20 additional health care assistant spots open up at NIC

Increase effectively doubles program size

  • Apr. 12, 2016 7:00 p.m.

There are 20 new health care assistant spaces being added to the Comox Valley campus of North Island College (NIC) to meet demand for health care professionals in the community.

One-time funding of $80,000 from the Ministry of Advanced Education for the short-duration health care assistant program in the Comox Valley will address the immediate community needs and align the supply of health care professionals with local demand.

“The support means that seniors and other citizens receive the care they need so they can continue to live in the communities they call home,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Targeted funding for 20 additional health care assistants ensures the supply of health care professionals meets the demand for health services in the Comox Valley.”

Health care assistant graduates are in high demand throughout B.C. They are front-line caregivers who work in both community and facility settings, providing personal care that promotes and maintains the physical, psychological and social well-being of elderly clients and persons with disabilities in the community.

NIC is helping to address the needs of the health system by making sure students in health care professions have the skills and education they need to serve their communities well.

“The 20 additional spaces increase the number of health care assistants ready to start rewarding, professional careers that improve the lives of people in our communities,” said NIC president John Bowman. “NIC’s Health Care Assistant program has a lengthy waiting list and we greatly appreciate the ministry’s assistance in helping us meet our communities’ needs.”

Twenty additional full-time equivalent spaces at NIC’s Comox Valley campus will double the space available in the Comox Valley this year. The program runs 27 weeks; students graduate with a Health Care Assistant certificate.

The scheduled start date for the first 10 additional students is Aug. 29, 2016, while the remaining 10 additional students will begin in January 2017.

In addition, the Province funds 20 regular student spaces at the Port Alberni campus, for a 36-week program starting in September 2016.

The Province has provided one-time funding for additional education spaces in health programs annually since 2008, and funding to date totals $14.8 million, which has created more than 1,800 student spaces provincewide.