Personal Support Worker - Acute Care

CampusStart DateTuition/Fees
MiramichiSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
St. AndrewsSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
WoodstockSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
MonctonSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
Fredericton September 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
Fredericton January 2023 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
MonctonJanuary 2023 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
Saint JohnSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
Saint JohnSeptember 2022 (Online Delivery) Domestic | International
Saint JohnJanuary 2023 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International

Program Overview

Are you a kind and nurturing person who feels fulfilled by and thrives on helping others in need? If so, this might be the opportunity you have been looking for. Personal support workers work in collaboration with members of healthcare teams. They’re on the front line, offering compassionate and respectful care to clients of all ages, their families, and communities.

In the PSW program, you will learn how to assist clients in functioning as independently as possible, working safely, and ever mindful of preserving the dignity of those under your care. A career in personal support work provides opportunities in physical, mental, community or personal health services fields. With an aging population, the need for personal support worker graduates is high, so enroll today to pursue a career in this well-respected field.


The requirements for this certificate - Personal Support Worker: Acute Care - may be achieved within one year of full-time study.

Admission Requirements

    Profile A

  • High School Diploma or Adult High School Diploma or GED Diploma of High School Equivalency or Essential Skills Achievement Pathway: Post-Secondary Entry High School Diploma

    NB Francophone High School Math Equivalencies
    International Student Admission Equivalencies

    Career Possibilities

    Demand for personal support workers continues to grow as the population ages, so apply today to pursue a career in this well-respected field. Graduates of NBCC’s Personal Support Worker (PSW) program find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, with community agencies, and much more.

    Find career possibilities related to this program in Career Coach.

    Specific Considerations

    This occupation requires a sincere desire to work with and help other people, sometimes under trying circumstances. Good health, physical fitness, and stamina are essential.

    The work schedule includes day, evening, and night shifts, as well as work on weekends and holidays.

    Students must possess observation skills, organizational aptitude, and flexibility in order to meet the challenge of providing long-term and/or acute care.

    Prior to the beginning of the applied workplace experience, host facilities throughout the province may require the completion of an Immunization and Medical form (pdf), proof of valid CPR Level HCP with AED certification, and specific immunizations. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has met these requirements.

    Host agencies require students to provide a current criminal record check and vulnerable sector check from a recognized police service in order to be considered for an applied workplace experience. Individuals who have been convicted criminally and not pardoned may be prohibited from proceeding to a work placement. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he or she is eligible to participate. Additionally Nursing Homes will require verification of a Social Development (SD) check which is done to determine whether the applicant has any contraventions under the Family Services Act. Please note, when a student goes for a Nursing Home placement, the agency has the responsibility to send in the request for a SD check. 

    For each practicum, an agreement will be signed with the health care institution concerned, in accordance with College policy.

    Technology Requirements
    NBCC is a connected learning environment. All programs require a minimum specification, including access to the internet and a laptop. Your computer should meet your program technology requirements to ensure the software required for your program operates effectively. Free wifi is provided on all campuses.

    Program Courses

    This course introduces the sciences of anatomy and physiology of the body systems. The progression of study of the body systems is from simple to complex (e.g. chemical level to cellular level, tissue level to system level).

    Most business / technical / workplace writing is persuasive writing; it is intended to persuade the reader to act in a certain way or believe/support a certain idea. Persuasive writing is supported by critical reading. A critical reader analyzes the wording, structure, tone, and format of a document to evaluate its meaning and credibility. This course will provide the critical reading and persuasive writing skills necessary to formulate well-supported written arguments.

    This course is designed to provide an overview of health care ethical and legal framework. Students will gain an insight into the ethical and legal responsibilities of a healthcare provider. The course prepares students for the ethical and legal realities they will face in their health care practice. It enables students to act in accordance with code of ethics and legal requirements as per the scope of practice.

    Health care is one of the most important issues to Canadians. This course introduces students to the complexity of the Canadian health care system and examines the various factors that impact this system. It also examines the role of inter-professional collaboration in achieving positive outcomes.

    This course is designed to provide an overview of responsibilities, scope of practice and special requirements of the personal support worker in home care. It discusses key concepts and skills involved in providing care to children, the elderly, and people with mental illness, developmental, and physical disabilities in the home setting. Students will understand the philosophy of home care settings and its emphasis on client choice and independence. Students will learn how to work effectively with home care clients and provide them appropriate care such as meeting nutritional needs, food planning, budgeting, meal preparation, care of the home and personal belongings, personal care, safety and injury prevention, infection control, and basic first aid in the home setting. The application of the nursing process in home health care is examined.


    • ETHI1058A
    • NCSI1072E
    • PSYC1078B
    • MENT1012A
    • NCSI1073E

    This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain an understanding of mental health concepts, how mental health affects people, and common mental health disorders. Students will explore the role of a mental health care provider as a practical nurse or personal support worker in supporting individuals and families experiencing alterations in mental health and social well-being. The application of the nursing process for clients experiencing mental health challenges is examined. The promotion of mental health through therapeutic treatment modalities and communication is emphasized.

