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Business Officers of Nursing Schools (BONUS) Network

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Business Officers of Nursing Schools (BONUS) is dedicated to facilitating networking among those who work in the administration of nursing education and to providing education in areas of business, technology, and financial and administrative management of nursing schools.

Who Should Join?

Business officers, fiscal managers, and personnel involved in the operational management of nursing programs.

Why Join?

Whether you are just starting out in the profession or you are proudly looking back at a lifetime of achievements, membership in the BONUS Leadership Network is of extraordinary value.

As a member, you can take advantage of the following benefits

  • Be involved and share experiences in a national network of leaders and subject matter experts through an exclusive BONUS Community, a online community platform just for BONUS members.
  • Participate in conferences geared around subjects of common interest.
  • Serve on working groups such as AI conference programming and advisory groups.
  • Opportunities to earn (or receive) CEU credits with a network member discount.
  • Volunteer to serve on a Leadership Network Steering Community.

Past BONUS Conferences

Operational Rules and Procedures

Membership Committee

  • Todd Fraser, University of Florida, Chair
  • Amy Britt, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Marie Brown, Vanderbilt University
  • Lou Candiotti, Michigan State University
  • Sherida Hicks, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Jennifer Johnstone, University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio
  • Lisa Vaughan, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Russell Waisanen, University of Saint Thomas-Minnesota

Communications Committee

  • Vincent Fields, Coppin State University, Chair
  • Amy Britt, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Danielle Desormier, Washington State University
  • Iarina Devos, University of Kansas
  • Kendra Knox, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Nominating Committee

  • James Batchelder, East Tennessee State University, Chair
  • Amy Britt, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Vincent Fields, Coppin State University
  • Linda Friedemann, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Dundee McNair, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Planning Committee

  • Bill Kilbride, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Chair
  • Amy Britt, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Lou Candiotti, Michigan State University
  • Curtis Coffer, University of Minnesota
  • Danielle Desormier, Washington State University
  • John Eaves, University of Rochester
  • Vincent Fields, Coppin State University
  • Linda Friedemann, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Jessica Gelabert, University of South Florida
  • Julie Honey, Belmont University
  • Becky Keck, Vanderbilt University
  • Helene Lovett, Nazareth College
  • Amanda Mitchell, South Dakota State University
  • Herminio (John) Morelos, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Lindsey Mosier, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Anthony Porcelli, Hofstra University
  • Brittany Sheehy, University of South Florida
  • Latrice Solomon, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
  • Stephanie Turrise, University of North Carolina-Wilmington
  • Lisa Vaughan, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Special Projects Committee

  • Patty Rodriguez, University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio, Chair
  • Amy Britt, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Claudia Dole-Morrison, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Laura Hasewinkle, University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio
  • Becky Keck, Vanderbilt University
  • Elizabeth Leong, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Scott Miller, University of Iowa
  • Brittany Sheehy, University of South Florida
  • Jean Vaccaro, University of South Florida

In the late fall or early winter of 1985 a very important questionnaire graced the desk of every Dean whose school was a member of the AI.  The purpose of this survey was to determine the level of interest in having a conference designed to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and to identify common problems in the fiscal affairs of nursing schools. 

Even then the undercurrent of the present managed care environment could be felt by these academic nursing leaders. Although the Deans gathered every spring and fall to discuss numerous topics,  they realized that there was a need for their business officers to also have a forum for gathering knowledge and developing networks.   The interest was high enough that the AI scheduled the first conference for business officers of nursing schools in May, 1986.  The theme of the conference was "Networking for Business Officers of Nursing Schools" and the acronym used was BONS.  Can you imagine that!  Forty-six business officers from across the country made their way to Washington, D.C. for the inaugural conference.

The actual organization began to come together at the second annual conference, also held in Washington. Jerry Otzman (Wayne State), Pat Hall (Utah), Rudy Gomez (U of Texas-San Antonio) and Dan Junior (Yale) met over breakfast on March 27, 1987 to discuss the formal organization of the business officers from the schools that made up the AI.  (Jerry and his Dean, Lorene Fischer, and Pat and her Dean, Linda Amos, comprised the first informal Planning Committee.) It was agreed that continuation of the group was worthwhile. The matter was discussed with all in attendance at the final conference session that afternoon. Attendees agreed that they wanted to continue to have annual conferences and left Washington with a mandate from Jerry Otzman to reflect on what the group should look like and what goals it should have.

During the 1988 meeting held in Washington, D.C. in late April, a contest was held to name the group. Joanne Dubar from Syracuse University was the winner and the group had a name, Business Officers of Nursing Schools (BONUS). After this meeting, at which the membership whole-heartedly endorsed the concept of an independent organization, a Structural Committee was formed to develop the structure by which we would govern the group. All regions of the country were represented on the committee. Dan Junior, Yale, was Chairperson. He was joined by Richard Etheredge, South Carolina; Colleen Cummins, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Pat Hall, Utah. The Committee worked very hard to devise a structure to propose to the Deans at the semi-annual meeting in July.

The structure was presented to the Deans by Barbara Redman, Executive Director of AI and with some minor changes was approved. The next step was to present it to the membership at the 1989 annual meeting in Atlanta. The structure was voted on and passed. BONUS was born.

It was very symbolic that as the group took its first steps away from Washington (Atlanta was the first meeting held outside of D.C.), it also took its first steps away from being just another AI sponsored conference. Since that formative year in 1989 BONUS meetings have crisscrossed the nation trying to bring the annual conference to the backyards of all member schools of the AI.

To paraphrase the BONUS Purpose Statement, the purpose of the organization is to enhance the skills of and network among the people who work in the administrative management of the nation's nursing schools. To that end BONUS strives each year to achieve that goal by offering information sessions and numerous networking opportunities at our annual meetings.

Jerry Otzman had been the driving force behind the BONUS formation and, appropriately, he was voted the first BONUS President for 1989-90. Jerry passed away in 1991 and the group established the Jerry Otzman Founders Award, given bi-annually to a member of BONUS for meritorious service.

The Jerry Otzman Founder’s Award was established by the BONUS steering committee on October 11, 1991. The award was established to honor Jerry Otzman, BONUS’ first president whose energy and inspiration led to the founding of BONUS. Jerry served as Chair of the organizing steering committee (1985-86 to 1988-89) and subsequently as BONUS’ first President in 1989-90. Jerry died October 17, 1991. Many who were privileged to work with Jerry were inspired by his dedication and untiring efforts to BONUS and were hopeful that this gesture would help keep his enthusiasm alive. This award is given every 5 years.

Award Recipients

1992 - Jerry Otzman, Wayne State University

1994 - Dan Junior, Yale University

1996 - Pat Hall, University of Utah

1998 - Mike Newsome, Virginia Commonwealth University

2003 - Cathy Reas, Vanderbilt University

2008 - Susan Donelan (posthumous), Boston College

2013 - Rudy Gomez, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio

2018 - Susan Frey, Case Western Reserve University

Upcoming Conference

image of nashville tennessee

Business Officers of Nursing Schools (BONUS) Annual Meeting

April 23-25, 2025
Nashville, TN

Learn More

Connect with the BONUS Online Community

Nursing NAP Conference

Connect with BONUS colleagues nationwide using AI’s Online BONUS Community! This online forum provides a convenient way for you to ask for expert advice, seek practical solutions to everyday challenges, identify best practices, and share the latest news. Start a conversation, join in on a topic, or just check out what the platform is all about. The BONUS Online Community is available to BONUS Network Members only.