About Us


The School 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)

FAQS

Contact Student Services with additional questions.

Is the College Accredited?

Sentara College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. (ACICS). 750 North St., N.E. Suite 980.  Washington, D.C. 20002-4241.  (202) 336.6780.

Reference each individual Program for additional programmatic accreditation information on the respective page.

Do you have Information Sessions or Open Houses?

We have Open House Events for Programs and Courses each Fall and Spring. They will be announced on the Calendar of Events section.

We also have Academic Planning and Information Sessions each week.

Should I attend an Open House or Information Session?

Either is appropriate. An Open House gives you an opportunity to tour the College and meet faculty. It is more comprehensive than the Academic Planning & Information Session. The Academic Planning & Information Sessions are smaller groups and the Admissions Recruiter conducts the session. An Open House has a larger attendance and Student Services hosts the event. Both give you the opportunity to have your transcripts reviewed, answer all of your questions, and the ability to turn in an application.

Can I speak to an Admission Recruiter one-on-one?

Yes. The Admissions Recruiter is available in a one-on-one setting, if needed, by appointment only. However, the College encourages you to consider attending an Academic Planning and Information Session or Open House Event.

How important is my GPA in the admissions process for the Programs?

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) for the general education/prerequisites courses is one of the main criteria used to determine acceptance into each program. A minimum grade on your required general education courses is a "C".  

Do you expire general education course requirements (Transfer credits for Programs)?

We do not expire transfer credits/general education course requirements.

Do all general education course requirements need to be finished before I start the Program of interest?

Yes, all required general education coursework must be completed before you begin the Program.  However, see all admission criteria for minimum credits needed to apply.  Do not wait until all general education course requirements are completed as we take applications with a minimum credit criteria with the understanding completion of coursework is complete upon Program start date. 

How many seats are available?

Seats are determined on the staffing needs of Sentara Healthcare, although you are not required to work for Sentara Healthcare upon graduation. 

How many applications do you take per Program or Course of interest?

We take an unlimited amount of applications for each program or course.  However, there are a limited amount of seats per specialty.  Our programs and courses are competitive and the earlier you are able to apply the better.

Will the College find me a job when I graduate?

Prior to graduation students at main campus and Registered Nursing Learning Site locations are guided through the Sentara Healthcare employment application process. Employment assistance is only provided within Sentara. Graduates are actively recruited for positions within Sentara Healthcare; however, there is no obligation to work for Sentara. While most graduates readily obtain positions, employment with Sentara is not guaranteed.

Are tattoos permitted in the College?

Tattoos are not permitted to be visually seen in the College.  The only exception is in the clinical area (operating room), where the sleeves cannot be covered at all time.  Refer to the College Catalog for more details on the dress code policy.

What is my expected hourly pay if I work for Sentara Healthcare?

Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist:$20.37
Adult Echocardiography:$23.48
Non-Invasive Vascular Study$24.98
Cardiac Electrophysiology$20.34
Registered Nurse:$21.01 (Southside), $21.60 (Peninsula)
Surgical Technologist:$16.37
Care Partner:$10.54
Central Sterile Supply Technician$11.25
Monitor Surveillance Technician:$10.83
Nurse Aide:$9.63 - $10.24

The above rates are exclusively for Sentara Healthcare and are first shift hourly rates. The rates above do not include on-call pay or shift differential. Shift differential can range from $.50 to $8.00 per hour, depending on your profession and is considered an evening, nights, or weekend shift.

What is a typical work schedule once I graduate?

Cardiovascular and Surgical Technology

The cardiovascular technologist and surgical technologist employed in a hospital works primarily day shift hours Monday through Friday. However, he/she is responsible for being on-call during the evening and night hours, weekends and holidays and may be required to come to work during those call hours. Those who work in physician offices and clinics are usually not required to be on-call or work evenings,nights, weekends or holiday hours.

Registered Nursing, Care Partner, Nurse Aide, and Monitor Surveillance Technician:

Fulltime and part time positions are frequently available on all shifts. In many facilities shifts are 8 hours: 7 AM to 3:30 PM; 3 PM to 11:30 PM;and 11 PM to 7:30 PM. There also may be 12-hour shifts: 7 PM to 7:30AM; or 7 PM to 7:30 AM. Weekend and holiday work is expected in most situations but is usually done on a rotating basis.

Surgical Technology:

I have trouble with my feet, but this sounds exciting. Can I do this?

You probably should check with your doctor first; this career requires standing for about 90% of the work time.

What's the difference between a surgical technologist and a surgical assistant?

A surgical technologist assists the surgeon by setting up the sterile field, passing instruments during the procedure and preparing the room for the next case. A surgical assistant "assists" the surgeon during the procedure by holding retractors, suctioning, providing hemostasis with the electrocautery, and suturing at the close of the case. Some surgical technologists obtain further education so they may function in the assistant role.

If I go to your program, can I get a job anywhere else?

This program is programmatically accredited by ACICS. All graduates are expected to take the National Certification Exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting 10/06. Most institutions require successful certification for employment. The CST designation is recognized nationally, so graduates are eligible for employment with any institution employing surgical technologists.

Care Partner and Nurse Aide:

How does a Care Partner differ from a Nursing Assistant?

Nursing Assistants are taught to assist patients with their activities of daily living, such as those related to hygiene, dressing and ambulation. They are an integral part of the health care team in skilled nursing centers and assisted living facilities. Care Partners provide the same skills as a Nursing Assistant but also perform more technical procedures such as drawing blood specimens, performing dressing changes, performing urinary catheterizations and operating the computer systems and other high tech equipment within the hospital. Care Partners and Nursing Assistants function under the direction of a RN or LPN.  Nursing Assistants are required to be certified by the Virginia State Board of Nursing before working in long term care or assisted living facilities.  The certification is accomplished by passing a written and skills examination administerd by the National Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Service (NACES).  There is no certification examination available or required for Care Partners.

Where do Nursing Assistants and Care Partners work?

Nursing Assistants may be employed in skilled nursing centers, assisted living facilities, home health care agencies, private homes, and some hospital settings. Within Sentara Healthcare, Nursing Assistants are employed in nursing centers, either on skilled nursing units, assisted living units/facilities or in home care.

Care Partners are employed at Sentara Healthcare's acute care facilities/hospitals and work in a variety of units throughout the hospital.

If I attend the Care Partner Program at Sentara College of Health Sciences, will I be guaranteed a job within the Sentara Healthcare?

Prior to graduation students are guided through the Sentara Healthcare employment application process. Employment assistance is only provided within Sentara. Graduates are actively recruited for positions within Sentara Healthcare; however, there is no obligation to work for Sentara. While most graduates readily obtain positions, employment with Sentara is not guaranteed.