Office Hours: Exploring Northern Health’s Career Opportunities for Students and Grads


For students and recent grads looking to launch a rewarding career in Healthcare, a company like Northern Health is a top choice.

On September 13th, we chatted with Steven Prins, a recruiter at Northern Health, who answered your healthcare career questions during our Office Hours Q&A. During the hour-long online chat, we covered topics ranging from entry-level jobs, relocation, application tips, student opportunities, and more!

If you missed the event, we’ve got you covered! Check out the full transcript of our chat below.

Hello everyone, thanks for joining Office Hours with Northern Health! To log into the chat, please follow the steps below:

Click the message bar above to activate (“send questions or comments”)
Pick a screen name – your first name will do!
Enter your question(s) into the chat – they’ll be accepted into our moderation system as soon as you hit ‘send’!
We will be starting the event promptly at 4 p.m. ET – stay tuned!

Hello, and welcome to Office Hours with Northern Health! My name is Melissa and I’ll be monitoring today’s chat.

We’re super egg-cited to get things rolling. Today, we have a very special guest joining us from Northern Health’s team who will be answering your career questions.

Before we get started, I’ll quickly explain how this event works. Students and grads (that’s you!) will submit career questions over the next hour, and our guest expert will do their best to answer as many of them as they can. You can ask about anything from Northern Health’s entry-level jobs, their hiring processes, relocation, and even upwards mobility. The sky’s the limit!

If you pre-registered and submitted an advance question, then you can sit back and relax! If you have additional questions, you can submit them live during the chat.

Before we get started, let’s introduce our guest from Northern Health! We’ll be speaking with Steven Prins, a Recruiter at Northern Health. Steven, could you share a bit about yourself?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi everyone! This is Steven Prins with Northern Health Recruitment. I have recruited for Northern Health for 3 years for all sorts of professions. It is my job to connect with top talent to tell them about our great work opportunities. I am really excited to answer your questions!

Thanks, Steven! And now to get things started, here’s our first question.

Naureen asks:
“Are there many Public Health Nurse opportunities available?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Naureen, there are numerous Public Health Nursing opportunities and they change week to week! We always recommend you review our job postings on Northern Health’s website. Also, keep your eyes peeled for jobs titled Primary Care Nurse. Many of these jobs hold similar duties to Public Health Nurses

Veronica, a Nursing student at Cambrian College asks:
“Could I apply to Northern Health right after nursing school, or would it be better to have more work experience?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Howdy Veronica! We recommend you apply before you graduate! We love new grads!

Janine asks:
“How can an RN from another province apply for positions at Northern Health?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Janine! You will have to have registration as a nurse with the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) – their website can be found here.

Christine, a Nursing student at Centennial College asks:
“What is the process of obtaining a license in B.C.?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Christine! You will have to get registered as a nurse with the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) – their website can be found here.

Patricia, a student at Algonquin Academy asks:
“What kinds of opportunities do you have for recent grads?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Patricia. We love new grads at Northern Health! If you are ever interested in working with Northern Health please

Julianna, a Fanshawe College student asks:
“What are some examples of opportunities that are available outside of healthcare roles?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Great question Julianna! We hire numerous professionals for a variety of positions at Northern Health. Here are some examples • Software Developers • Power Engineers/Maintenance Workers • Business Analysts • HR Advisors • Accountants

Amy, Ryerson University
Does Northern Health look at my grades to hire me?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Amy! Northern Health does not consider your grades, however, we like to have references to contact, like former instructors. So, if you have good grades your instructors should give good employment references.

Grant, a University of Toronto student asks:
“What is the company culture like at Northern Health?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Howdy Grant! Northern Health believes in the Northern Way of Caring. That means the people we take of we see in our stores, shops and banks. We rub shoulders with them in our communities. This reflects in our culture where the passion for taking care of people reaches the next level! The teams that result from this culture of care is amazing.

Raz asks:
“Do your student positions involve a lot of hands-on learning opportunities?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Thanks for the question Raz! For all of our student based positions we always try to ensure our students have the opportunities to learn more while maintaining patient safety.

Is there a lot of room for career development with Northern Health?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Karl There is defiantly room for career development, Northern Health has developed numerous training programs to support new grads in any direction they want to go. Leadership to speciality clinical skills, you name it. Also, we have a young cohort of employees that are learning more and more every day.

Mariah, a University of Toronto student asks:
“Are there networking events that I could attend to help me meet people in BC if I relocate?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Glad you asked Mariah! You can meet me or members of my team at the numerous conferences and events we attend. Email to subscribe to our newsletter which includes all the events we will be attending.

