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›› Annapolis Valley Campus / Programs / Health and Human Services / Continuing Care

Continuing Care

Program description on main NSCC site »

Please check here for useful information specific to this program.

In addition to the program offered at our Middleton site, we are also offering this program as a Full Time Cost Recovery Program in Digby. Follow the link below for additional details, and dates and locations of information sessions.

More information on CCA in Digby »

Is this program for you?

If you enjoy spending time with seniors and those challenged by disability or illness and see their role in society as valuable, then a career as a Continuing Care Assistant may be the one for you. Your qualities as an outgoing, effective communicator and a good problem-solver will be essential to your success in this rewarding career. Your hands-on support and thorough knowledge of nutrition, household management, and physical and emotional wellness will play a vital role in fostering health and happiness in the daily lives of your clients.

Why choose AVC?

NSCC has earned its reputation as a leader in providing hands-on education in continuing care throughout years of experience. At AVC, we work in partnership with health care stakeholders throughout the Valley region to provide a high quality educational experience to our CCA students. Faculty in this program strives to create a learning environment that is non-threatening and supportive: where different learning styles are embraced & encouraged. We, at AVC, believe in a collaborative style of teaching where new knowledge is integrated with past experiences & active participation of the learner is essential to student success.

Employment Opportunities

The Nova Scotia Department of Health requires all workers entering the field of continuing care to have a continuing care assistant certificate or equivalency that meets the Department’s standards for entry-level workers as of April 1, 2006. AVC’s Continuing Care graduates can be confident that their program measures up, and that their knowledge and training gives them the freedom to explore all career options in this field.

A Continuing Care Assistant is an individual who assists clients with personal care and support services, while promoting healthy and independent living, in the client's home or nursing home environment. Continuing Care Assistants provide the same services a Personal Care Worker (PCW), Home Support Worker (HSW) and Home Healthcare Provider (HHP) performs. A CCA is the combination of the PCW, HSW and HHP.

In a long term care environment a CCA provides health services to residents of a long term care facility (nursing home/home for the aged). They provide health care services, such as personal care, mobility assistance, and companionship to help residents feel more comfortable with the environment he or she lives in.

In a home support environment a CCA provides health care services and support to clients who are still residing in their home. They provide services to the elderly, the disabled and the convalescent persons and their families. The purpose of providing home support services is to enable the client's independence as much as possible, before he or she reaches the point for admission into a long-term care facility. Services include household management, personal care, mobility assistance, meal preparation, respite and emotional support.

If you are interested in becoming a CCA, but unsure of the environment you would like to work in. The work placements allow you to work in both a nursing home and home support environment, giving you exposure to both worlds. Your choice can be made during the school year or after you are certified CCA. As a CCA you can alternate from one environment to another or work in both at the same time.

A CCA is a 'cross sector' worker, meaning that you have the flexibility to work in both environments if you choose to.

Salary and Benefits

Salaries for a certified CCA range from $13 to $18 per hour. A variety of competitive benefit packages are available, depending on the hiring agency, including pension, medical & dental, life & disability insurance, sick benefits and travel allowances for home care staff.

What are our graduates doing?

AVC graduates are eligible for employment in hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies across the province. Many have used their training as a stepping stone to careers in the field of Practical Nursing and in the Canadian Armed Forces.

What are the admission requirements?

You need to have a High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent. You must also have a clear criminal record check.

What else do you need to know?

Clinical Placements and Work Experience Mentorship in both long term care and home support agencies must be successfully completed in order to graduate. Students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical placements and to the work experience mentorship. Due to confidentiality issues and the requirements of traveling from one home to another during home care placements, students are unable to have others drive them to sites.

Shift work is an integral part of this occupation. Physical demands include moving and lifting others as well as spending long periods of time on one's feet. Emotional demands include frequent stressful and occasional emergency situations.

There is an additional registration fee with the Continuing Care Assistant Advisory Committee that is collected with the September tuition. The fee for 2006 was $150.00. Students who successfully complete all components of the program are eligible to write the provincial exam, which is administered by the Nova Scotia Continuing Care Advisory Committee. Students are required to complete the course within two years.

Useful Links:

Books required for this course are listed here:


A breakdown of the costs for this program:


Adora Parsons presents the Soldiers Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s NSCC-AVC Health Education Award to Claire Croft, Continuing Care student. On the right is Carol Anne Cowan, instructor in the Continuing Care Program.

Continuing Care Graduate Award: Recipient for 2007 Claire Croft

Soldier’s Memorial Health Education Bursary: Recipient for 2007 Claire Croft

What Our Graduates Say

“I could not wait to move back to the Valley when I learned the course was available here”

“Great location”

“Small class size, onsite daycare program”

“Small campus and class sizes, great reputation”

“This campus is clean and well maintained. Staff here are great and very helpful”

“I chose to become a Continuing Care Assistant because I enjoy helping other people. I find (this) rewarding”

“I feel a strong need to ...give back to the community”

“Now that I’m (here), my only regret is that I didn’t do this 20 years ago”

“I chose to become a CCA because I enjoy helping others and I feel this is a very rewarding career to have”

“I am able to help to improve the quality of life for those who need it”

“(I wanted to) make a difference in someone’s life. To make everyday activities easier for (my clients)”

“This is an admirable line of work to be in”

“I am rewarded with their continuous "thank you’s" for my assistance”

“I want to contribute to the well being of the elderly in my community”

What Our Employers Say

“the students from Middleton were very well prepared and I have enjoyed having them”

“Staff, VON Annapolis Valley”

“A wonderful student. We feel she would make a great addition to our staff. This has been a positive experience for all of us. I hope she will consider us for employment”

“Director of Care, Annapolis Royal Nursing Home”

“This has been a wonderful experience for us.”

“Staff, Annapolis Royal Nursing Home”

“(This student) is very well suited to the fast pace of the long term facility and was recommended to be hired. It was a pleasure to have her as a student.”

“Staff, Grand View Manor, Berwick”

“These students are some of the best prepared that we have had. I would recommend (them) for hire.”

“Staff, Evergreen Home for Special Care, Coldbrook”