Registration Information for Nursing Students in Canada

Are you a nursing student training to become a LRN, RN, or RPN in British Columbia?

To be eligible to work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) in any publicly funded health care setting in BC and while completing your nursing training, you must be registered with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry. To apply for registration as an HCA, you must have completed sufficient training in a nursing program that is approved by a Canadian nursing regulatory body. Speak to your department head for more information on when you will qualify for eligibility to register.

*Due to the standardized Provincial Curriculum for Practical Nursing, BC Practical Nursing program students may apply after successfully completing two terms or semesters.

Application Requirements:

Official Transcript from your Educational Institution

As a student currently enrolled in a nursing program in Canada, *you must have completed sufficient training. A competency reference letter is required. If you are not currently a student but have recently completed the required training, you may still be eligible.

You will need to provide information about your current health care education and training, and supply an official transcript from your current educational institution.

Interim Measure: Unofficial transcripts are being accepted temporarily (subject to full verification at a later date)   

* Nursing program must be approved by a Canadian nursing regulatory body.

Appendix 1 Nursing Student Programs – Coursework for Full HCA Registration

IMPORTANT: Interim Measure – See Temporary Emergency Registration Information Below

Student Competency Letter

This letter is issued by your nursing program, needs to be on educational institution letterhead, and should reference your competency in Health Care Assistant skills. This letter must be signed and have the contact details and credentials of the person who signed the letter. You can download a sample clinical competency letter (to be provided by your educational institution) below:

Student Competency sample letter (PDF)

Character Reference Letter

This reference letter is written by someone who knows you and is providing information on your character. The letter must be signed and dated and have the contact information of the person who signed the letter.


Interim Measure: The character reference letter requirement is being waived (students may attach the mandatory post secondary competency reference letter twice).

Temporary Emergency Registration – Nursing Students

For nursing program students who do not meet established coursework criteria for full registration, temporary registration (registration valid to September 30, 2020) will be possible for nursing students who apply online and provide evidence of successful completion of a minimum of one semester of foundational nursing coursework, with: 

  • Completion of a nursing skills course (including personal care skills lab practice and assessment) 
  • Supervised clinical experience in long term care and/or acute care setting (subject to program competency verification)
  • A Nursing Program Administrator (e.g. Coordinator, Assistant Dean, Dean) must provide students with a competency reference letter



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