nurses standing on helipad at VGH

The possibilities are endless for growing your nursing career at VCH

Registered nurses have various options to explore in terms of participating in education to change their area of practice. This may include critical care, emergency, home health or the operating room, to name a few. Regardless of the area of practice, registered nurses also have opportunities to be nursing leaders or educators, and VCH offers a variety of courses to support them in that pathway. Leadership and education support is also available to registered psychiatric nurses and licensed practical nurses.

Specialized areas of practice for registered nurses

Whether you are a newly graduated registered nurse with a few years of experience or a seasoned nurse looking for a new challenge, VCH has an opportunity for you. Whether you want to try working in a trauma hospital, a small hospital in a remote community,  or caring for palliative patients in their homes — VCH is here to support your learning journey into a new area of practice. 

registered nurse working at the BC Leukemia Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Leukemia Bone Marrow Transplant program at VGH

B.C. provincial program for acute leukemia and high-grade lymphoma patients needing chemotherapy and all patients needing bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

nurses working during surgery

Cardiac care (CCU, CSICU, Cardiac Cath Lab)

Cardiac care nurses work in a variety of settings, including the cardiac catheterization lab and the cardiac surgery intensive care unit. Patients in these settings have high medical needs and require more specialized nursing care. Nurses in these areas also work with a team of physicians, NPs and allied health professionals to deliver optimum care.

Registered Nurses Emergency Dept


Emergency room nurses are some of the first health care professionals patients see when coming to the emergency room. Nurses learn how to care for a variety of patients presenting with different health challenges and learn about triage and trauma.

Carlo, Renal RN

Renal Program

Nurses with expert knowledge in nephrology can work in hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and the kidney care clinic. Patients may require short-term or long-term dialysis, and the care is important to maintain the best quality of life possible.

Nurse and physician at station

High acuity

Nurses have two options after completing their high-acuity education. One option is to work in a high acuity unit whereby patients may no longer meet the intensive care criteria but still require more care than can be provided on a general unit. Some units have their own high acuity or step-down areas so nurses can deliver care within the specialty unit.

Nurse standing outside

Home health

Home health nurses support clients with acute and chronic health challenges and provide palliative care, wound care, chronic disease management and intravenous therapy. They work with clients and caregivers to optimize health outcomes in the client's environment.

Nurse taking care of patient inintensive care

Intensive care

The intensive care unit provides care to patients who are medically unstable. Nurses in this area work with intensivists, respiratory therapists and other members of the care team to stabilize these patients before they can go to the general units.

staff stands beside CT machine

Interventional radiology

Interventional radiology nurses are integral team members who participate in and care for patients undergoing minimally invasive interventional procedures.

Nurse stands beside infant warmer

Labour and delivery

Labour and delivery are offered at most acute hospitals within VCH. Nurses learn to care for individuals and their support systems who are in active labour. Delivering patient education after the delivery is also an important aspect of the role.

 nurse caressing a newborn baby in an incubator while he sleeps

Neonatal intensive care unit

Richmond Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital have intensive care units for newborns needing additional care.

Nurse in operating room

Operating room

Nurses work in the operating rooms alongside surgeons, residents and other members of the health-care team to perform simple or complex surgeries. Pre-operative and intraoperative care is required from these nurses.

Paediatric nurse with patient

Paediatrics/paediatric emergency

Lions Gate Hospital has a paediatric unit, while Richmond Hospital provides emergency care to paediatric patients.

Nurse with needle in intensive care unit

Post Anesthesia Care Unit

Nurses in the post-anesthesia care unit support patients immediately after surgery. Nurses in this area ensure the patient is medically stable enough to return to the general unit or surgical daycare.

nurse at vaccine tent

Public Health

Public Health focuses on promoting positive health outcomes for individuals/families, the community and the greater population. Health promotion strategies may focus on the 0 to 5 age range or ages 6 to 24.

Gibsons marina in golden light framed by the pier


VCH has a variety of opportunities in smaller communities on the Sunshine Coast (Sechelt, Gibsons), in qathet (colonial name Powell River), and the central coast of Bella Bella and Bella Coola. Nursing in rural/remote areas offers unique experiences and a chance to practice and give back to the community.

Lori Quinn standing outside of the VGH emergency department

Specialized areas of practice for registered nurses

“VCH has supported my career from the very beginning to current. I have met many mentors, I have witnessed excellent care, I’ve been touched by patients receiving care and I had so many great learning opportunities”

Lori Quinn - Operations Director, Emergency, Trauma and Critical Care

Watch Lori's story

Interested in learning more? Talk to a Talent Acquistion Advisor today.

