in another state and used the school information as documentation, it should be available from that State Board.
You can also try obtaining copies of your transcripts using the following strategies if your school is currently closed:
• Check with the accrediting state agency that approved the program.
School records may have been turned over to them. If you provide some accrediting
state agencies with your diploma or certificate of completion from the program,
they may be able to write an affidavit attesting to your completion of a
course or a program.
• Obtain written verification that the school is closed and when it closed. Your school may not be closed and may be operating under another name. Schools change their names or are purchased by other organizations and may operate under another name. If this is the case, the school may still have the same phone number and may still be operating at the same location.
• If you provided a copy of your transcript to a previous employer or other entities as part of an application process, they may still have a copy in their files. Please contact them for a copy.
Massage Therapy Programs in the state of Virginia are regulated by the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). If you attended a massage program in the Commonwealth of Virginia that is currently closed, please contact SCHEV at (804) 225-2600 or via the web at www.schev.edu for more information.
14. Does the Board of Nursing maintain a list of approved schools for massage therapy?
The Board of Nursing does not maintain a list of approved massage therapy programs for distribution to the public. Since the Board does not regulate these programs, inquiries regarding approved programs for massage therapy are directed to the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), which regulates these non-public vocational programs. Please contact SCHEV at (804) 225-2600 or via the web at www.schev.edu for more information. (Any list maintained by the Board is public information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act unless specifically exempted. Distribution should include a disclaimer as to the accuracy of the list.)
15. I practiced in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Certified Massage Therapist years ago and moved away, now I would like to become certified again. What do I need to do?
A massage therapist whose certificate has lapsed may reinstate his certification within one renewal period (two years) by attesting to completion of continuing competency requirements for the period and payment of the current renewal fee and the late renewal fee (see regulations for fees).
A massage therapist whose certificate has lapsed for more than
one renewal period shall file a reinstatement application, attest
to completion of continuing competency requirements for the period in which
the certificate has been lapsed, not to exceed four years, and pay the reinstatement
Please refer to regulations, 18VAC90-50-70 and 18VAC90-50-75 for Continuing Competency Requirements
16. Is there a difference between “massage therapy” and “therapeutic massage”?
If the therapists are certified, there does not appear to be any problem with using the term interchangeably. The terms of massage therapy and therapeutic massage are interchangeable as defined in the definition section of the regulations, 18VAC90-50-10:
"Massage therapy" means the treatment of soft tissues for therapeutic purposes by the application of massage and bodywork techniques based on the manipulation or application of pressure to the muscular structure or soft tissues of the human body. The terms "massage therapy" and "therapeutic massage" do not include the diagnosis or treatment of illness or disease or any service or procedure for which a license to practice medicine, nursing, chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, or podiatry is required by law.
17. Can all 24 of the hours of the continuing educational hours be completed online?
The regulations state that a minimum of 12 of the 24 hours shall be in activities or courses provided by an NCBTMB-approved provider and may include seminars, workshops, home study courses, and continuing education courses. The regulations do not specify whether the hours can or cannot be done on line. Please refer to 18VAC90-50-75 of the regulations governing the certification of massage therapist in Virginia.
18. Does Virginia accept the MBLEX exam?
Virginia began accepting the MBLEX exam as an exam deemed acceptable for certification as a Massage Therapist in Virginia on July 1, 2012.
19. Do you need to be a Certified Massage Therapist to practice massage in Virginia?
Virginia offers title protection to Massage Therapists; therefore, if you choose to call yourself something other than a Massage Therapist you do not need to be certified by the Virginia Board of Nursing to practice massage in Virginia. However, most municipalities (counties and cities) have ordinances that prevent you from performing massage and/ bodywork unless you are a State Certified Massage Therapist. Therefore, you may want to check local ordinances. Also, section 54.1-3008 (A) (7) of the Code of Virginia indicates it is a class 1 misdemeanor to claim to be a certified massage therapist, massage therapist, or designation tending to imply he/she is a certified massage therapist or massage therapist unless certified by the Board of Nursing.
20. Does Virginia require an address on the certification certificate?
18VAC90-50-20(C) in the regulations governing the certification of Massage Therapists in the Commonwealth of Virginia requires that each certified massage therapist shall conspicuously post his/her current Virginia certificate in a public area at his/her practice location. The certificate holder’s address is not displayed on the certificate to practice; however, the Department of Health Professions address is.
21. If you have an individual who resides outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, do you ever issue certification with an out-of-state address?
Yes, it is not a requirement to reside in Virginia to hold a massage therapy certification. However, 18VAC90-50-20(A) in the regulations governing the certification of Massage Therapists in the Commonwealth of Virginia requires that each applicant or certificate holder shall maintain a current address of record with the board. Any change in the address of record or the public address, if different from the address of record, shall be submitted in writing to the board within 30 days of such change.
22. If you have an individual who has applied and qualifies for certification in Virginia but has not obtained employment in Virginia, do you hold up their certification until they have a Virginia address?
No. Applicants or certificate holders do not have to obtain employment or reside in Virginia prior to becoming certified in the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, 18VAC90-50-10 in the regulations governing the certification of Massage Therapists in the Commonwealth of Virginia requires that only someone who has been certified by the Board of Nursing as a Massage Therapist may use any designation tending to imply that he/she is a “massage therapist” or “certified massage therapist”.
23. How do I request verification of my Virginia Massage Certification be sent to another state?
Licensing and certifying authorities often require a letter of verification of the licenses and certifications you currently hold or have held in the past. These letters of verification are sometimes called “letters of good standing”.
If the jurisdiction to which you are applying to gave you a form, simply forward the form or send a written request that includes: your first & last name, your current address, your Virginia massage certification number, and the address to the state licensing/certifying body requesting the verification. Along with your request, please send a check or money order payable to “Treasurer of Virginia” in the amount of thirty-five dollars ($35.00) to:
Department of Health Professions
Board of Nursing
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
24. Does Virginia offer provisional certification for massage therapy?
Provisional certification is available to an eligible candidate who is authorized to take the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage, the Licensing Examination of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, or an exam deemed acceptable to the board and who has filed an application for certification in Virginia as a massage therapist. Eligible candidates who are granted provisional certification may practice massage therapy in Virginia for a period not to exceed 90 days between completion of their education program and receipt of the results of the eligible candidate’s first national certifying examination. During the 90 days of provisional certification, the designation of “massage therapist” or “certified massage therapist” may not be used. An applicant who fails the national certifying examination will have his/her provisional certification withdrawn and will not be eligible for certification until he/she passes such examination and becomes nationally certified.
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