UK Student planning a placment in Vancouver - HELP PLZ

World International


Hello all,

I'm a 3rd year nursing student at Liverpool John Moores university in England.

I'm planning to have a 6-8 week hospital placement over in Vancouver BC next march-july.

I'm looking for information on:

- the local hospitals both state and private,

- the local nursing schools,

- and the local and national nursing trade unions/professional bodies

(in Vancouver.)

Can anyone help me please? I'm coming over to Canada as it's a beautiful country and I have relatives out there so I'm hoping to stay with them. Any info or advice would be brilliant in my quest !

Many thanks

Katie :)


6,620 Posts

There are no real private hospitals except long term care homes and clinics. Hospitals are generally all government run through regional health authorities. To get a list of the hospitals in the area go to and click on Canadian hospitals. Then type in vancouver as the city. As far as nursing schools, most are now BSN programs and include UBC, BCIT and Douglas College. All nurses in BC are registered with RNABC (they are the professional college that represents nurses) and the vast majority are members of BCNU (the union that represents nurses in contract negotiations). Is there a particular area of nursing that interests you (ob, pediatrics, med-surg?)? If so, please feel free to pm me and I may be able to recommend a hospital.


6,620 Posts

Oh, and you might also want to look at the other cities like Burnaby, New Westminster, richmond, Surrey and North Vancouver as well. They are all within driving distance and considered part of the greater Vancouver area.


18 Posts


I'm not entirely sure how your health system runs over there, but by private I mean ones that provide stuff you have to pay for (insurance etc) and state by those who provide free care paid for by the state. It's very different from here where everything is free from the point of delivery..

So far surgical is appealing to me. I'm doing adult/general branch so I don't work with kids, I'm no good with them anyway lol! (In the UK we have branches - paed, mental health, learning difficulties and adult/general which you follow so you're qualified in one particular demographic)

So don't you have one national country-wide union for nurses? Just regional ones? I'll drop those two a line.

Are your hospitals all general so to speak, i.e. they have wards for medical, surgical, more specialist eg haematology urology etc? Or are there certain hospitals that just do certain areas?

Cheers for the info


6,620 Posts

Everything here is publicly paid except for certain clinics (like ones that offer MRIs and certain day surgeries). The privately paid clinics are generally used by our worker's compensation board to help people on worker's comp get back to work without waiting in line as long. All the hospitals are free for our citizens at the point of delivery as well. Private insurance hasn't made it's way to the province yet.

We don't have a country wide union, no. The unions are provincial, so all nurses in BC have the same contract. If it was countrywide that would be practically impossible because of the difference in cost of living between provinces. The lisencing boards are also provincial. RNABC isn't the union, it's the lisencing body which determined competency and requirements to register as a nurse in the province. If you wanted to stay, they are the ones who would evaluate your education and give you permission to write the CNAT.

Certain hospitals in Vancouver are specialized. There is a children's hospital, a women's hospital, a cancer center, etc. But most are more general. If you are interested in general med-surg you would probably wind up at Vancouver General Hospital (they have a great burn unit apparently) or St Paul's Hospital (right downtown, older place, has a good renal floor as well as an HIV/AIDS unit I have heard good things about). I have also heard good things about Lion's gate in North Vancouver. My niece did a practicum at the women's hospital and liked it very much.


18 Posts

Oh right! My bad for assuming you had the same system as the US.

So is it funded by taxes? We all pay a tax here straight from our wages called National Insurance (NI).

I was hoping to do my dissetation on that kinda area - the social/cultural influences on care in relation to insurance/paying for health care and then do and comparision to health care in England. Will have to have another think now...

Thanks for the help and explainations! :)

BTW - what does CNAT stand for and what is the worker's compensation board?

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