Nursing Unit Assistant

Hospital Unit Coordinator

  • Program Length 
    4 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 

Hospital Unit Coordinator

4-Month Certificate Program

Become part of the non-clinical health care team, working in a fast paced environment and rewarding career that is in high demand. This program will prepare you with the knowledge and skills required to work as a Nursing Unit Assistant (NUA) or Hospital Unit Coordinator. As a NUA, you will perform a variety of clerical duties related to the operation of a patient care area in hospitals and other medical facilities. The program will also benefit staff currently employed in the medical field who require cross training, professional development, or retraining. Note that this program was previously called the Hospital Unit Coordinator program.

Please review the personal suitability checklist to see if this is the right program for you.

Career Opportunities

The Nursing Unit Assistant (NUA) performs a variety of non-clinical tasks at the communication centre at the nursing station of a hospital, continuing care centre and other medical facilities. 

The Nursing Unit Assistant Certificate Program prepares students for the following positions:

  • Nursing Unit Assistant/Coordinator
  • Hospital Unit Coordinator/Clerk
  • Health Unit Coordinator/Clerk
  • Surgical Procedures Booking Clerk
  • Patient Placement Clerk
  • Admitting Clerk
  • Booking Clerk & Modality Assistant - Medical Imaging
  • Clerk - Reception & Image Service Centre - Medical Imaging

View this short video from the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators for more on what the job entails. 

Program Content

The program consists of the following non-credit courses:

  • Nursing Unit Assistant Orientation and Overview
  • Interpersonal and Employment Skills for Nursing Unit Assistants
  • Non-Clinical Pharmacology
  • Procedures and Observation
  • Observational Practicum
  • Practicum

Course Delivery

Courses are offered on a full-time basis starting in September with a combination of online and face-to-face classes. 

The full-time practicum is individually scheduled during the last four weeks of the program. Practicums will be held face-to-face and may be located across Vancouver Island. We do our best to place you in your "home", or preferred, location.

Admission Requirements

  • General admission requirements for academic programs
  • Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology (OSME 002) within the last 2 years , or equivalent. (Note that if you have taken a Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology course more than 2 years ago, you can take an assessment. Please see for more information. Proof of successful completion of the assessment will be considered equivalent to OSME 002).
  • Keyboarding speed of  30 cwpm or greater
  • Computer Skills: successful completion of computers course (i.e. COST 030) or a letter that details computer systems and programs that you use and know. Basic computer literacy is required. If you have not recently taken an introductory computer course but are comfortable using computers, please provide a letter outlining the programs you can use, your capability of setting up files and sub-files, saving and printing documents, performing internet searches, etc.

Other Program Requirements

The following documentation is required in order to participate in the practicum. It is strongly recommended that you have these required documents completed before the program start date. 

  • Criminal Record Check
    • Fieldwork and/or practica will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. Further information on obtaining your CRC through VIU will only be sent if you are accepted to the program, and will be sent with your acceptance letter from the Registrar's Office. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.
  • Immunization Requirements Form with a recent TB skin test report within 12 months of entering the program is required. (If the TB skin test is positive, a negative chest x-ray is required.) Please note that some immunizations are given in a series and may take several months to complete.*

* These documents are to be sent to on or before the start date of the program.

Admission Assessments

To meet the Keyboarding admission requirement, or for any other assessments you may need, please contact VIU Student Affairs Assessment and Exam Invigilation Services. Assessments are available at Nanaimo, Powell River and Cowichan.

Important Program Dates*

Schedule is subject to revision.

Description Date
Admissions Open / Applications Accepted October 1, 2022
Information Session Information session has already been held.

Please contact us at with any specific questions, and we will be happy to respond.

Application Deadline Extended to July 31, 2023
Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline August 15, 2023
Registration Deadline & Non-Refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of admission offer
Balance of Tuition Due August 25, 2023
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) August 25, 2023
Program Start September 18, 2023
Program End December 15, 2023

*Dates are subject to change

**Applications must be submitted with all required documentation.  If pre-requisites are in-progress, conditional acceptance may be granted as long as courses / assessments are completed before program start.  Late applications will be considered if seats are available.  

Program Fees

Tuition and fees subject to final approval

  • Tuition: $5,186.31
  • Application Fee:  $44.27
  • Criminal Record Check Fee: $45.55
  • Student Union Fees and Student Activity Fees: $200.33
  • Textbooks: $300 (approx.)

This program is eligible for students loans. For more information, please see Student Financial Aid & Awards

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete all six courses in the program in order to be eligible for the program certificate.

Students are required to attend all scheduled lectures, observations, examinations, and practicum hours.  If you do not meet the attendance requirement, you may not qualify for the program certificate.

How to Apply

It's fast and easy to Apply Online.   

An application fee is required.

Useful Links

Contact Information

We are happy to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to contact us!

Yan Li, Program Assistant
Professional Development & Training
Faculty of Health Sciences & Human Services

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