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Health Care Aide

NorQuest College’s Health Care Aide program is among the largest in Canada and prepares you to be a part of a health-care team in a variety of different settings, providing a high level of front-line care to clients in need of assistance. NorQuest College is licensed to deliver the Health Care Aide Government of Alberta Provincial Curriculum.

Program outcomes: Health Care Aides must demonstrate the competencies outlined in the Alberta Health Care Aide Competency Profile

Nyssa Koleric - Health Care Aide

My mom graduated from the NorQuest Health Care Aide program in 2011 and when I was there watching her walk across the stage to graduate, I thought, this is what I want to do. Having extra credits is going to help me a lot.

What to expect from the program

Students are more likely to be successful in this program if they:

  • have access to a computer and basic computer skills
  • are physically and emotionally able to manage workplace demands
  • have access to a vehicle or reliable method of transportation (bus etc.) to travel to complete their practicum

Program learning outcomes

Graduates of the HCA Provincial Curriculum will meet the following program learning outcomes (PLOs) which will help them to:
  1. Perform competently within the roles and responsibilities as a HCA within the Alberta and the Canadian health care system.
  2. Demonstrate professionalism, accountability and responsibility as a HCA within a collaborative care team.
  3. Provide ethical person-centred and culturally competent care to support, promote and maintain the health and well-being, safety, independence and comfort for the client across the lifespan in all health sectors.
  4. Apply foundational theory, principles and evidence-based practices to provide holistic care for clients across the life span and across all health sectors.
  5. Communicate effectively with the collaborative care team.
  6. Perform skills competently according evidence-based guidelines across a variety of care settings for clients with various health needs and conditions.
  7. Work with the collaborative care team to set and achieve common care goals.
  8. Maintain safety of self, client and environment by following government legislation, agency policy and procedures.
  9. Respond appropriately by recognizing, acting, reporting and recording while integrating knowledge, practice and experience to provide quality care.
  10. Complete ongoing self-reflection to continuously develop HCA competencies.

Graduate with experience

NorQuest College believes in the importance of on-the-job experience that provides an enriched learning opportunity.

You’ll graduate this program with 320 hours of work experience from three practicums.

Clinical placements

You will work full-time during the practicum and provide your own transportation to the facility.

  • Instructor-led clinical placements (HLTH 1550 and HLTH 2550): For Edmonton campus and online students, placements will occur in Edmonton or surrounding communities. Wetaskiwin campus students will be placed in Wetaskiwin or surrounding communities.
  • Your preceptored clinical placement (HLTH 2551) may be arranged in or close to your community. Your schedule may include day, evening, or night shifts any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Fund your education with the Alberta Health Care Aide bursary

Additional information

Online, evening, and Wetaskiwin classes

If you choose to take some classes online, in evenings, or at Wetaskiwin campus, you will need at least three terms (12 months) to complete the program.


Some courses have mandatory in-person labs.

  • In-person students: you will complete your labs at your chosen campus.
  • Online students: you will complete your labs at the Edmonton campus.

Health Care Aide Workplace Education

Are you currently working as a health care aide, or in an equivalent care-giving position, and want to become certified? The Health Care Aide Workplace Education option is offered throughout Alberta in partnership with health-care employers. It can be taken over twelve months, allowing you to study at home and have your skills assessed by a NorQuest College trained tutor at your worksite.

Career opportunities

Health care aides work under the direct or indirect supervision of a regulated health professional, such as a nurse, in a variety of settings including:

  • assisted living facilities
  • home care
  • long-term care

Health care aides provide basic health services, assistance and support with daily living activities for clients who have medical conditions or major functional limitations.

In Alberta, the health care aide profession is unregulated. To ensure consistent training of the health care aide workforce in Alberta, the Government of Alberta Health Care Aide Provincial Curriculum is used by licensed post-secondary institutions.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be prepared to work in continuing care institutions, home care agencies, group homes, assisted or supportive living facilities, day programs, specialized care centres and programs, acute care hospitals, and private care.

For more information on related careers see:

What to expect as a health care aide

Applicants should assess their ability to fulfill the demands of the health care aide occupation.

As a health care aide, you must be able to:

  • work day, evening, and night shifts any day of the week
  • be on your feet for extended periods of time
  • bend, squat and lift up to 40 pounds to move clients who have minimal body strength
  • function effectively in stressful situations
  • perform all skills independently

Related programs

Health Care Aide Workplace

Become a certified health care aide through NorQuest College’s Health Care Aide Workplace program. Perfect for health professionals working in caregiving positions that wish to become certified.program

Practical Nurse

One of the largest in Canada, NorQuest’s Practical Nurse program will prepare you to play a vital, front-line role in providing high-quality care to clients in a variety of health-care settings. program

Have a question about the Health Care Aide program?