Job posting: Enhanced Harm Reduction Service Clinical Nurse Lead, AVI Nanaimo

AVI Health & Community Services (AVI) is a multi-disciplinary community based organization, providing HIV, hepatitis C and harm reduction services out of 5 locations across Vancouver Island. AVI provides services to more than 500 people living with HIV and hepatitis C and more than 3000 harm reduction clients. We work within a social justice and health promotion framework – ensuring equity and access to services for all – and from a harm reduction perspective, understanding that clients are the best sources of knowledge regarding the services and supports they need. AVI provides comprehensive, accessible and effective education, prevention, care, treatment and support services to residents of Vancouver Island with offices in Victoria, the Westshore, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley and Campbell River. For more info see:

AVI Health Centre is a Community Health Centre (CHC) in Nanaimo. We provide Primary Care, HIV, Substance Use, STBBI, PrEP, PEP, and HCV medical services, as well as outreach, supports, and social programming for our clients. We also provide education services for the communities we support and for health and social services students and professionals that work with the same communities.  Our Health Centre is located on the Snuneymuxw territories.

Join our supportive, dedicated and client-centred team in promoting the health, dignity and well-being of all people affected by HIV, HCV and substance use by delivering sex-positive and harm reduction-based education, prevention and/or support services.

The Enhanced Harm Reduction Service is a SAFER Initiative that is a flexible, community-based, harm reduction program, integrated into our CHC to provide pharmaceutical alternatives to the toxic street drug supply.


Job Summary:

The Enhanced Harm Reduction Service Clinical Nurse Lead (CNL) is responsible for the development and delivery of the Enhanced Harm Reduction Service’s daily clinical operations. This job is located in Nanaimo. 

The CNL provides supervision, leadership and functions as a role model and coach to all Enhanced Harm Reduction Service nursing staff. They work in partnership with the Community Health Centre Management Team to ensure support for the Enhanced Harm Reduction Service’s multidisciplinary team and to continuously develop and ensure quality program nursing practice and protocols.

This position provides person-centered healthcare including assessment, screening, and education to support the Enhanced Harm Reduction Service clients. They will use a trauma and violence informed, client-centred approach and demonstrated clinical skills and experience to independently assess individuals with complex primary care health needs and active poly-substance use.

This position requires a professional who is experienced with harm reduction and is committed to collaborating with multiple stakeholders including people with lived/living experience of criminalized drug use. This position reports to the Community Health Centre Director.


Key Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Provides supervision and functions as a role model and coach to all nursing staff to ensure quality clinical care is delivered and attends to principles of social justice, trauma-informed care and cultural humility.
  • Works with the CHC Management Team to ensure open communication and coordination across the multidisciplinary CHC services.
  • Works with the Enhanced Harm Reduction Service Team Lead and the CHC Management Team to identify and respond to nursing staff support needs, participant concerns, and issues related to clinical practice.
  • Follows up on performance concerns and acts on disciplinary process when necessary.
  • Monitors and supports nursing staff needs, the work environment and relevant risks ensuring appropriate resources are in place.
  • Models conflict resolution skills and works with the CHC Management Team to mediate issues that arise within the Enhance Harm Reduction Team.
  • Evaluates equipment, products and supplies in coordination with the CHC Management Team to ensure efficient and effective inventory and purchasing processes, as well as the identification and follow-up of maintenance issues.
  • Promotes and facilitates a safe and therapeutic environment for the provision of care including addressing and documenting and following up on any risk management, critical incidents, and emergency-related issues.
  • Compiles qualitative and quantitative statistics and reports throughout the year, as required and in collaboration with the CHC Director.

Clinical Practice:

  • Provision of direct participant care as a clinic nurse.
  • Regularly meets with the CHC Management Team to review and incorporate feedback from participant experiences and identified safe supply priorities from local, provincial and national networks of People Who Use Drugs.
  • Regularly reviews and leads development and implementation of clinical protocols in collaboration with the CHC Management Team and partner pharmacies.
  • Coordinates participant flow in consultation with interdisciplinary team members.
  • Collaborates with team to ensure timely intakes and discharge of participants.

