Resources for Internationally Educated Health Care Professionals
Information for internationally educated health care professionals and new immigrants seeking employment in BC.
If you have existing health education and experience, you may be eligible for registration as a Health Care Assistant. Within just a few months, you could be eligible to earn pay and benefits as you continue to build your career in health care in BC.
Watch the following videos to learn more about the role of an HCA:
Check out these WorkBC profiles for more information:
- Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (3413)
- Home support workers, housekeeper and related occupations (4412)
If you are new to British Columbia, you can find information for newcomers at WelcomeBC. The services offered can help you navigate your pathway to employment, become part of BC society by engaging in your new community, and succeed in the BC job market.
- Find out more about the immigration process and settlement services
- Learn about BC ’s economy, labour market, regions and communities
- Explore Employment and English language programs
- Get advice on having your existing credentials recognized, and applying your skills to the BC job market
WorkBC Employment Services Centres help residents of British Columbia prepare for a career and find a job. Find the WorkBC Centre nearest you to access job search resources, employment planning, skills assessment, training, and financial supports.
- Immigrant Services Society (ISSofBC) offers free settlement support, employment programs, English classes, and more
- MOSAIC provides employment supports, settlement programs, and other services for newcomers to BC
- SUCCESS delivers employment services in a culturally sensitive manner to job seekers
- DiverseCity helps newcomers build a future in Canada by identifying goals and determining settlement needs
- Canadian Immigrant Fair is a free event connecting newcomers with information on careers, education, and settlement
- Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses offers the Pre-Arrival Supports and Services (PASS) program and the Supports and Mentorship Program to help you achieve integration into the Canadian workforce
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) provides information for visiting, studying, temporarily working, immigrating, and obtaining citizenship to Canada
- B.C. Provincial Nominee Program helps speed up your application for permanent resident status if you are a qualified, trained professional, or skilled worker sponsored by a BC employer
- Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) offers fully funded Health Care Assistant Programs for individuals on EI, EI Reachback or WorkBC attached. Find out the eligibility criteria and more details about these programs here: pblmt.ca. Register for upcoming HCA programs at Western Community College, Heritage Community College and Cambria College. For more information about any of the programs, contact PCIS at email@example.com
- Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program helps newcomers living in BC build an action plan to navigate the system, receive financial support to get credentials assessed, and upgrade skills. Apply here
- Windmill Microlending offers low-interest loans of up to $15,000 to help skilled immigrants start their careers
- Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) H.E.T. Program offers loans up to $15,000 to cover costs of credentialing
- Global Talent Loans Program (ISSBC) provides financial support for recredentialing or retraining
- DIVERSEcity microloan programs (VanCity) offers microloans of up to $10,000 to attain Canadian certification
- With These Hands Loan can fund tools or equipment needed to enter the labour market
- Back to Work Loan helps support upgrading your qualifications or certification
HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program
Health Match BC provides support to future HCAs who aim to register with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry through the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program. This program includes financial assistance to complete the NCAS assessment and registration process as well as valuable guidance and connections to education and employment opportunities. The HCA Program Info Sheet describes, in more detail, the supports available through this program.
Mental Health & Wellness for Healthcare Workers
- Care for Caregivers is a mental health and wellness resource hub for continuing care workers. Whether you’re looking for up to date credible information to ease your mind, a free workshop to learn about resiliency, or quick daily coping tips, it’s all on one website.
Are you an Internationally Educated Nurse?
If you are an internationally educated nurse, you may be eligible to start your health care career in Canada as a Health Care Assistant while you are recredentialling to practise as a nurse. The following institutions offer bridging programs:
- Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Return to Registered Nurse Practice Certificate requirements include 1,600 hours working as a HCA or LPN in the Canadian health care system.
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Graduate Nurse, Internationally Educated Re-entry (GNIE)
requirements are determined based on NCAS results. You may be required to take Nurse Ready and Evolve, and include a proof of English proficiency (typically IELTS).
Visit British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP) for a complete list of recognized nursing programs in BC.
Join the Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) in BC Facebook Group to connect with other IENs and share resources.
Consider working on a health care team in other capacities while completing registration requirements.
You may find that your international health care training and experience is not immediately recognized in BC. The skills you have already acquired, such as the ability to work well with others, good communication skills, patience, compassion, and experience assisting the elderly in daily living activities, can be used in alternative careers in health care, while you are in the process of getting your credentials recognized. Some health care professions to consider include, home support workers and housekeepers.
Find out what people say about starting their new career in British Columbia.
Choose a Career in Providing Care