Nurse student’s ‘calling’

Kelley Atherton, The Triplicate

Many nurses over the years have told Teresa Bertolini that she should become a nurse herself - she has the personality and dedication to be one.

One of those nurses who encouraged Bertolini was the late Toni Brixey. Now a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Brixey will help Bertolini complete her nursing education at College of the Redwoods, Del Norte.

"This is my calling, to become a nurse," Bertolini said. "It feels good to provide care for patients in our community."

For 15 years, Bertolini worked in administration and as a

phlebotomist at Sutter Coast Hospital before she decided it was time to

become a nurse.

She'll soon be completing her second semester of CRDN's Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program.

"It definitely makes me work harder," Bertolini said about the support of her co-workers. "I definitely want to be a success."

At a recent scholarship reception at the college, Bertolini was one

of 42 students to receive a total of about $25,000 in scholarships.

Bertolini was awarded the Toni Brixey Memorial Scholarship from

Sutter Coast Hospital. This is a Bernard Osher Foundation Scholarship.

The Osher Foundation donated $50 million to California community

colleges. Organizations can offer a scholarship and the amount is

matched two to one by the Osher Foundation.

The Del Norte Healthcare District donated a Bernard Osher Foundation

Scholarship for $1,000 to Dawn Orton, as did the Ruby Van Deventer

Legacy for $1,000 to Christopher Harper, and Heidi Brenenstahl was

awarded a Circle of Change scholarship for $100.

These scholarships will be available to CRDN students each year.

The scholarship will be a big help to Bertolini. The Del Norte County

native is about to send her daughter to college at San Francisco State


Once Bertolini is a LVN, she wants to continue her nursing education at the CR Eureka campus.

"My hope is to get into the RN bridge program and continue on," she said.

She's already been working in health care for 15 years. Bertolini

started as a phlebotomist and was trained on the job. She was just

looking for a job at the time and found her calling. Bertolini is now a

secretary in the emergency room.

The many nurses Bertolini has worked with over the years encouraged her pursue it.

"I wasn't sure I could do it myself," she said. "They had faith in me

to be a good nurse. Maybe I should listen to the people telling me do


Toni Brixey was one of those nurses. Brixey was a long-time nurse and

administrator at Sutter Coast Hospital, starting out at Seaside

Hospital about 30 years ago. She was the director of quality assurance

at Sutter Coast when she died from an illness in 2010.

"Wonderful mentors like her" inspired Bertolini, she said.

"It's really cool to receive it in her name," she said of the scholarship.

Nursing is a career, though, not just a job, and there is a difference, Bertolini said.

Health care is a good place to look for a career, Bertolini said. She

plans to stay at Sutter Coast and would like to work as an emergency

room nurse.

"Jobs are hard to come by," she said, "and there's always a shortage

of nurses it seems like. There are not a lot of careers -there are jobs

in our community. It's nice to be able to stay in this small of a


Reach Kelley Atherton at .

Here is a list of scholarship recipients:

CRDN Endowment Board:

Amy Eberwein, Valerie Guilmette, Marian Kubicek, Amanda Lawry,

Isabella Lucero, Shawn Murphy, Julie Pickerill, Gabriela Ramirez, Sean

Ransom, Laura Thao, Kala Weaver and Krista Wilson

CRDN Endowment Board In Memory Of Wayne Hawthorne, M.D.:

Christina Heathman

Physicians Of Sutter Coast Hospital Wayne Hawthorne M.D. Memorial:

Heather Hogan, Maria Salazar and Eliseo Vazquez

Sutter Coast Hospital:

Hailee Beckendorf and Kimberly Cox

Sutter Coast Auxiliary:

Teresa Bertolini, Kimberly Cox and Jenny Lee

CRDN Lois Halls Memorial:

Heather Dickinson

CRDN Faculty and Staff:

Pahoua Moua

CRDN Literary Club Scholarship For Creative Writers:

Julie Pickerill

Phi Theta Kappa:

Heather Hogan, McKinsey Pickerill-Trinitapoli and Gabriela Ramirez

CRDN Trio Student Support Services:

Nicole Barreras, Trisha Conner, Melinda Davis, Christopher Harper,

Keith Hulford, Andrea Ives, Mosqueda, Stephania Pipinos, Gabriela

Ramirez, Maria Salazar, Amber Woody and SiaVia Xiong

Bernard Osher Scholarships:

Toni Brixey Memorial:

Teresa Bertolini

Del Norte Healthcare District:

Dawn Orton

Ruby Van Deventer Legacy:

Christopher Harper

Circle Of Change:

Heidi Brenenstahl

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