Program Availability

The Health Care Assistant Certificate program provides students with learning opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and values to become competent caregivers in a variety of settings. Graduates will provide hands on care and support to older adults experiencing change in their functional abilities.

The Health Care Assistant program is a 24-week full time program. You will experience classroom teaching, discussions, hands on experience in the nursing lab, as well as a variety of clinical settings. The learning environment enables students to learn to become a vital part of the interdisciplinary health care team. As of February 2016 we have implemented the revised 2015 BC Health Care Assistant Curriculum which now includes an acute care component. The program is being offered at three campuses – Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River. Graduates of the HCA program at VIU are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

Over the years graduates from the Health Care Assistant program have found employment with our local health authorities (Vancouver Island Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority) and other agencies (Public, affiliated and private). Our graduates are well respected in our communities. As our population continues to age our graduates will continue to be in high demand.

Many of our graduates, after working in the field, have return to Vancouver Island University to further their career in the Health field by enrolling in the Licensed Practical Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs.

What students say about our program

“I didn’t know I’d learn so much about myself.”

“The program has surpassed my expectations by making it some of the most meaningful months of my life so far.”

“My experience doing the HSA program was an amazing one – the best thing I have ever done for myself.”

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