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Employed Student Nurse Program

Accepting applications starting Nov. 1, 2023.

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PHSA’s Employed Student Nurse (ESN) program provides educational opportunities for nursing and psychiatric nursing students to work in a clinical setting for 200 to 400 hours of hands-on experience with pay. These hours will help consolidate theory and skills you have learned in your nursing programs, participate as a valued team member, and learn about different practice environments and interdisciplinary teams. In many cases, you can apply your earned seniority toward your first RN/RPN job with us.

This hands-on experience will prepare you for a career specializing in neonatal, perinatal, pediatrics, child & youth mental health, adult mental health, or oncology nursing. You may also be able to use this experience as a stepping stone to acquiring a preceptorship at BC Children's Hospital, BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, or BC Cancer as part of your fourth year. For details on areas/locations that are accepting ESNs within these programs, see below!

You qualify to apply if you:

  • Have successfully completed your medical/surgical instructor-led rotation or relevant rotation in your program of choice
  • Are a student member of the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) or are eligible for student membership
  • Have current certification in CPR
  • Meet the BC Children's Hospital, BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, or BC Cancer recruitment screening requirements; please see the program specific application forms for details on program requirements
Programs that hire ESNs

BC Cancer, with six regional centres across B.C., is dedicated to excellence in patient care, cancer research and prevention. Employed Student Nurses are welcomed into the program through a provincial-level onboarding program, followed by orientation and buddy shifts, along with in-house training.

Unit / Ward Preferences include:
  • BC Cancer Vancouver
  • BC Cancer Surrey
  • BC Cancer Victoria
  • BC Cancer Abbotsford
  • BC Cancer Kelowna
  • Centre for the North in Prince George

BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre is dedicated to improving the health of women, newborns and families through a comprehensive range of services, research and education.

Employed Student Nurses are welcomed into the following Units / Wards:
  • Single Room Maternity Care
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
  • Postpartum
  • Birthing

BC Children’s Hospital provides care for the most seriously ill or injured children and youth from  across British Columbia.

Employed Student Nurses are welcome to apply in the following Units:
  • Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, BMT/Oncology Clinic
  • Pediatric ICU
  • Pediatric Medicine
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation (Sunny Hill Health Centre)
  • Pediatric Surgery and Cardiac Surgery
  • Pediatric Peri-Operative Program
  • Medical Imaging
  • Outpatients Care

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services cares for people with complex mental health and substance use challenges.

Employed Student Nurses are welcome to apply in the following locations:
  • Correctional Health Services:
    • Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (VIRCC) — Victoria
    • Alouette Correctional Centre for Women (ACCW) — Maple Ridge
    • Fraser Regional Correctional Centre (FRCC) — Maple Ridge
    • Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre (KRCC)
    • Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) NFPRC
    • Surrey Pretrial Services Centre (SPSC)
    • Nanaimo Correctional Centre (NCC)
    • Prince George Regional Correctional Centre (PGRCC)
    • Community Transition teams
  • Forensic Psychiatric Hospital — Coquitlam
  • Provincial Assessment Center — Coquitlam
  • Red Fish Healing Centre — Coquitlam
  • Heartwood Centre for Women (Requires incumbent be female) — Vancouver

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides provincial and national leadership in disease surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation.

BCCDC is accepting ESNs for the following location:
  • TB Clinic — Vancouver

Want to know more about why you should apply?

Here's what some of our employed student nurses have to say about the program:

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“I knew this would be an amazing experience from the support and knowledge I received on my virtual orientation day, and I have continued to experience learning opportunities that have allowed me to develop my skillset in so many ways. 

I am excited to carry these valuable experiences with me and transfer the skills I have learned into my future placements. I look forward to continuing my nursing experience and I’m grateful for the encouraging learning environment I have experienced at BC Children’s Hospital.”

- Giselle Fonseca, 2023 ESN, BC Children’s Hospital

"When my student union sent out a flyer that BC Children's was hiring ESN's, I was just finishing my Adult In-Patient Psychiatry rotation, and I had loved it! I have been working with kids since I was 14, so I knew it was something I wanted to do as my career. Getting the chance to combine the best of both worlds was so incredible!

I have absolutely loved being an ESN! The most rewarding aspect for me is the profound difference I get to make in my patients' lives. It's incredibly fulfilling to know that my work contributes to their well-being and recovery, as well as teaching them skills that they can use for the rest of their lives!"

- Marina Neal, 2023 ESN, BC Children’s Hospital

How to apply

Download and complete the General PHSA application form.

Save the form once completed, as you will need to submit it with all other required documents.

Download and complete the corresponding application form below. 

Download and complete the ESN Clinical Reference form. Please have the form completed by an instructor from your most recent or relevant placement to your program of choice.

Save the form once completed, as you will need to submit it with all other required documents.


Submit all the following supporting documents along with your application form:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume (including all clinical placements)
  • Medical / Surgical Clinical Evaluation or most relevant rotation in your program of choice
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Reference (must include two references - clinical instructor reference and personal / work reference)
  • Clinical evaluation form (If you have not completed your clinical placement, please indicate expected completion date in your email. Once your clinical placement is complete, please send your evaluation form to

Download the PHSA ESN Application Checklist as a reference guide to ensure all documentation is included in your application. 

E-mail your complete application including the application form and supporting documents (in one e-mail) to using the subject line: ESN 2023 - (Last name, First Name - Program).
Thank you for your interest in PHSA. Please note, only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Due to the volume of applications received, we cannot comment on the status of individual applications.

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