Ramona Bonner is earning her fifth diploma 35 a long time just after receiving her to start with 1, all even though preventing COVID-19 in rural Alabama.

Ramona Bonner coordinated COVID-19 tests web-sites in Sumter County in the course of the pandemic.
(Pictures: Jackueline Stephens)
Ramona Bonner spent 2020 battling COVID-19 on the front strains. As the Quality Advancement and An infection Regulate coordinator at Hill Healthcare facility of Sumter County, Alabama, she worked tirelessly all through the pandemic arranging tests and vaccination internet sites throughout the rural county. 

Concerning extensive days combating the pandemic and caring for people, Bonner invested her little absolutely free time in virtual classrooms and studying. She was a full-time, front-line hero as properly as a complete-time nursing student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing

A South Carolina native, Bonner grew up surrounded by nurses, including her mother and 3 aunts. Her enthusiasm for nursing stems from staying motivated by these amazing females. Her mother’s motto stays in her heart: If you can aid another person together the way, your living will not be in vain. When it was time to decide on a job path, she made a decision to check out the relatives company. What she uncovered was a career that would turn out to be her lifelong passion.  

“I discovered I experienced a passion for serving many others,” Bonner explained. “It is worthwhile to advertise good health and fitness techniques as properly as remaining an advocate for the distinctive men and women I treatment for.”

Bonner graduated with her affiliate diploma in nursing from the College of South Carolina in 1984 and labored alongside her mom at the Professional medical University of South Carolina. Immediately after relocating to Alabama with her husband in 1986, she commenced a 20-calendar year profession at a area nursing house. 

She enjoyed caring for her individuals and her two young children but had an inner push that pushed her to continue on her schooling. Bonner began using lessons toward earning her bachelor’s diploma when her existence took an unanticipated transform.  

In 2005, Bonner misplaced her father to diabetic issues and missing her partner a year later on to issues from heart disease. She quickly identified herself a solitary mom of two kids. Instead of letting grief to overcome her, she turned it into enthusiasm.  

Exterior shot of UAB's School of NursingUAB School of Nursing
(Photography: Steve Wood)
“When you eliminate a person near, it will take in your whole daily life,” Bonner reported. “You have to come across something to do, and for me, my outlet became faculty. I needed to locate a way to go on my goal to advertise health and wellness in honor of my late partner and father.”

Bonner began performing several careers in addition to nursing to offer for her spouse and children and put herself as a result of faculty. She graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s levels in health and fitness studies from the University of Alabama in 2013 and graduated magna cum laude with her bachelor’s diploma in nursing from Jacksonville Point out University.

Nevertheless unsatisfied, Bonner set her eyes on a new target. She desired to turn out to be a nurse practitioner — to endorse the overall health and wellness of other folks — before she turned 60. 

In 2019, Bonner enrolled in the Master of Science nursing program at UAB’s University of Nursing and started her journey to gain her fifth diploma, 35 a long time soon after obtaining her 1st 1.

From the start out, Bonner says, she was satisfied with open up arms from every person, no matter whether it was faculty, staff members or other pupils. She was amazed by the overpowering assistance and quickly understood her achievements was her instructors’ top rated priority.

“My instructors were being ready to do whatever it took to help me with reaching my targets and fullest possible,” Bonner claimed. “I am a very little older as opposed to the other students in the software, but it has been a worthwhile expertise with excellent prospects.”

Her instructors admired her dedicated do the job ethic. Alice Bristow, DNP, CRNP, was a person of Bonner’s instructors. Bristow acknowledged the power and vulnerability it took for Bonner to return to a job as a “beginner” following many degrees and 32 yrs of nursing practical experience.

Ramona Bonner in her cap and gown. Bonner will graduate from the UAB College of Nursing on Aug. 14, 2021 – two months right before her 60th birthday.
(Images: Ramona Bonner)
“Only another person with a keen aim on ‘what can be’ could stage backward in get to go ahead,” Bristow reported. “As a college student, Ramona was driven and undeterred by setbacks. If a medical web site fell as a result of, she adapted. If an examination rating was not to her liking, she approved accountability and labored tougher. No excuses.”

Bonner says she has grown exponentially through her time in the software. She appears ahead to employing her abilities as a nurse practitioner in the rural group at the local medical center, her recent position of employment. She has also come to be an outspoken advocate for her nearby nursing colleagues to progress as a result of instruction, normally declaring, “If I can do it, any person can!” 

Her small children, Isaac Jr. and Brittney Bonner, are fired up to support their mom as she achieves an additional intention. Right after observing their mom do the job many employment, get paid numerous degrees and be a solitary mom of two, they take into account their mom the ultimate purpose model. 

“She is superwoman,” Brittney Bonner explained. “She often worked difficult to elevate her vocation. She loves medication. She has a passion for individuals. We are all proud of her for combating for her ambitions.”

Bonner will entire her objective Aug. 14 when she graduates from UAB as a loved ones nurse practitioner — two months in advance of her 60th birthday.