Why Is Relocating for Nursing School a Smart Move?

Norfolk, Virginia skyline

Would you consider moving to Norfolk, Virginia, to attend our Accelerated BSN 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.

1. You don’t have to wait to start nursing school.

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.

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.

How does our 16-month 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 initial 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 from our ABSN program is worth it.

2. You have access to a 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.

According to, as of June 2021, registered nurses working in the Norfolk area earn an annual mean wage of $68,860.

According to the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, the medical and life sciences industry in Norfolk employs approximately 65,000 people living in the region. Among the area’s most prominent health care employers are:

  • Sentara Healthcare
  • 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.

3. You can experience a great arts and culture scene.

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

4. You can always find something to do outdoors.

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

5. You can taste the 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 Norfolk for nursing school is a smart move, we recommend contacting 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.

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