History of the Nursing Program

The Petersburg Training School for Nurses was organized by Miss Lelia Nevins Ions in November, 1895. The first nursing class at Petersburg consisted of three students who trained for a period of two years. The Training School was organized to fill a desperate need for nursing service that existed at the Petersburg Home for the Sick; the hospital that served the city in the late 1800’s and later become the Petersburg Hospital.

With the advent of World War II, there was an increased demand for nurses and nursing services, and an increase in the number of students interested in studying nursing. In 1943, the school participated in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp, an organization of the Public Health Service. During the war, the school took in two classes yearly in an accelerated program in order to produce more nurses for civilian and military service.

The relationship between the hospital and the school continued until 1953 when Petersburg General Hospital opened. In 1954, the school closed and the members of the graduating class affiliated with the Alexandria School of Nursing in Alexandria, Virginia. For two years, the school remained closed. Through the efforts of Mr. E.H. Titmus, Sr., and other interested citizens of Petersburg, the school was reactivated in 1956.

History of the Medical Imaging Programs

Radiation Sciences/Radiologic Technology Program

The demand for Radiation Technologists began in earnest in the 1940’s with an increased need for screening chest x-rays for tuberculosis. In the 1950’s, a steady development of increasingly sophisticated technology in radiography caused a greater need for technologists with a strong clinical background. Formal education of radiologic technologists began at Petersburg General Hospital in September 1958 with admission of three students under the direction of Dr. Carroll Peabody, a Radiologist. Dr. Ehrenworth assumed the position as director in 1959, and in the early 1960’s a radiologic technologist took over as Program Director.

Over the last 59 years, more than 400 radiologic technologists have graduated from the program. The program has been accredited by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) since 1970.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

In January of 2008, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program admitted its first class. The program was started based upon a local need for clinically competent sonographers in the service area. Since the initial implementation of the program, there have been increased number of graduates who have traveled from surrounding areas within a one to three hour radius. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) via the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).