Nursing Unit Assistant

Nursing Unit Assistant

  • Program Length 
    4 Months
  • Credential 

Nursing Unit Coordinator

4-Month certificate program

Become part of the non-clinical health care team in just 12 weeks, working in a fast paced and rewarding environment that is in high demand. This non-credit, full-time program will prepare you with the knowledge and skills required to work in hospitals as a Nursing Unit Assistant (NUA) or other similar roles. Courses are held both online and in-person.

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

Also see this NUA Program Alumni Story about one of our successful NUA program students.

Career opportunities

The NUA supports the delivery of client care in hospitals by performing a variety of non-clinical tasks within the communication centre of nursing stations, continuing care centres and other medical facilities including: registering patients, acting as a communication link for the area, transcribing and processing physicians' orders, coordinating with other hospital departments and facilities, coordinating patient appointments, arranging patient tests and receiving results, receiving and directing visitors, and assembling and maintaining patient charts. The Nursing Unit Assistant Certificate program prepares students for the following positions:

  • Nursing Unit Assistant/Coordinator/Clerk
  • Hospital Unit Coordinator/Clerk
  • Health Unit Coordinator/Clerk
  • Surgical Procedures Booking Clerk
  • Patient Transfer Coordinator
  • 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 wpm or greater. Note: Some employers require a typing speed of 40 - 50 wpm. Students are expected to attain this minimum speed independently and may utilize a number of free typing programs online.
    • Computer Skills: successful completion of a computer course 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, sending emails, etc.

Other program requirements

Proof of successful completion of the following is required in order to participate in the practicum. Once you have been accepted to the program, it is strongly recommended that you have these required documents completed before the program start date.   

  • Criminal Record Check
    • Practicums 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, 2023
Information Session March 27, 2024 6:30-8:30pm Click here to join the meeting

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

Application Deadline** June 30, 2024
Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline July 19, 2024
Registration Deadline & Non-Refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of admission offer
Balance of Tuition Due August 16, 2024
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) August 16, 2024
Program Start September 16, 2024
Program End December 13, 2024

If pre-requisites are in-progress, conditional acceptance may be granted as long as courses/assessments are completed before program start.

Program fees

Tuition and fees subject to final approval

  • Tuition: $5,290.04
  • Application Fee: $45.16
  • Criminal Record Check Fee: $46 (approx.)
  • Student Union Fees and Student Activity Fees: $206 (approx.)
  • Textbooks: $300 (approx.)

This program is eligible for students loans. For more information, please see Student Financial Aid and 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 and Training
Faculty of Health Sciences and Human Services

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