Thursday, May 03, 2012

GNIE: Pre-course expenses

There are pre-requisites to fulfil before admission into the GNIE course. Meeting these pre-requisites would add up to one's expenses, so here is how I met the pre-requisites.
  1. $250 Commitment fee, non-refundable. The credit from this fee will be debited against your 1st semester's fee, so it isn't money going to waste. The commitment fee can be paid via cash, bank debit, or credit card. I used my credit card for payment since I can gain reward points on my credit card.

  2. CPR - Level C certificate valid throughout the duration of the GNIE program. There are many different providers of CPR training in B.C. I suggest taking the CPR HCP (for Health Care Provider) from the St John's Ambulance. The reason being that it has the longest validity, 3 years. It costed $168 when I attended the training in June 2011. I signed up for the training online and paid via credit card.

  3. A Criminal Records Check (CRC), including Vulnerable Persons Check from the Canadian authorities. That is, a Criminal Records Review issued by the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. This was easily done -- I printed the online form, filled-in the template form, submitted the form and paid $20 (using my credit card) at Kwantlen's Admissions counter.

  4. For students with Canadian Permanent Residency, a Criminal Records Check (CRC), including Vulnerable Persons Check from the applicant's home country. I enclosed a copy of my Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC) from the Singapore Police Force that I submitted to the Canadian High Commission for my PR application back in 2009. In addition, I signed a CRC Student Declaration Form and provided evidence that I could not obtain a more recent CRC from the Singapore Police Force. Fortunately, the school accepted my Student Declaration and my 2009 CNCC.

  5. Immunizations consistent with the requirements of clinical agencies, and a Canadian TB skin test or Chest X-ray dated within 2 years of registering for the GNIE program. Immunizations required: Diptheria/Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox, Influenza (seasonal), Influenza (H1N1), Hepatitis Serology, Hepatitis B Vaccine. 

The immunization requirement was the most difficult for me because I do not have any record of immunizations done as a child. According to the Singapore health authority I contacted, immunization records of children born before 1974 were destroyed. The Singapore doctor-in-charge kindly went through past public health policies and gave a list of immunizations that I was likely to have received.

I tried to make an appointment with a B.C. public health nurse, but the process was long and cumbersome, and thus unable to meet the GNIE registration deadline. Therefore, I went to a walk-in clinic since I do not have a Canadian family doctor. The nice doctor checked through the Immunization Form and explained that if I did my immunization to meet school pre-requisites, I would have to pay for each immunization given, which could cost hundreds. He then reviewed my medical history and explained to me that he could justify for my immunization to be covered under the BC Care Plan. [Thank goodness for the nice doctor!]

Since I have had chicken pox in my late teens, I didn't need the Chicken Pox immunization. Although I've had my H1N1 Influenza immunization done while working in a Singapore hospital in 2009, the hospital did not give me a record of the immunization done, so I needed to re-do it again. The doctor combined the injections into 3 -- 1st for Diphtheria/Tetanus and Polio (DPT), 2nd for Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), 3rd for both seasonal and H1N1 Influenza.

I have a record of the Hepatitis B vaccinations done in 1997, and thus the doctor wrote an order to send me for Hepatitis Serology tests at a separate medical lab. As for the TB screening, the nice doctor explained that since I've had BCG immunization done as a child/teen, the Mantoux Skin Test is likely to return a false positive. Thus he wrote out an order to send me for a Chest X-Ray to be done at a separate radiology clinic instead of the 2-step Mantoux-then-CXR process. Similar to the immunizations, the Hepatitis-Serology and CXR could have cost $90/each if they were done for schooling pre-requisites. As it turned out, the staff at both the radiology clinic and the blood test laboratory did not ask me any question regarding the indications (need) for the tests.

A week later, I had a follow-up review and the doctor completed my Immunization Form for the GNIE course. The doctor charged me $30 for the consultation. I paid it happily (via credit card) since he had helped me met the immunization requirements with minimal expenses.


  1. Very informative site here. How long did you wait before you got into Kwantlen University? I heard there is a long waiting list to be accepted to the GNEA program.

    1. Hi Marie,

      Firstly, congratulations if you've obtained the SEC result to do a 1 year re-entry program. Having passed through 2 of 3 GNIE semesters, I am happy to share that I find the GNIE program a very useful and helpful step-by-step integration into the B.C. healthcare system.

      FYI, I applied for GNIE on 01-Jul-2011, I received the confirmation for the Summer-2012 (i.e. May-2012) GNIE intake on 12-Jul-2011. Yes, that's 10 months before the actual course date. My group was lucky in that the B.C. government decided to sponsor an additional cohort and we brought forward our enrolment to Spring-2012 (Jan-2012).

      As far as I understand, for each cohort, there are often more than 200 applications received for the limited 30 to 35 places. Thus it is a good idea to ask the Kwantlen Admissions Officer (in Langley since the Nursing School has moved to there) for the details required for the application, prepare in advance and logon to apply AT EXACTLY 12 MID-NIGHT on the application opening date. Within 15 minutes, all the seats were taken up for my cohort -- that is all 35 of us were either on previous intake's wait-list or had stayed up that night to "bid" online for our GNIE seat.

      That is how competitive it is. Some of my classmates even passed their information to their spouses/friends and had several simultaneous application attempts to ensure that they get their application completed at the earliest possible time [i.e. depending on which friend completed typing in the details and submitting the online registration fees fastest]. I am not recommending that you do that, just wanted to show you how COMPETITIVE it is.

      I heard that in the rare instances if/when the computer system should fail (i.e. for some reason the online application for GNIE was not available on the specified application date OR the computer system crashed), your best bet is to get your friends to continue trying online (on your behalf), while you camp overnight outside any Kwantlen campus to be amongst the earliest in the Admissions Office queue when it opens. If there really was a computer flaw and there isn't any valid online application received, they will accept applicants on a first-come first-serve basis. E.g. The 1st 4 GNIE applicants in the line from each campus location get the seats. Yes, this is not a joke. It had happened before. Think of it this way, suffer "camping" one night and you get your place confirmed.

      Please be proactive about your application for the GNIE program. I have heard from my classmates that there are people who did not bother to stay awake to submit their applications at 12 midnight and year-after-year they are still "waiting" to get a place. Good luck!

      Cheers, WD.