Student practice education and new graduate support

Northern Health recognizes the importance of students and strives to support practical experiences across our region. Our goal is to provide a broad scope of learning opportunities and support continuous learning, in collaboration with our education partners, for students and practitioners from a variety of healthcare disciplines.

Student placement

Student placement provide students with hands-on experience in a clinical or community setting to learn the necessary skills, attitudes and knowledge to practice effectively in their field.

Northern Health follows the BC Student Practice Education Guidelines and considers placement requests in priority from local, provincial, national, and international public and private educational institutions, other agencies, and non-affiliated individuals. All requests for student placements must be submitted through HSPnet. Please do not contact our facilities or staff directly to request student placement opportunities.

An affiliation agreement is required between the health authority and the educational institution associated with the learning in order to accept placement requests.

For any questions or international placement requests please the clinical placement coordinator at

For further details about student placements, please check our Student Placement Process with HSPnet (PDF)

Student placement prerequisites

Student Practice Education Core Orientation (SPECO)

All students are required to complete the Student Practice Education Core Orientation or SPECO (curriculum) on the LearningHUB. If you don't have an account on LearningHub you'll need to create one to access the SPECO orientation.

SPECO includes the following modules:

  • Information and Privacy
  • Culture of Safety
  • Infection Control and Prevention
  • Muscular Skeletal Injury Prevention
  • Workplace Violence Prevention
  • Code Red
  • Waste Management
  • Hand Hygiene

Criminal record check

  • It is required that students complete a Criminal Record Check prior to commencing a placement at Northern Health. The Criminal Record Check is valid for 5 years. Students must report any new charge or conviction to their educational institution, who will inform the health care organization where a student is placed.
  • The cost is the responsibility of the student.
  • A copy of the Criminal Record Check will be kept on file at the student’s educational institution. However, students are also encouraged to keep a copy for their own records and should they be require to provide a copy.
  • False information will result in the termination of your practicum experience.

Electronic systems

Access to electronic systems will be set up in advance of student placements. For larger groups of students, educational institutions may be required to submit group access requests.

Confidentiality agreement

All students must sign a Confidentiality Agreement (PDF) that will be stored by their educational institution. Proof of signed form may be requested by their placement unit or facility.


All student must adhere to the BC Practice Education Guidelines on Immunizations (PDF) in order to engage in student placements. Students should contact their school to determine to best way to provide documentation related to their immunization status.

Fit testing

Fit testing is the responsibility of educational institutions.


The requirement of CPR training is dependent on the student’s program of study and their educational institution’s requirements.


Employed Student Nurse Program

The purpose of the Employed Student Nurse Program (ESN) is to provide an opportunity for student nurses finishing their second or third year of a BScN or RPN program to develop into the role of a professional nurse through the following:

  • Engaging in summer and year round employment within NH patient care areas
  • Developing interdisciplinary teamwork and communication skills
  • Consolidating previously learned concepts/skills in the nursing program
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to connect theory with practice

Employed Student Nurse positions are posted annually in January/February. Please visit the ExpectMore career page to view current postings, and submit your application.

Applications for the 2022/23 year are being accepted January 24 to February 18, 2022 under competition # 5531463.

Criteria for employment

  • Registration in a recognized nursing education program
  • Successful completion of 2 or more years of a BScN or RPN program
  • Able to provide proof of successful completion of all courses in current year of nursing school
  • Ability to gain Employed Student Registration with BCCNM once hired
  • Able to provide proof of Certification in Basic Cardiac Life Support
  • Currently resides in British Columbia or Alberta

Items to be submitted with you online application include

  1. Cover letter, indicating the city and facility/unit position you are applying for
  2. Resume
  3. Pre-screen form (see below)
  4. Reference form (see below)

If you have any questions please email


If your browser doesn't display the Fillable PDF form, save the PDF to your desktop and open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader.


"Being an ESN is one of the most valuable experiences we get as students. It gives us a chance to not only learn and experience more than we would in our clinical rotations, but it provides us with the opportunity to take control of our learning by choosing areas of interest to further develop our knowledge and skills. I feel much more prepared to enter the workforce because of the extra experience I gained as an ESN."

"The ESN program is very helpful to prepare (you) for what nursing is, and (how to) start learning to problem solve on your own. The program also helps you to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are and the areas in need of improvement."


Employment opportunities for new graduates

To apply for job opportunities in Northern Health you will need to create an online profile on the ExpectMore website. We recommend you do this as early as possible so you are ready to apply for positions as they become available.

