Kinnon is a registered nurse working as a clinical nurse leader in the urban health program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver B.C. Kinnon was drawn to St. Paul's by the exceptional work they do supporting the most marginalized populations of Vancouver - in particular the hard reduction programs being developed for people who use drugs.
Kinnon shares much of her story as a young girl growing up struggling with self esteem, body image, and bullying and how she found alcohol as a way to cope, numb her pain and anguish, as well as release some of her emotional pain. This coping followed her into her adulthood and her nursing career and evolved into a significant addiction that impacted every area of her life.
in 2016 Kinnon bravely surrendered her nursing license as her own addition to alcohol and stimulant substances took over her life and made her incapable of carrying on her role as a nurse. After ongoing intensive treatment for addiction, Kinnon returned to work unaware that the pre-existing trauma that she was holding was still yet to be revealed.
Back at work Kinnon experienced a psychological injury related to a traumatic incident at work that unraveled the years of traumatic experiences and exposures. Kinnon has spend the last 5 years cultivating her own strength and courage to share her truth and the realities of coping with substance use and addiction as a nurse.
Kinnon believes that nursing has always been the driving force in her journey back to herself and it is through working with patients that she has learned true empathy, self compassion and acceptance.
Her hope is that through sharing her story, other nurses who are struggling with trauma and addiction can find a way to tell their stories and know they don't need to suffer in silence.
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