Finding Balance: The Amazing Benefits Of Working At Northern Health


There are not many organizations quite like Northern Health.

Located in the spectacular setting of Northern British Columbia, this healthcare system offers a unique work environment for its dedicated team of talented professionals. Top-notch career and professional advancement opportunities aside, it’s what happens after hours that really sets Northern Health apart from other facilities. From outdoor activities to cultural events, the Northern B.C. lifestyle is one that strikes the perfect balance between work and play.

To get a little more insight into the egg-citing perks of living and working in Northern B.C., we caught up with Ivan Pekunov, a Registered Nurse working for Northern Health in Fort St. John.

A new adventure

Ivan Pekunov
Registered Nurse
Northern Health

For some, starting a new job in a new city can be a bit daunting. Not for Ivan Pekunov – the Registered Nurse embraced the opportunity to kickstart his healthcare career.

Ivan first moved to Canada when he was 14. He lived in Victoria for 7 years with his family before moving to Prince George to study nursing at the University of Northern B.C.

“I was looking for adventure and a change of scenery, so I decided to make the move,” says Ivan.

After he finished his studies, he worked in Dawson Creek, B.C. for some time before applying (and being hired) by Northern Health as a full-time Registered Nurse. “It was an easy transition,” he says, as he completed all of his practicums at Northern Health and was already familiar with the work environment.

Today, his role is quite multifaceted. As a Registered Nurse, he works 12 hour shifts two days and two nights a week, and is often at the hospital as early as 7 AM. A typical day starts with him checking the report from the nurse on the previous shift. After this, he assists patients, gives out medication, implements physician orders – “Whatever needs to be done to improve our patients’ health,” says Ivan.

Life in Northern B.C.

If you’re someone who’s passionate about healthcare and likes to lead an active lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine a better place to launch your career than at Northern Health. After all, when you’re living in a place filled with beautiful lakes, forests, and mountains to climb, it’s hard not to get outside and enjoy it!

“I honestly loved it right away,” says Ivan about living in Northern B.C. “I love the outdoors, I love the winter… if you’re into camping, hiking, snowshoeing and stuff like that, it’s the perfect place to be.”

He also enjoyed living in a smaller city like Fort St. John. Since everyone in his community is very close, there’s a strong sense of togetherness and support. Additionally, living and working in the same area gives Ivan the incredible opportunity to see the impact of his work up close.

“I’m making a difference within the community,” he says. “You can watch people as they get better – it’s very rewarding.”

What are the perks of hatching a career with Northern Health?
  1. Opportunities. Ivan got the chance to experience many different departments within the organization, helping him to solidify his professional goals.
  2. Support. The student and new graduate programs at Northern Health help entry-level professionals gain the skills they need to advance their careers.
  3. Benefits. Northern Health offers a full benefit package to both full-time and part-time employees.

Why new grads should work with Northern Health

When Ivan started at Northern Health as a student, he was blown away by the supportive atmosphere. Even now that he’s a full-time professional, he still appreciates the guidance and mentorship he receives from his supervisors.

“Everybody’s very friendly and very patient,” says Ivan. “They take the time to explain and show exactly how things should be done with students and grads.”

Furthermore, Northern Health is not just an encouraging place to work, it’s also a lot of fun! For instance, Ivan says that the management frequently host “Appreciation Nights” where employees from all different departments get the chance to socialize and know each other better. Additionally, sometimes there are regular team outings to cultural events happening in the city, such as the annual ice carving festival.

Overall, the strong sense of community and support at Northern Health goes a long way in helping Ivan feel comfortable and confident in his role at the organization. He looks forward to his future with the organization, and hopes to continue learning and developing his nursing skills.

“It’s not just support from colleagues, also from management and other department,” explains Ivan. “As a new grad, I’m still learning and it makes my job less stressful. I’m not afraid to ask questions… [Northern Health] helped me grow not just as a professional, but as an individual too.”

Ready to start your career at Northern Health? Explore their roles here!