MacKinnon graduated from Dalhousie University with her Bachelor of Nursing in 1975 and has 40 years of global nursing experience. Her first practice position was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the IWK hospital for Children in Halifax.
MacKinnon has taught at the University of New Brunswick and with the Dalhousie University School of Nursing. She brings her diverse and wide ranging experience to courses in community health, long-term care, and leadership.
MacKinnon practiced outside of Canada for two years in New Zealand; and traveled around the world at that time. Bitten by the global health care “bug”, and advocate for humanitarian nursing, she began her career with a local non-governmental organization (NGO) in four missions to Haiti.
Her area of focus developed in malnutrition and in vaccination of children ages six months to five years. McKinnon supported this by taking post graduate courses in malnutrition and pediatric tropical diseases in Malawi, Africa and at McGill University in tropical medicine.
MacKinnon’s work has taken her to India for six months; Liberia for an emergency refugee crises for two months; and to Ethiopia for three months - where she lived and worked among the most challenging and insecure situations and contexts.
She worked in refugee camps of 40,000 people. In her role as a nursing supervisor, she led teams of 25 to 60 people to improve performance levels in the field. Medical clinics were often set up in a mud hut, under a tree or in a tent.
As a frequent guest speaker, she raises the profile of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) for awareness, recruitment and fundraising and has been featured in news items by the CBC (television and radio).and local newspapers. The Canadian Nurse has published interviews with her on two occasions including the most recent special issue on Ebola. Saltscapes (January, 2015) brought her story to the public in an interview featuring her East Coast roots and her impressive international humanitarian nursing work.
Anne MacKinnon is an international humanitarian who currently serves on the Board of Directors for Doctors Without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) - an organization that provides vital health care services to populations under stress for reasons of, for example, disaster and warfare.