Did you know Northern Health has a mentorship program that helps employees form strong connections with their co-workers and community? Read more about it here.

Darien, a student at Humber College, asks:
“What do you like most about working at Northern Health?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Amazing question Darien! I love the work life balance! It’s never more than a 25 minute commute in any of our communities to a Northern Health worksite. We also have incredibly cheap housing, the average cost of a house in northern BC is $219,297!

What are the 3 biggest perks in working for Northern Health?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey Miranda, 1.) Cheap housing! The average house cost is $219,297, I just bought my first house, a 5 bedroom, 3 bath at $265,000 just 10 minutes from the biggest hospital in Northern BC! 2.) Barely any commute times, bike, walk, drive or bus! You would be hard pressed to find a commute time living in a northern town greater than 30 minutes. 3.) The great outdoors! Whale watching? Alpine Skiing/snowboarding? Snow mobileing? Hiking? Fishing? Camping? Pick your outdoor sport, Northern BC has it in spades!

Fatima, a Life Sciences major at the University of Waterloo asks:
“Does Northern Health assist with costs associated with relocation?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
We do Fatima! Depending on the position and how difficult it is for us to hire someone, Northern Health offers relocation allowance from $2,500 – $10,000 within Canada.

What are some advantages to moving to rural B.C to start your career as a new grad?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Megan! That’s such a good question! The biggest advantage is the scope of practice you will get here. Our clinics and hospitals are smaller than the ones you find in larger centers. The result is that you have more exposure to diverse clients that come through the door. You will gain skills and abilities quicker here than a place like Toronto or Vancouver

Michael, Sheridan College
What makes one candidate stand out over another?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Good question Michael. The biggest thing that you can do that will make you stand out is to show that you have researched the communities (towns) you are applying in. If you show in your resume or cover letter that you are truly interested in the community and not just the job it goes a long way!

Naureen asks:
“Would Northern Health pay for the relocation of out of province hires?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Naureen. As part of the previously mentioned relocation program, we reimburse expenses, so it will be up to you to pay the expenses first. We would then reimburse you on your first paycheck.

Samantha asks:
“If I work at Northern Health as a student, am I more likely to get hired as a full time employee when I graduate?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Absolutely Samantha! The more we get to know you the better!

Kait, a Laurentian University student asks:
“When is the best time to apply for new graduate jobs? When are your peak hiring periods?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey Kait! I always tell students to apply in their last year of school, the sooner the better!

Connect with Northern Health on Facebook and Twitter.

Would you say that there are opportunities to advance at a faster pace with Northern Health?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Absolutely Jesse, at Northern Health we have smaller sites and more opportunities to experience challenging problems. The skills you learn in these situations makes for an impressive resume which will help you in furthering your career!

Paul, a Fleming College student asks:
“Does Northern Health offer positions for semester-long work placements?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey Paul, It depends on the program you are in, some are long and some are short. Regardless, we love new grads so please contact us at

Michael, a Kinesiology & Health Sciences student asks:
“What is the recruitment and interview process like for people that live in other parts of the country?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Michael! In Northern Health we are used to long distances, so we adapt to any technology platform that allows us to talk! Phone calls, skype, facetime, pick your platform! We will conduct interviews on it!

Anna, Biomed-Western University
Are there volunteer opportunities within Northern Health for aspiring healthcare professionals?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Anna. Yes there are volunteer opportunities! Each hospital runs a volunteer program for a variety of needs around our hospitals. Contact the main switchboard of our hospitals to find out more for each site.

We’ve reached the halfway point in our chat, which means it’s time for a poll question!

What were you most looking forward to learning about today?
  • Living & working in Northern BC (54%)
  • Northern Health’s work culture (8%)
  • Application & interview tips (15%)
  • Information on relocation (23%)

If I am a new grad with little experience, what should I emphasize on my application to make me stand out?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Howdy Brenda! Defiantly include on your resume any school training you had done that relates to the job. Also, ensure on your applications that you show us that you have researched the communities the jobs are in, that really helps us know that you are truly invested in relocating!

Marjun, a Life Sciences major asks:
“I’m interested in applying to a Community Health Worker position. What will make my application stand out for this role specifically?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hello Marjun, thanks for asking. Please make sure that you state your Care Aide Registration number on your application. Finally, let us know if you are serious about relocating to our communities, it really helps us know that you want to commit to us!

Do you offer any co-op or internship opportunities for business students?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Emma! We do offer them, I recommend you contact my department at to learn more!