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and concepts of basic level nursing care. Students will develop the skills required to provide safe and holistic care to a client with basic personal care needs for the activities of daily living. Students will also have an opportunity to apply their learned basic nursing concepts and skills in a simulated lab.


    • SECU1089

    This course will provide students with the opportunity to integrate and apply at a beginning level their learned fundamental medical surgical knowledge and skills in the clinical setting. Students will be able to apply critical thinking and clinical judgment in providing safe and holistic care to meet the specific needs of clients in the clinical environment.


    • NCSI1073E
    • NCSI1122A
    • NCSI1123A
    • NCSI1128A

    This course is designed to provide an overview of the normal aging process, variations in wellness responses, and health problems of the elderly. Students will explore their specific role in caring and supporting elderly clients with diverse needs, including disabilities and chronic diseases. They will examine their multiple roles in the rehabilitation process to help individual elderly clients to maintain and achieve optimal function in the areas related to self-care and promotion of physical, psychological and social wellness. They will also explore their role in palliative and end-of-life care. Students will learn to adapt nursing care appropriately to an individual elderly client in a variety of health care environments. The application of the nursing process for the elderly care will be examined.


    • NCSI1060F
    • PSYC1078B

    This course is designed to enable students to integrate and apply at a basic level the theoretical nursing concepts and skills learned in the classroom and lab to the clinical setting. This experience will facilitate an awareness of the individual as a caring member of the health care team. Students will be able to apply the nursing process and critical thinking in the clinical environment.


    • ANAT1024C
    • NCSI1060F
    • SECU1089
    • SECU1221G

    This course is designed to provide guided clinical experience to students in the Personal Support Worker program. During this experience, students will work under the guidance and supervision of a trained preceptor who will ensure the students' clinical competence in the specific health care setting.

    This course is designed to provide an overview to the profession of nursing. Students will explore the meaning of nursing care, the role of the health care professional as a practical nurse or a personal support worker, and the scope of practice in the Canadian healthcare delivery system. Students will develop an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and core competencies to function within the role requirements as described by their program and prospective employers.

    Building on the knowledge and skills covered in the basic nursing care, this course reinforces core skills and introduces students to the beginning medical surgical nursing concepts and skills including principles of surgical asepsis. Students will learn the skills required to provide care specific to individual patients/clients. Skill areas such as vital signs, O2 saturation and pain, IV assessment (discontinue an IV), surgical asepsis, sterile gloving, wound management, oxygen therapy, orthopedic care, application of bandages and binders, anti-embolism stockings (TEDs), hot/cold application, bowel elimination, specimen collection, bladder elimination, tube feedings, care of surgical client, documentation and reporting, and post-mortem care will be covered. 


    • NCSI1073E
    • NCSI1123A

    This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to apply at a beginning level their learned fundamental medical surgical nursing knowledge and skills including principles of surgical asepsis in a simulated lab. 


    • NCSI1073E
    • NCSI1122A

    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of common health alterations across the lifespan.  It includes an introduction to various health assessments, basic assessment techniques, components of health interview and guidelines to performing a head-to-toe assessment and general physical examination. Students will focus on holistic health assessment.


    • ANAT1024C
    • NCSI1073E

    This course introduces students to the study of diseases and disorders in the body. It explores a common systematic approach (step by step) for distinguishing between diseases and disorders and provides a fundamental framework which supports further studies in pathophysiology.


    • ANAT1024C

    Learners are challenged to apply human relations and interpersonal communications theory to workplace-based and real life situations. They use a problem solving perspective in suggesting and carrying out appropriate communication strategies and techniques.

    This course provides an introduction to the meaning of community service.  Students learn how community service can enhance a student’s educational experience, personal growth, employability, and civic responsibility. Students participate in one day of volunteering to enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and to help the New Brunswick Community College realize its vision of transforming lives and communities. 

    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of theories and principles of growth and development throughout the human lifespan. These theories and principles act as a guide for health care professionals to integrate into their health care or clinical practice. Physiological, psychosocial, and cognitive concepts of growth and development are presented throughout the course and provide students a foundation to build upon throughout their career as a nurse or a personal support worker. It also explores the basics of nutrition on human growth and development, and types of food and diets to meet client’s specific nutritional needs. Students will understand human growth and development and learn how to use the Canada food guidelines.

    This course introduces effective body mechanics and safe transferring and positioning skills which assist to reduce the risk of personal musculo-skeletal injury.

    A safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer and the employee. This course introduces students to the importance of working safely and addresses how employers and employees can control the hazards and risks associated with the workplace. Students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders including WorkSafeNB, the employer and the employee in ensuring workplaces are safe.

    NOC Codes

    3413 - Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

    Articulation Agreements

    Institution: Maine Community College
    Articulation Period:
    Information: A full credit recognition and transfer agreement exists for all relevant programs delivered at each institution.

    Institution: St. Stephen's University
    Articulation Period:
    Information: All one and two year NBCC programs will be recognized as approved programs of study within SSU's Bachelor of International Studies (BIS) program.

    Disclaimer: This web copy provides guidance to prospective students, applicants, current students, faculty and staff. Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility for program selection ultimately rests with the student. Programs, admission requirements and other related information is subject to change.

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