About Us


The College holds an accreditation through the:

Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

and is a Certified Private Vocational Institution through the:

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

College History

Norfolk Retreat for Sick First Graduating ClassSentara College of Health Sciences originated with a Registered Nursing Program over one hundred years ago; it was Norfolk’s first nursing program. Created in 1892 by the 24-bed “Retreat for the Sick,” the two-year program was originally taught by physicians. 

Changes in our community brought about the need for additional health technology Programs and Courses. As a result the Surgical Technology Program began in the early 1950s; the Cardiovascular Programs began in 1982; the Monitor Surveillance Course began in 1987; the Care Partner Course began in 1994 and the Nurse Aide Education Course began in 2005.  Our last Diploma Nursing Program class graduated in May 2011, more than 115 years after its inception.  The Diploma Nursing Program was replaced with our current Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, which had its first run in August 2010.  August 2010 also saw the introduction of our RN-BSN Program, which allows licensed RN's to pursue their BSN.  Our Cardiovascular Programs added a new specialty in 2011, Cardiac Electrophysiology, and all four specialties became Associates of Occupational Science Degrees in 2010.  As of January 2013, the Surgical Technology Program also began to grant graduates with an Associate of Occupational Science Degree.

Today, Sentara College of Health Scienes has a faculty of over 40 who teach six Programs/Courses and an annual student body of approximately 549 men and women. Most graduates go on to become members of Sentara’s highly motivated and progressive staff. As such, they have access to the broadest range of professional opportunities available.

Sentara College of Health Sciences offers students a broad range of experiences and opportunities. It is part of Sentara Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system, including multiple hospitals, long-term care facilities, and ambulatory care facilities, committed to bringing the best in healthcare to southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

The College is owned and operated by Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, a 555-bed acute care hospital, serves as a primary teaching facility for the Eastern Virginia Medical School and has earned international recognition for its medical firsts, such as the conception and birth of the nation’s first in-vitro baby and the use of revolutionary procedures in reconstructive surgery. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is also regionally and nationally known for many of its highly specialized services such as cardiac, cancer, high-risk pregnancy center, trauma services, transplant and microsurgery. The hospital is recognized as the area’s only Level I Trauma Center.

Sentara Healthcare is consistently recognized for outcomes and excellence that surpass national standards.  Among our national rankings includes a continuous spot in the top 10 of Modern Healthcare’s 100 Top Integrated Healthcare Networks.