Caregiver Training Institute Employee Spotlight: Bonne Wilkinson, Program Director

Meet Bonnie Wilkinson, RN, MSN, the Program Director at Caregiver Training Institute. In September, Bonnie joined the CTI family as the full-time evening instructor and was promoted to Program Director in May. 

Bonnie was led to a career in nursing through her passion for helping others and, in her words, to “make a wave in the ocean of life.” Initially, Bonnie planned to become a pediatrician, but she found that path didn’t align with the impact she aspired to make. 

Bonnie had already done a pre-med rotation but wasn’t interested in surgery and other aspects of being a physician. “What I wanted to do was get sick kids well again and keep well kids from getting sick.” 

Bonnie changed her plans and applied for nursing school with a plan to pursue her Master’s and then become a nurse practitioner. She says one of the biggest advantages of nursing is the number of ways you can touch other people’s lives, directly and indirectly. 

“This is my passion,” she said. “I love taking what I have experienced over the last 40 years and sharing it with others, and helping others grow and continuing to grow myself as a person and a professional.” 

Bonnie says her favorite part of teaching at CTI is passing her knowledge on and helping others start their own nursing careers. “In 1981, I was a CNA, and I never lost touch with the responsibilities or the pleasures that come with being a basic healthcare provider.” 

One of the things she enjoys the most about teaching is that she’s passing on real, experiential things, not theoretical knowledge. As a lifelong learner, Bonnie finds that even though she’s the one teaching, she’s still learning every day. “I’m a lifetime learner, and periodically, somebody will bring up something I don’t know or that I can’t remember the answer to, which sends me to find that answer, so I’m constantly growing.” 

Bonnie stays motivated in her role through the students and staff at CTI. “I always seem to have somebody show up at the right time to give me that pat on the back or the kick in the backside that I need.” 

Throughout her entire career, Bonnie says she’s most proud of how many lives she’s touched and the impact she’s been able to make, which is reinforced every time she runs into someone who she met through nursing. “I can be at Costco and all of a sudden, I hear ‘Bonnie!’ and it’s either someone I’ve had as a student or somebody I’ve impacted as a nurse.” 

Bonnie says she finds inspiration from everyone at CTI to continue impacting the lives of others. “I depend on my fellow instructors greatly. I’ve developed a very close relationship with many of the people who work at CTI, instructors, and support staff.”  

In her free time, Bonnie says she’s an avid knitter and crocheter. She also loves being a grandmother. “You have to go through the pain of raising four children to get a grandson,” she said. “He keeps me going; he’s a very bright and adventurous 5-year-old.” 

Bonnie’s ultimate hope is to impact healthcare in Oregon, and for anyone thinking of joining CTI as a staff member or student, her advice is to get on board. “Come and join the family!”  

The Caregiver Training Institute Employee Spotlight is an initiative that recognizes employees monthly. All employees of Caregiver Training Institute are eligible. Learn more about CTI and how you can join our team.

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