Why Is Relocating for Nursing School a Smart Move?

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Before relocating for nursing school, consider how soon you want your nursing degree, if it's possible to move, and whether relocating helps you access better programs. Reasons to relocate to Virginia for Averett's ABSN program include access to a bustling health care sector plus great culture, cuisine, and outdoor activities.

Norfolk skyline

Would you consider moving to Norfolk, Virginia, to attend our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program? You should. In this post, you’ll discover why relocating for nursing school is one of the smartest moves you can make. You’ll not only earn a quality BSN in 16 months but also study in a great waterfront city with a storied past and bright future.

3 Questions to Consider Before Relocating for Nursing School

Moving to another city for nursing school can be a great idea for many students. As you’re planning your educational path, think about these three questions to help you decide whether relocating for nursing school is worth it for you.

1. How Soon Do You Want to Earn Your Degree?

By choosing Averett University to earn your BSN, you don’t have to wait to begin nursing school. Our ABSN program offers three start dates a year — January, May and August — and can enroll a high number of qualified students per start. Furthermore, compared to traditional four-year BSN programs, choosing an ABSN program like ours helps you finish your degree in as few as 16 months.

Change careers - transition from woman walking to nurse running

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How does our ABSN program in Norfolk, Virginia, make that possible? For starters, our accelerated nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and has approval of the Virginia Board of Nursing. In other words, these autonomous organizations have properly vetted our ABSN curriculum for quality and integrity.

Our ABSN curriculum blends online coursework with hands-on nursing labs and clinical rotations at top health care facilities within the Hampton Roads region. While a rigorous pursuit, earning your nursing degree as quickly as possible is worth it.

How does online learning work in nursing school? Learn about the benefits of online nursing classes.

woman working on laptop

2. Is Relocating Logistically Possible for You?

Before looking into relocating for nursing school, you’ll want to consider how feasible moving is for you. Some people are flexible regarding where they live, and others are more tied to their current location. Think about your family responsibilities, such as having school-aged children or elderly parents. Also think about whether your partner is able to make a move.

If moving for 16 months is a possibility for you, it may the best way for you to earn a BSN from a high-quality program as quickly as possible.

3. Does Relocating Give Me Access to a Better Program?

Another key consideration before relocating for nursing school is to think about your local options compared to the options that become available if you relocate. For example, maybe you only have one option for nursing school in your city, and it only accepts second-degree students. Or perhaps your local university only offers a traditional BSN program, which spans four years.

However, if you’re able to make a move for nursing school, your options expand significantly. You can choose a higher quality program that fits your timeline, ideal start date, educational background, and career goals.

As an Averett ABSN student, you’ll graduate as a resilient nurse who personifies excellence, social responsibility and lifelong learning. Our nursing faculty comprises leading educators and practitioners who will empower you to master your commitment to helping others. In fact, we seek to prepare nurses to be catalysts for change in the complex field of health care.

Outside photo of Averett University

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Relocating to Virginia for Nursing School

Now that you see how relocating for nursing school can be to your advantage, we’ll discuss the reasons to consider moving to Norfolk, Virginia, for nursing school at Averett University. Norfolk is a prime place to access quality health care facilities, plus you’ll benefit from a great quality of life and cultural scene.

Robust Health Care Sector

Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the world. And given the city’s proximity to the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and the Hampton VA Medical Center, Norfolk is a great place to kick-start a nursing career.

Health care is a major industry within the city of Norfolk, with some of the area’s most prominent health care employers including:

  • Sentara Healthcare
  • Bon Secours Health System
  • Operation Smile
  • Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
  • Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center

As you’re about to see, there’s a lot more to Norfolk than great employment opportunities — it’s also a great place to call home.

Thriving Arts and Culture Scene

Another great reason for relocating to Virginia for nursing school is the quality of life that Norfolk offers. Norfolk has a thriving arts community and plenty of museums to explore. Whether you like strolling through galleries, watching live performances or learning about local history, the city has various cultural venues that won’t disappoint. Below is a sample of what the city has to offer:

Chrysler Hall

Located in downtown Norfolk, this performing arts center is home to the Virginia Symphony and the Norfolk Forum lecture series. It’s also a great place to experience touring Broadway shows.


Featuring engaging, interactive experiences, Nauticus is a contemporary museum that uses the natural setting of Norfolk’s harbor to showcase global maritime commerce. It features the Battleship Wisconsin, one of the largest and last ships built by the U.S. Navy, and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum.

Hermitage Museum and Gardens

Inside this early 20th-century historic house museum is an expansive art collection as well as contemporary exhibition galleries. It sits on 12 acres of formal gardens and natural woodlands, making it a great place to take a break and connect with nature.

home backyard with flowers and a fountain

Scenic Outdoor Experiences

Whether you like to hike, relax on the beach or tackle intense mountain bike trails, Norfolk has no shortage of outdoor destinations. Below are some of the recreational activities the city has to offer:

Elizabeth River Trail

Running adjacent to downtown Norfolk, this 10.5-mile urban trail is a great place to walk or run along the city’s iconic waterfront.

Northside Park

A hub for outdoor activities, this 62-acre park has tennis courts, ball fields and a skate park. It also provides access to three single-track mountain bike trails — Hide and Seek, Trae’s Trail and David’s Sprint — that span 2.2 miles.

The Norfolk Tides

The Tides are a minor league baseball team in the Triple-A International League that plays in downtown Norfolk.

Virginia Beach

Less than 20 miles from Norfolk, Virginia Beach is home to more than 300 publicly funded parks, long-protected beach areas and military bases, including the Ocean Naval Air Station. It’s also the location of the Virginia Aquarium, a place to see more than 10,000 animals and take in a boat tour.

wide-shot of people at Virginia Beach

Excellent Local Cuisine

Norfolk incorporates its rich history into its cuisine. Whether it’s a new take on a traditional dish, a hearty Southern meal or decadent seafood, the city’s culinary scene doesn’t disappoint. Below is just a taste of the local flavor:

Benny Damato’s

Home of the Virginia slice, Benny Damato’s is a local icon known for its giant gooey pizzas that hit the spot.

Captain Groovy’s Grill and Raw Bar

Featuring regional seafood dishes and casual cuisine, this laid-back wharf-themed eatery has long been part of the local culture of Hampton Roads.

Coaster Coffee

Located in the Ocean View neighborhood, this non-profit, community-driven coffee house provides a “table” for people to connect. It serves good coffee, specialty drinks and pastries.

Senses Vegan Comfort Food

Located at the Culinary Loft in Norfolk, this local eatery caters to herbivores with a vegan menu that includes everything from burgers to BLT sandwiches to seafood.

Seafood restaurant sign

Ready to Relocate for Nursing School?

Now that you have a sense of why relocating to Virginia for nursing school is a smart move, fill out our online form to contact our admissions team to learn more about our ABSN program. One of our counselors will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you decide if an accelerated nursing education is right for you. Also, when speaking with an admissions counselor, be sure and ask for our free Norfolk relocation guide.