SAFER CNL - 4 month term

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 take evidence-based action to prevent infection, provide support, and reduce stigma. We work within a social justice and health promotion framework to ensure equity and access to services for all.  At the core of what we do is our ability, and commitment to, creating meaningful connections. Every day, we strive to create meaningful connections between clients and staff, between peers, between staff members, between organizations, between communities, and between funders and impactful programs. For more info see

THE VICTORIA SAFER INITIATIVE (‘SAFER’) is a flexible, community-based, harm reduction program that provides safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic drug supply.  SAFER is located on the territories of the Ləkʷəŋən peoples (Esquimalt and Songhees nations).


Under the direct supervision of SAFER Project Director or designate, the SAFER Clinical Nurse Lead (CNL) is responsible for the development and delivery of SAFER’s daily clinical operations. The CNL provides supervision, leadership and functions as a role model and coach to all SAFER nursing staff. They work in partnership with the Program Manager to ensure support for SAFER’s multidisciplinary team, and with the SAFER MD physician team to continuously develop and ensure quality program nursing practice and protocols. This position provides person-centered healthcare including assessment, screening, and education to support SAFER participants. They will use a harm reduction, trauma-informed 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 requires a commitment to collaboration with multiple stakeholders including, first and foremost, people with lived/living experience of criminalized drug use.

The successful candidate embodies collaboration, works from a relational perspective, is supportive and empathetic, upholds AVI’s harm reduction, social justice, trauma-informed care and cultural humility values with staff and people accessing our services. They support and ensure that the SAFER Program promotes the dignity and respect of the people we serve and the people providing services.


Staff and Operational Leadership

  1. Provides supervision and functions as a role model and coach to all SAFER nursing staff to ensure quality clinical care is delivered and attends to principles of social justice, trauma-informed care and cultural humility.
  2. Works with other SAFER leadership staff to ensure open communication and coordination across SAFER’s multidisciplinary team.
  3. Works with the SAFER Program Coordinator to identify and respond to nursing staff support needs, participant concerns, and issues related to clinical practice.
  4. Maintains responsibility, with support from SAFER Program Coordinator, for scheduling nursing staff and liaises with the Program Manager to ensure appropriate staffing levels across the multidisciplinary team.
  5. Authorizes leave management, overtime and ensures payroll responsibilities are met via Inclusion for all nursing staff. Authorizes and approves clinical expenditures in consultation with Project Director.
  6. Follows up on performance concerns and acts on disciplinary process when necessary.
  7. Leads recruitment and hiring of nursing staff and leads orientation and training of new nursing staff with support from Program Manager.
  8. Monitors and supports nursing staff needs, the work environment and relevant risks ensuring appropriate resources are in place.
  9. Models conflict resolution skills and works with SAFER leadership staff to mediate issues that arise within SAFER team.
  10. Evaluates equipment, products and supplies; and is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective inventory and purchasing processes, as well as the identification and follow-up of maintenance issues.
  11. 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.
  12. Compiles qualitative and quantitative statistics and reports throughout the year, as required and in collaboration with Project Director and other SAFER leadership staff.

Clinical Practice

  1. Provision of direct participant care as needed in the case of staffing shortages. Weekend work may occasionally be required.
  2. Regularly meets with SAFER leadership staff to review and incorporate feedback from SAFER Research Committee regarding participant experiences, and identified safe supply priorities from local, provincial and national networks of People Who Use Drugs (PWD).
  3. Regularly reviews and leads development and implementation of SAFER’s clinical protocols in collaboration with SAFER MD physician team, and partnering pharmacy, and agency Clinical Nurse Leads.
  4. Coordinates participant flow in consultation with interdisciplinary team members.
  5. Collaborates with Program Manager, Systems Navigators and/or others to ensure timely intakes and discharge of participants.

Community Relations and Partnerships

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


  • 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.
  • 3 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.


  • 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 (EMR).
  • 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.


  • Pay: per BCNU pay grid, Level 4
  • Hours and Schedule: 37.5 hours Monday to Friday  Note: Hours of Work, Days Off and Work Area may be subject to change.
  • Short Term Position: This position is for a temporary 4 month term
  • Union: AVI is a union environment under the BCNU Collective Agreement, this role is an Excluded Position.
  • Benefits: This position will be eligible for extended health, life and AD&D on the 1st of the next month that starts after this position begins.  AVI pays for the entire cost of the plan on behalf of its staff.
  • Pension: This position is immediately eligible to join the Municipal Pension Plan. At this time, AVI contributes an additional 9.31% towards your pension account.
  • Other Perks: This position gets 8% vacation (equivalent of 4 weeks), receives a paid day off for eligible Stat Holiday, which includes Easter Monday, and accrues a Sick Bank of 6.9%.  Sick and Vacation Days are both available to be used after your first 3 months at AVI.
  • Proof of Vaccination Required: AVI is under BC's Health Services Order and continues to require proof of vaccination.


To apply please send your resume and cover letter to This posting is open until filled.

AVI is committed to equity and diversity and we strongly encourage applications from, but not limited to, folks who identify as Indigenous Persons, persons of colour, racialized, persons living with a disability, persons who use/d drugs, persons with experience of sex work, persons who live with HIV and/or hepatitis C, and persons representing diverse genders and sexualities.

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

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