Marina Kolnar

Marina KolnarMy interest in becoming a psychiatric nurse grew from my undergraduate education in Sociology. Sociology offered me the ability to better understand the impacts that varying social structures have on individuals and groups within society, especially for those who are marginalized.  I decided to pursue psychiatric nursing to understand and experience how social structures impact health and mental health outcomes and how such factors disproportionately affect certain groups within society over others.

Initially, I worked within acute hospital settings, however found myself always drawn towards community practice due to by background and interests.  I transitioned to community practice as a mental health and addictions outreach nurse and wound care nurse – where I continue to work.

I am currently enrolled within the Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at the University of British Columbia. Within the MSN program, I am focusing on gaining a deeper understanding of structural violence and policy processes within the context of health care for people living with mental health and substance use issues.  Ultimately, I hope to combine my experiences of front of line practice alongside my understanding of social and structural determinants of health in order to influence policy through a social justice lens (for example furthering the implementation of Trauma and Violence Informed Care, Harm Reduction, and Cultural Safety throughout healthcare practice).