Once you create a profile, the system will send you an email for you to activate your account. This has to be completed within seven days from creating your profile. If you do not receive an email, please check your spam/junk mail folder. If you do not complete this task within the seven days, you can go to the website and try to sign in; it will give you the option to have the system resend your activation email.

Please carefully review the required education, training and experience listed in the available job postings to ensure they are suitable for new graduates. If you do not meet the basic qualifications you will not be considered.

For any questions please contact


New Graduate Transition Program

Northern Health assists newly hired health care professionals with their transition to practice through our New Graduate Transition Program (NGTP). This program provides funding for professional development and supernumerary shifts intended to ease transition and support newly graduated health care professionals in their first year of employment.

The goals of the New Graduate Transition Program

  • To create relationships with new health care professionals and communicate career opportunities and growth within NH
  • To offer resources to new graduates and sites supporting their transition to practice
  • To support new graduates and existing staff in opportunities in mutual learning
  • To offer professional development funding for new graduates who need supernumerary shifts, extended orientation and training
  • To provide a program based on continuous quality improvement through yearly program evaluation and revisions as required

The program is open to health care professionals who are within one year post graduation and are newly hired into regular, temporary and casual positions in general and specialty areas. Applications are available once you have been hired.

For more information please contact


Health Career Access Program

Get paid to train to become a health care assistant!

Health care assistants are a valuable member of the health care team. They provide for the physical, mental and social well being of clients of each day. Health Care Assistants provide personal care in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, assisted living and long-term care facilities, group homes, and community care programs.

The program consists of employment, education, and training, and may take up to 18 months to finish.


Successful applicants must meet both Northern Health’s job requirements and the admission requirements of the college they’ll attend. Which college you attend depends on where you live.

Goals of the HCAP program

  • Make it easier for people to start a health care career
  • Increase the number of health care assistants in health care facilities across Northern Health
  • Support our COVID-19 response at long-term care and assisted living facilities, by providing more staff

What is a Health Care Assistant?

Health care assistants provide personal care in a variety of health care settings including acute care hospitals, assisted living facilities, group homes, long-term care facilities, and community care.

They are supervised by registered nurses or other regulated health care professionals and follow established care plans to provide personal care such as bathing, grooming, dressing, assisting with meals, and oral hygiene.

Other duties include:

  • Helping in the delivery of nursing care, including taking temperature, pulse and respiration readings
  • Documenting information on a patient chart
  • Responding to call bells/alarms in hospital settings
  • Observing and monitoring patient progress, symptoms and behavioural changes
  • Using mechanical aids (specialty beds, lifts, wheelchairs and stretchers) to transport patients
  • Maintaining a clean and safe environment for patients and staff

On average, health care assistants earn an annual salary of $45,090.

What is a Health Care Support Worker?

Health care support workers provide a variety of important non-clinical, non-direct care supports to patients. They are supervised by registered nurses or other regulated health care professionals.

Typical duties include:

  • Establishing a caring relationship with residents and their families
  • Providing support and assistance with recreational activities
  • Assisting and directing visitors
  • Restocking supplies
  • Performing housekeeping tasks
  • Providing support and assistance at mealtimes

Health care support workers receive a starting salary of approximately $39,000, including a supporting fund while they are attending their HCAP program as scheduled education.

Your HCAP timeline

  1. Apply to Northern Health to become a health care support worker
  2. Apply to a health care assistant program at a college in or near your community
  3. While working as a health care support worker, finish your college studies
  4. Apply to Northern Health to become an health care assistant

Return to Service Agreement/Obligation to work as a Health Care Assistant

Before starting the program, all applicants must sign a return to service agreement.

By signing, they agree that after finishing the program, they must apply for and accept any regular health care assistant vacancies available with the employer at the primary worksite where they completed the program.

If you are unsuccessful in completing the program, you will be returned to your pre-program position/status. For example, if you’re currently working for Northern Health in a different position, you would go back to that position.

More information on the return to service agreement will be provided to short-listed candidates.

How to apply

Apply to a Health Care Support Worker position at Northern Health’s external employment page. Look under the job category "Support services".

If no external postings are currently up, you can still apply! Please complete the Participant Expression of Interest form.

What should you expect in the Health Career Access Program?

  • You will need to manage a challenging college program while also working full-time in a new role.
  • You will have a number of assignments and deadlines in the Health Care Assistant Certificate program.
  • You must sign a waiver so that Northern Health and the college you attend can access your academic information to provide support in case you start struggling in the program.
  • To complete your assignments, you’ll need a computer or laptop and access to the internet. Some schools do offer laptop rentals.

Health Career Access Program FAQ's


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