Jordan, a Nursing student asks:
“Which positions do you hire for most often? Which positions have the most opportunities available?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey Jordan! You’ll be happy to know that we are hiring nursing constantly. The more education or experience you accumulate in any specialty nursing area (emerg, OR, ICU) the better!

Is there a good work/life balance with Northern Health?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Elijah! There is great worklife balance at Northern Health. As I have mentioned before, we have very short commute times in our communities as well as amazing outdoor sporting events. You simply get MORE time to do the things you love at Northern Health!

Amara asks:
“Are there positions at Northern Health where I can work structured 9-5 hours? Or are most positions irregular shifts?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hi Amara – It really depends on the position, some are 9-5 others are irregular. We have nearly 7000 employees so there many different types of work hours out there.

Learn more about the benefits of working at Northern Health in this article!

Nathaniel, a Pharmacy Technician student at Humber College asks:
“Could you tell me some of the benefits of relocating to B.C. after I graduate?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Nathaniel! Let me count the ways! 1.) Cheap housing! The average house cost is $219,297, I just bought my first house, a 5 bedroom, 3 bath at $265,000 just 10 minutes from the biggest hospital in Northern BC! 2.) Barely any commute times, bike, walk, drive or bus! You would be hard pressed to find a commute time living in a northern town greater than 30 minutes. 3.) The great outdoors! Whale watching? Alpine Skiing/snowboarding? Snow mobileing? Hiking? Fishing? Camping? Pick your outdoor sport, Northern BC has it in spades! 4.) Scope of practice – our hospitals and health clinics are just the right size where you get to see a lot of different cases with just the right oversight so you can learn in a safe environment. 1 year in Northern BC clinics is worth 3 years of experience in a larger city like Toronto 5.) Career progression – we train our own!

How long does the recruitment process normally take? What if I live out of province?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey Arman! The Recruitment process is as fast as we can make and as fast as you are willing to be! Ideally, if you are ready to go, we could have you working in under two to three weeks!

What is your career story? How did you end up in this position at northern health?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Howdy Jason! I graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops BC. After graduation I worked a private recruitment firm for a few years. Life circumstances brought me to Prince George where I started work at Northern Health as a Recruiter! Connect with me on LinkedIn if you want the full story!

Xue, Nursing Student
Will there be opportunities to explore other areas of the health industry? Like areas of nursing?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey Xue! Absolutely, we cross train our nurses in a variety of departments if they have an interest in it. The more our nurses can do the better patient care they can provide!

Katrina, a Centennial College student asks:
“Does Northern Health support continuing education? If I want to get my RN after working for a while, what kind of support is available to me?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Howdy Katrina. We love to support our staff in their continuing education. All Northern Health employees have access to $750 a year to support their educational endeavours. The nice thing about working for a health authority is that you can get easy access to practicum hours to be an RN while you hold an LPN job!

Anna, Biomed-Western University
Do you offer research internships to university students?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hello Anna, Good question, please email my department to find out more!

Sherry asks:
“I studied Bio Informatics, what kind of work is available to someone with my background?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Sherry! We have a robust IT department here in Northern Health that is doing a lot of innovative things when it comes to patient health care data. I highly recommend you review our job board for postings that would interest you!

Want to find out what it’s like living in Smithers, B.C.? Check out this video!

What does the hiring process at Northern Health look like?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey there Emma! The hiring process is pretty straight forward, please review our postings at http://expectmore.northernh…and apply on any of the postings. If you have any questions about the postings contact my department (Northern Health Recruitment) to speak to recruiter. Managers and recruiters monitor all applications and we will be in touch with you if you meet the qualifications of the positions. Next steps are interviews, references and ultimately an offer letter!

Remy asks:
“Will you be hiring for any occupational therapist positions anytime soon?”

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Howdy Remy! We absolutely are! Please email me directly so we can chat about your career, what you’re looking for and what we offer as an employer of Occupational Therapists!

That’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for your questions everyone!

We’d like to give an egg-stra special thanks to our guest Steven from Northern Health. We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past 60 minutes.

Steven, do you have any closing final advice to give our students and grads?

Steve Prins – Recruiter
Hey everyone! I really enjoyed your questions! If you are serious about finding a career in healthcare in Northern BC please email my department at nhjobs@northernhealth.caand a recruiter will connect with you to see how you can find your fit with us!

We will be posting a transcript of our chat today soon. That way, you can review all the great info from today’s conversation!

Be sure to look out for upcoming career opportunities with Northern Health on their TalentEgg Employer Page.

Thanks everyone for submitting your career questions!