VCH offers funded training opportunities for registered nurses who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Nurses must meet the academic requirements for the program. Some programs are offered with external post-secondary partners, while others are internal training programs.

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Nursing manager Dominic Chen

Insights into a nursing manager's journey

“I am very grateful to be part of VCH because I think the organization has promoted my leadership journey over the years… I started as front line clinician and have held multiple positions over time, and in each of those positions, I have learned a lot through my career to build into my current position”

Dominic, Program Manager, North Shore Mental Health and Substance Use

Watch Dominic's story


Although nurses are leaders, there is a formalized career path for those interested in leadership. This includes starting as a frontline leader and continuing to grow to lead system-wide initiatives designed to positively change the health-care system.

  • In charge nurse

    Being in-charge offers nurses an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in a limited time capacity, usually at night or on the weekends. This is the start to a more formalized career path in leadership.

  • Patient Care Coordinator/ Clinical Coordinator

    A coordinator provides leadership, supervision and guidance to designated staff and coordinates work activities to ensure an efficient and high standard of care and effective utilization of client care resources to meet operational needs.

  • Clinical Operations Supervisor/Head Nurse

    A Clinical Operations Supervisor oversees and provides supervision to designated staff from an interdisciplinary team of professionals including continuous communications, conflict resolution, performance recognition, coaching, performance management, safe work practices, workload and staffing issues.

  • Manager

    A manager is accountable for the effective and efficient functioning of applicable programs for the designated areas. They are responsible for providing leadership and direction for the operations management, utilization and risk management, and quality improvement of the programs.

  • Director

    A director is accountable for the effective and efficient funcationing of multiple programs. They empower managers, advance service sufficiences, and enable performance metrics.

Zerlina Chan, Interim Director of Medicine, Richmond Hospital

Insights into a nursing directors' journey

“The career-defining moment for me at VCH was as a nursing practice lead where I helped to implement various nursing initiatives… It opened my eyes to the various practices and helping with how to support individuals as well as health-care practitioners”

Zerlina, Interim Director of Medicine, Richmond Hospital

Watch Zerlina's story


If you are passionate about designing and facilitating learning experiences, and supporting others through their learning journey, then the educator career pathway may be right for you.

  • Preceptor/Mentor

    Guiding the next generation of nurses to be their best is an important part of contributing to quality patient care. Becoming a preceptor involves supporting a nursing student in their final practicum before they graduate. As a mentor, you will be helping new grads or other new staff transition to a new area of practice by providing them support and feedback.

  • Nurse Educator/Nurse Clinician/Clinical Resource Nurse

    Nursing educators may be involved in designing online education, lunch and learns or orientation programs. The nursing educator on a unit may support staff learning new equipment or care models. Other nursing educators may be teaching patients about their new diagnosis so they can learn to live with optimal health.

  • Regional Clinical Educator

    Regional clinical educators use their experience as educators to develop larger scale education initiatives like clinical systems transformation or accreditation. Supporting new educators is also a role for the regional clinical educators.

  • Education Lead/Manager

    Education leads and managers oversee regional education programs and initiatives. They are responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating the programs on behalf of the organization.

Amy Chin standing inside a hospital

The career pathway of a nursing educator

“I am very thankful with all the opportunities that VCH has given me, I’ve been able to find a job that really suits me and I really enjoy. There is nothing better than knowing that helping building the new graduate nurses capacity and skills is going to translate into a better patient care”

Amy Chin - Clinical Nurse Educator

Watch Amy's story

Advanced Practice Nursing

If you are interested in seeing how you can influence health care and support best practices for patients and staff, a career as an advanced practice nurse may be a good pathway for you.

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist

    A Clinical Nurse Specialist(CNS) is a Master’s in Nursing or Master’s of Science in Nursing prepared advanced practice nurse. A CNS works with leadership to facilitate and achieve the highest standards of service delivery and leads in the planning, development and implementation of policies and programs designed to improve patient care.

  • Nursing Practice Lead

    A Master’s prepared nurse who guides the development of standards and practice, scope and regulations, and fosters problem solving between programs, projects and professional staff. A Practice Lead provides leadership and consultation on a variety of issues: scope of practice, clinical informatics and enhancing nursing practice.

  • Nurse Practitioner

    A Master’s prepared nurse who is responsible and accountable for the assessment of patients/clients including diagnosing, initiating treatment and prescribing medication. A NP collaborates with patients, families and other health care professionals to improve health services.

Learn more about nursing jobs

Nursing jobs

Grow your nursing career at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). Our forward-thinking organization is bursting with great opportunities for new and experienced nurses.

How to apply

The application process varies depending on whether you are an external (non-VCH staff,) internal (VCH staff,) international / out-of-province, or medical staff candidate.