PHC Nurses, get paid to go back to school

Aug 28, 2019 | Spotlight

Autumn is a time of renewed energy, and with September’s back-to-school feel, you may be thinking it’s a good time to head back-to-school yourself. With this in mind, our Recruitment team is holding on-site information sessions at St. Paul’s Hospital next week and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital the week after to talk with you about the opportunities available for nurses who are interested in advancing their clinical skills.

To get the goods, we sat down with our Recruiters and department leaders to learn more about the application process and who is best suited to take part in specialty training (spoiler alert: probably you!).

Who is eligible for specialty nursing education funded by Providence?

Registered Nurses with one to two years of medical/surgical experience who have not received post-basic education funding from PHC in the past two years are encouraged to apply! If you don’t have the preferred clinical experience, but have an interest, talk to us! We can walk you through other options or keep connected for other opportunities in the future.

What will Providence fund while I am enrolled in specialty education?

Providence will pay your full salary while you take part in the program as well as the cost of tuition and books. You will also be guaranteed a permanent job with Providence upon completion. This is a major benefit offering peace of mind for those passionate about furthering their education.

Why should I leave my current position to advance my training?

A lot of the work that we do at Providence is focused on our populations of emphasis; St. Paul’s is a world leader in Heart Lung care; our Renal Program has received global recognition and introduced changes to public health policy and clinical practice; and because of our excellence in these areas, our Maternity Centre is able to care for some of the most complex pregnancies and mothers with existing medical problems as it is home to BC’s only cardiac and renal obstetrical programs supporting pregnant women with cardiac or renal issues.

The complexity of care that we are able to provide to our patients, residents, clients and their families requires specialty-trained nurses. Providence is committed to supporting you in advancing your skills by offering to pay for your wages, tuition and books so you can continue to provide excellent care to the people we serve.

What specialized areas of focus are offered?

Nurses can focus their advanced training in a wide range of programs including:

  • Critical Care (Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Cath Lab, Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, Post-Anaesthesia Recovery)
  • Emergency
  • High Acuity
  • Maternity (Neonatal/Perinatal)
  • Nephrology (Hemodialysis)
  • Perioperative (OR)

Where does the specialty training take place?

With the exception of perioperative nursing, all specialty training programs (critical care, emergency, high acuity, maternity and nephrology) are delivered in conjunction with BCIT’s Specialty Nursing department (See below for more information on our in-house Perioperative Program.) Courses are offered on a part-time basis to allow maximum flexibility for students and include distance and online learning as well as clinical placements.

I want to specialize in the OR. How do I enroll in PHC’s perioperative program?

Nurses who want to specialize in the OR can join a long and strong history of perioperative nursing at St. Paul’s dating back to 1931 when the hospital introduced its first post-basic nursing education program in the OR. Today, PHC’s in-house Perioperative Program includes online learning, simulation strategy and clinical preceptorship with a strong emphasis on the clinical portion. As with the other specialty training areas, Providence will cover the cost of your wages, tuition fees and text books while you complete the perioperative program. Nurses who have one to two years of acute care experience are preferred, but the program also accepts new grads who have done preceptorships with us in the OR and who display a keen interest in Perioperative nursing.

All surgical specialties are covered such as general surgery, gynecology, plastics, urology, vascular and thoracic, orthopedics, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and ear nose and throat (ENT).

When will these opportunities be posted and for which intake?

All specialty training opportunities are currently posted on our Careers website here for the January 2020 in-take.

How do I apply?

To view and apply to specialty nurse training opportunities at Providence, visit our Careers website.

What do I need to apply to the program?

You will need a cover letter and updated resume to apply to our specialty training opportunities.

Where will I work after I complete the training?

After you successfully complete the specialty training, you will be hired into an existing vacancy in the area of study and will be required to commit to a minimum of one year in the department.

Where do I get more information?

For more information on our specialty training opportunities:

  • Meet recruiters and clinical staff from the specialty areas at our information sessions happening
    • Thursday, September 5 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Cafeteria at St. Paul’s Hospital
    • Tuesday, September 10 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
  • Email us at:
PDF icon speciality_education_info_session_poster.pdf
People Forward


Iam just wondering why there are so many opportunities for RN’s and nothing for LPN’s. We are nurses as well and we are willing to have more education too.
Hi Christina, thank you for your comment! PHC does offer training opportunities for LPNs. One of our Recruitment team members will be in touch with you directly.
How does PHC support nurses going into part-time graduate studies while maintaining a nursing career?
Hi Laura, excellent question. We are big fans of our nurses seeking professional development and would be keen to connect about potential options for supporting you. One of our Recruitment team members will connect with you directly.
Hi Christina, seems a shame that there are also no opportunities for RPN's. I am currently taking my RN in an advanced entry program and get no funding whatsoever from St Paul's Hospital. RPN's are a valuable asset who should be encouraged to complete thier RN with funding with retainment in mind. I am have worked at this hospital since 2010 and will most likely continue to work here until retirement...but definitely feel undervalued by recruitment.
Hi, Rebecca – we’re sorry to hear that this was your experience. Having our staff feel undervalued is the last thing that we want. One of our Recruitment team members will reach out to you directly to further discuss your experience and see about education opportunities that you may be eligible for. Thanks for letting us know.
Hello , i have been working with providence since 2007 got hired through IEN programme but have been in residential sites since then ,just wondering felt like many times to learn more further expnad my skills am i eligible to apply for these education oppurtunities as well .
Hi Gurpreet, thanks so much for reaching out. We’re excited to hear that you’re looking to expand your skills! One of our Recruitment team members will connect with you directly to talk about education opportunities that you may be eligible for. You might also be interested in attending one of the info sessions on our specialty training opportunities (dates + times listed above) to learn more!
How about those support staff that are having interest in pursuing a Nursing program?
Hi Jorge, thanks for this question and we are eager to hear more about the potential training you're looking into. One of our Recruitment team members will be in touch soon!

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