Media Release: New accelerated program for North Island residents to become Practical Nurses

Campbell River, B.C. (January 25, 2024) – A new grant secured by BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC will now provide opportunities for Health Care Assistants (HCAs) who are interested in furthering their careers in seniors’ care through the accelerated Practical Nurse (PN) Access Training Program.

BCCPA and EngAge BC received $330,000 funding for delivery of the PN Access Training Program through the Community Workforce Response Grant program. This funding was provided by the Government of Canada, through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement, and provides BCCPA the opportunity to sponsor 10 students to bridge into PN roles. These students will have the opportunity to enhance their skills and career to further support addressing PN workforce shortages in B.C.’s seniors care sector through training from Discovery Community College in Campbell River, B.C. Funding will help BCCPA to cover tuition costs, as well as provide additional financial supports for travel, childcare and other training supports.

“BCCPA continues to look for opportunities to help create a thriving workforce in the seniors care sector especially in the face of the rapidly growing aging population in B.C.,” says CEO, Terry Lake. “This funding will help create pathways for advancement for healthcare workers, particularly HCAs, in the seniors care sector.”

The Association has received strong support for this initiative from various employers in the region, including Providence Living’s The Views at St. Joseph’s, CareCorp’s Discovery Harbour Care Home, West Coast Seniors Housing Management’s Comox Valley and Casa Loma Seniors Village, and Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society’s Eden Gardens.

“It is paramount that we have a consistent influx of qualified healthcare professionals entering the healthcare workforce,” says Erin Beaudoin, former Executive Director of Eden Gardens. “This is not only vital for the well-being of the residents and families we serve but is also instrumental in meeting the healthcare demands of our aging population to guarantee that British Columbians have access to quality healthcare when required.”


BCCPA has also received letters of support from Island Health Authority and the City of Campbell River and its Mayor, Kermit Dahl.

“Thanks to funding from CWRG and unwavering words of support from employers, City of Campbell River, Mayor Dahl, and Island Health, we can actively address the labour shortage and strengthen seniors care in B.C.,” says Lake.

Training will begin on February 19, 2024, in Campbell River. More information can be found here.


Jamie Lozano
Media & Communications Specialist
604-736-4233 ext 236

About BCCPA & EngAge BC
BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) has been the leading voice for B.C.’s continuing care sector since 1977, representing over 500 of its long-term care, assisted living, and commercial members across the province. The Association also represents independent living and private-pay home health operators through its operating arm, EngAge BC.

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