Susan "Sue" Bonini began her nursing training in high school and went on to receive an associate’s degree from Quinnipiac University. Her first job was in Philadelphia at the Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania medical center, where she worked on a medical/surgical unit as a staff nurse. While working there, Bonini had the opportunity to meet Lillian Brunner, a pioneer in medical-surgical nursing and author of a Medical/Surgical text book. Meeting her had a tremendous influence on Bonini's decision to continue to pursue an advanced education in nursing.
After working three years in Philadelphia, Bonini accepted a position in the surgical step-down unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, and after about a year, she transitioned to the coronary critical care unit. She also got involved in a community-based American Heart Association Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation program were she helped coach heart-attack survivors through exercise programs and taught them healthy habits. A number of the RNs would run with cardiac patients in local races, monitoring their physical progress along the way.
Bonini earned her bachelor of nursing at Quinnipiac University and her master of nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing. She was hired by the University of Colorado Hospital and held a number of positions as a nurse educator/CNS, and in nursing leadership and administration before joining the College of Nursing in 2011, putting her years of nursing experience to work in the Integrated Nursing Pathways program.
In addition to teaching medical-surgical nursing and other courses, Bonini works to bring diversity to nursing through the Integrated Nursing Pathway Program. In March 2013, Bonini began working as the program coordinator for the Integrated Nursing Pathway. The program is designed to bring greater diversity into the CU nursing student body and to streamline the pathway from an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It offers simultaneous application and admission, dual academic advising and an early introduction and continued mentoring to prepare for the role of professional nursing.