Community Relations and Partnerships:

  • Acts as a representative of AVI on relevant committees and working groups, in collaboration with other SAFER Initiative leadership staff.
  • Maintains key relationships with integral partners and networks with a focus on harm reduction nursing and clinical practice.
  • Performs other related duties as required.



  • Registration with BC College of Nurses and Midwives as a practicing RN/RPN registrant.
  • Minimum 3-5 years recent full scope nursing experience working with people with high levels of poly-substance use.
  • Two years of experience in program coordination and supervision of staff in the community healthcare sector preferred; other leadership experience in harm reduction nursing, facilitating safe supply programming, and policy review/development will also be considered.
  • Previous experience working in supervised consumption/overdose prevention services or safer supply programs, including experience responding to medical emergencies such as overdose (naloxone administration, airway management, etc).
  • Strong knowledge of substance use disorder and opiate agonist treatment options.
  • Commitment to harm reduction and social justice principles and experience working with individuals who experience intersecting systemic oppression.
  • Understanding of the impact on individual health and well-being, as well as the considerations for service delivery, related to systemic barriers associated with poverty, mental health, substance use, trauma, racism, colonialism, heterosexism, and gender discrimination.
  • Demonstrated understanding of public health and equity-oriented models of social support and health care.
  • Relevant or applicable training/experience in anti-racism and a demonstrated commitment to anti-colonial learning/unlearning.
  • Strong analysis of colonialism and the ways in which historical and ongoing colonial violence impacts Indigenous People intergenerationally.
  • Knowledge of local Indigenous and non-Indigenous social services including housing, income and food security supports that may benefit persons served.
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and knowledge in the areas of primary care, substance use, harm reduction, HIV, HCV, sexual health, mental health and health promotion.
  • Demonstrated commitment to person-centered healthcare service provision.
  • Works well under pressure and in stressful situations.
  • Capable, independent practitioner and committed team member.
  • Excellent communication, conflict resolution and crisis management skills.
  • To comply with current BC Public Health Orders, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an approved medical exemption. Proof of vaccination status will be required for successful applicants for positions covered by the order.
  • Current Valid BC Drivers’ License an asset.
  • Ability to work weekends.


Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and knowledge in the areas of primary care, substance use, harm reduction, HIV, HCV, sexual health, mental health, health promotion, and impact of systemic poverty.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the policy and practice of harm reduction, cultural safety, and trauma and violence informed practices.
  • Ability to establish and maintain respectful rapport with participants.
  • Ability to observe and recognize subtle changes in participants.
  • Strong advocacy skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize workload.
  • Practiced conflict resolution and non-violent crisis intervention skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Ability to use related equipment including computer to complete documentation, data, and reports using Electronic Medical Records.
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position and operate related equipment.
  • Ability to work outdoors during all types of weather and in all seasons.


Position Details:

  • Hours and Schedule: 30 hour per week, Monday through Thursday 9:30 – 5:30.
  • Start Date: ASAP
  • End Date: September 30, 2023
  • Salary: Excluded position with a salary range set by BC Nurses’ Union, Level 4.
  • Benefits: This position will be eligible for extended health, life and AD&D coverage.  AVI pays for the entire cost of the plan on behalf of its staff.
  • Pension: AVI contributes an 9.31% towards your Municipal Pension Plan account.
  • Other Perks: This position receives vacation and sick time and receives a paid day off for every Stat Holiday and Easter Monday.


To Apply: Please send your resume to [email protected] by 5 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022.

We strongly encourage applications from, but not limited to, folks who identify as Queer, who are living with or at risk of HIV, who identify as Indigenous, as a person of colour, as a person who is racialized, as a person living with a disability, as a person who uses or used drugs, as a person with experience engaging in sex work, as a person who lives with HCV, and/or persons who represent a diversity of sexual orientations and genders.

Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

We would like to thank all those that apply but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

View posting on AVI site