Cabarrus College of Health Sciences evolved from a rich heritage of nursing education that began with the Cabarrus County Hospital School of Nursing. The School of Nursing opened as a three-year diploma program to meet the demand for registered nurses for both military and civilian populations during World War II. Sixteen students entered the first program on February 2, 1942. The National League for Nursing (NLN) awarded accreditation to the School of Nursing in 1963.
In February 1973, the North Carolina Board of Nursing approved the program as the first two-year hospital-based diploma program in North Carolina. The school later transformed the diploma program to meet the standards of associate degree education. In 1988, the North Carolina General Assembly granted Cabarrus Memorial Hospital's board of directors authority to award the associate degree.
In 1992, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark this historic occasion and to honor its founder, the School of Nursing was officially renamed the Louise Harkey School of Nursing.
In January 1995, the school received its initial accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree. In preparation for launching new programs, the school was renamed Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in 1996.
The college added two new programs in 1997, Medical Assistant and Surgical Technology. One year later the Continuing Education department was created and offered the Nurse Aid I program.
In 1999, the college started the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and the Health Services Leadership and Management programs expanded the College's offerings into baccalaureate degrees in 2000. The Associate of Science program began in the fall of 2003.
Cabarrus College partnered with Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast and the NorthEast Foundation to fund and build a new college facility on the CMC-NorthEast campus which opened in January 2004. That same month, the certificate program in Computed Tomography was offered, which was later expanded to include a certificate in MRI, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Imaging.
The Pharmacy Technology program began in the fall of 2011.