Improving my CV to get into UBC or BCIT NURSING

World Canada


Hi,I'm planning to apply to UBC's 2-year program, and possibly also BCIT's 3-year program (as a second choice) for September 2016 intake.If you were accepted into either program - or just have some advice to share - I would love to get the inside scoop on how I can make myself into the best possible candidate for acceptance:1. How many hours of revelant healthcare experience did you have prior to admission?2. What kind of volunteer experience is preferred? Should I volunteer in an Extended Care Centre or a hospital? If I'm in the hospital, should I go for the Cancer Centre or Emergency or Surgical Day Care? Do you think one of these locations or departments more attractive than the others to an admissions committee? 3. Which extra-curricular activities do you undertake prior to admission? 4. What is the daily schedule? 8am - 5pm? Does it include evenings and weekends? 5. When did/do you have time off during the program?6. If I complete 70 hours of volunteering in a hospital or extended care faciility, and attain an 86% GPA in prerequisite Biology courses (I have an 86% GPA from my undergrad and grad studies), how strong a candidate do you think I will be? Thanks so much for your help!!!


60 Posts

For UBC: had volunteer experience in a long term care facility and with the Canadian Cancer Society. I also had some volunteer experience teaching English abroad. Expect class from 9am-4pm 2-3 days a week and clinicals 2 or 3 days a week (8-12 hours a day). Term 1 there is more class time compared to other terms, after term one more clinical time. Sometimes there's weekend clinicals but I got lucky and never had any! You get August off and other weeks off throughout the year as well (February and April I think).


60 Posts

And yes you sound like an ideal candidate, 86% is a solid GPA. Plus you'll have volunteer experience. Good luck!

Hi sunship88,

Thanks so much for the detailed and encouraging reply. This is very useful info!

May I ask whether you've completed the program now, and if so, how you're feeling about your school experience in hindsight?

Were you able to find work quickly? Are you employed full-time in the Lower Mainland?

I'm wondering how many students are hired through their practicum placement or through the ESN program. Do you know if you can enter the ESN program soon after you have graduated as an RN, or are you only eligible for the ESN program before you graduate?

I'm considering moving to Kelowna soon after graduation so I'm curious as to whether you know if any of your classmates attained jobs in that city, or have any sense of the demand for nurses with KGH and Interior Health.

Thanks again for your insight!!!


60 Posts

Overall I liked the program. It's the fastest accelerated nursing program in Canada so it was a fair bit of work. Lots of assignments in addition to class and clinical time, but it wasn't super hard/challenging material IMO and I enjoyed most of my classes.

I was an ESN and would highly recommend applying, it's great work experience. It lead to my current position- most people got hired through ESN or where they did their final preceptorship. It's hard to get a full time position initially as a new grad in the lower mainland, casual is much more common.

I know of a few people in my class who were hired in kelowna and I don't think that would be a problem at all. Easier than finding work in vancouver!


60 Posts

Oh and ESN you're only eligible for as a student, specifically after term 3 if you are a UBC student.

Hi sunship88,

Thanks again for your super helpful replies! This is such useful info. I really appreciate you taking the time to post and help me out.

Can I ask - for the UBC grads from your program that were hired in Kelowna - do you know if they did their ESN or practicum placements there or if they were hired through External Recruiting?

And are they - and all the other grads from your program - generally working at hospitals on a casual or on-call basis?

I heard that finding that first job after nursing school can be pretty tough, especially if you're not looking in the same location (i.e., Kelowna for me) as your ESN or preceptorship (probably Vancouver for me) so any further advice for how to make myself super-employable (preferably in Kelowna) post-graduation would be hugely appreciated!



60 Posts

I know of a couple people who did their preceptorships there and got hired. Not sure if it's casual or a full or part time line though. UBC does allow students to do out-of-town final preceptorships, although generally within BC only.

ESNing and preceptorship is definitely an advantage to getting hired but people still can get jobs other ways, it might just take a bit longer ;)

That's encouraging, sunship88, thanks again for the reply!

I'm in the program. I think any type of health related volunteering is fine. I'd just go with what interests you the most. If you really enjoy a certain area, volunteer experience will look great if you're applying there (or in a related area) later as a nurse. That being said, I didn't have THAT much volunteer work (one year). I had more experience from paid jobs that were health related and that was fine.

You definitely get breaks in the program. There's a significant summer break (August) and between each 6 week class set you typically get a week or two off depending on how many exams you have. Also a decent Christmas break. The program is intense, so I think this is pretty beneficial.

If your heart is set on Kelowna I'm sure you'll be able to find work there. You could even try to snag a final preceptorship in the area. Good luck!

Thanks for the reply, pastaenthusiast!

I've mentioned to a few people that I'm hoping to go to nursing school and they've suggested that I should go for med school instead and become a doctor.

Any comments on that? Do you prefer nursing? Do you ever wish you'd gone to med school instead?


P.S. How much group work was there during the UBC nursing program, and did you have difficulties with scheduling the group work and/or the other students pulling their weight?

Oh, and one other question:

What was the UBC Admissions Committee interview like?

I would expect they would ask why you want to be a nurse and how your experiences have prepared you for the career, but I'm curious as to whether there were other questions that caught you off-guard. For example, did they ask you about current events?


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