Get the answers you need.
Are Clinical Instructors allowed to give students reference letters for being an ESN or HCA?
No. SON faculty nor staff are not allowed to give references for ESN/HCA to students.
The Son ESN/HCA policy states that “reference letter will not be provided and clinical evaluations from instructors must not be used as references.” We highly encourage you to review this policy before submitting your ESN/HCA application. Health Authorities are aware and have been recently reminded of this SON policy.
What the SON provides instead, is a Letter of Good Standing (LoGS), after successful completion of Term (NURS 361) in the Nursing program, and after thorough review of students overall academic and practice performance and other assessments. Clinical Associates have been oriented to this, and they are also aware not to provide references for students.
In the interim, an example statement that you may wish to use in the reference section when submitting your application might be, “As per UBC School of Nursing policy, reference letter from the clinical instructor is not permitted and instead, a letter of good standing can be requested from the school.”
Are there any post-admission requirements?
Yes. All newly admitted students are required
- to attend the Orientation Session scheduled during the week before the start of classes ;
- to comply with the immunization regulations of the Provincial Health Authorities related to vaccine-preventable communicable diseases;
- to complete a Criminal Record Check (CRC), First Aid/CPR BLS level for Helthcare certification and N95 mask fitting test.
For more information on post-admission requirements, please refer to "Post Admission Program Requirements" section.
Are ‘KN95’ or other types of particulate filter respirator masks allowed to be used for fit-testing?
KN95 mask are respirator masks made according to China’s standards, and although very similar, there have been some differences in the breathability, and observed inconsistencies in the level of particulate filtration, which have been found upon testing conducted in Ottawa and the US (See quote and reference links below). So, while KN95 masks may be acceptable for average consumer use, it is not considered safe for healthcare standards where a nursing student/ healthcare provider would be working in an environment with a high risk of direct exposure to various microscopic infective particles. Furthermore,
“Health Canada indicates the N95 and KN95 standards are similar "with respect to design, filtration, performance and materials standards." However, it says that "recent testing performed by the CDC resulted in concerns with some KN95 respirators (specifically those with ear loop design) that pose a difficulty in achieving a proper fit, which is essential for use." (Source: https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2020/73063a-eng.php)
With that said, at this time we must continue to adhere to the list of healthcare provider approved masks referenced above. Please also ensure that your mask fit-testing provider is utilizing masks approved for Healthcare provider use and that their testing services are conducted in accordance with the CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z94.4.02.
At what point during the BSN program am I authourized to work an ESN/HCA?
After Successful completion of NURS 361, interested students will need apply for a letter of good standing by the established submission deadlines. Once all exams, papers and grades have been submitted, the BSN Progressions Committee Meeting determines whether students are in "good standing" - see definition. If you are planning to apply for an ESN role, please follow the process and timeline outlined on Canvas to request your Letter of Good Standing (just prior the completion of previous term). Completed Letters of Good Standing will be sent directly to students via their student e-mail.
Students who ESN/HCA need to also be currently enrolled in the program (i.e. not on a Leave of Absence). If ESN go on leave, they need to report to BCCNM, or if HCA, they need to report to BCCACHWR as well as their employer.
At what point in the BSN program am I authorized to work as an Employed Student Nurse (ESN)?
If you are planning on becoming an ESN once Term 3 has completed, you will be required to request a Letter of Good Standing to include with your Health Authority application.
Once all exams, papers and grades have been submitted, the BSN Progressions Committee Meeting determines whether students are in "good standing" - see definition here. If you are planning to apply for an ESN role, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org just prior the completion of Term 3 to request your Letter of Good Standing. The Letters of Good Standing will be sent directly to students via e-mail.
It is recommended that students review the UBC School of Nursing Policy for Students Working as Employed Student Nurses (ESNs), which outlines what is required by the UBC School of Nursing to become an ESN.
Each Health Authority recruits ESNs independently, and the Health Authority sets the recruitment timeline. To learn more about how to find ESN positions, and apply, please visit this FAQ.
Can I complete the program through part-time studies?
No, students are expected to complete the program on a full-time basis and because of the demands of the accelerated program we advise against part-time work during the program. There is also no opportunity for electives.
Can I do my interview by telephone?
Unfortunately we do not offer telephone interviews, only face-to-face.
Can I ESN on the same Unit where I have clinical practice?
No, students may not work on the unit where they are assigned for clinical practice, due to the inherent conflict of interest.
Students who are HCAs/ESNs must inform the School of Nursing’s Clinical Practice Placement Unit (CPPU) of the location and duration of all HCA/ESN experiences while in the UBC School of Nursing BSN Program. ESN/HCA students will therefore be required to report where they work via their Canvas cohort shell, listing work location, unit and contracted start & end dates. The CPPU will inform practice course leaders of which students hold ESN/HCA positions. The course leader will then ensure that students are not placed in a unit where they have worked, or currently work as an ESN/HCA.
Can I get credit for courses completed at another university during my studies?
Yes, if approved. Many schools in Western Canada are part of the Western Dean's Agreement which allows graduate students of the member institutions to take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university's tuition fees.
To start the program extension request, log into the Student Tracking System (https://sts.nursing.ubc.ca/) with your CWL. On the right side blue menu, click "Courses". On the new page, click the button "Request Transfer Course" and fill in the information. Once you submit, an automated email will go to your supervisor and program coordinator for their review and approval. Once their approval is granted the Student Support Office will complete the paperwork for submission to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Schools not listed under the Western Dean's Agreement may qualify for other exchange agreements.