Leslie Bonaventura, MSN, RN, CVRN-BC, knew she wanted to be a nurse when she was just 5 years old. Growing up, she was the one to care for her siblings’ bumps, cuts and bruises and the one family members turned to for a listening ear.
“I was caring for my family holistically without even realizing it at the time because I was only a child. I cannot imagine being in another career,” Bonaventura wrote. “Nursing is all I know and still love after 30 years. I sincerely believe that nursing is a calling and not just a profession.”
For the last 22 years, Bonaventura has cared for cardiovascular patients at the Brigham on Shapiro 8 (previously a unit in the Braunwald Tower). “Leslie embodies the essence of nursing by providing excellent and all-encompassing care, ensuring that patients’ physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs are respected and addressed,” wrote Melissa Moniz, MSN, RN, CNL, SCRN, of Shapiro 8.
Bonaventura is especially skilled in caring for vascular patients who have undergone amputations of lower extremities. In addition to preventing infection, caring for wounds and helping patients increase their mobility, Bonaventura cares for their emotional well-being during a challenging time.
“Patients can often go through a mourning process over the loss of a limb — the loss of a part of oneself,” wrote Moniz. “Leslie recognized the importance of treating this portion of recovery as just as imperative as addressing infection, wound healing and pain management. Leslie takes the time to listen or provide space. She is quick to include Spiritual Care Services, Social Work, Care Coordination, Physical Therapy, or the psychiatric resource nurse to support the patient through the post-amputation process and prepare for the transition home with their new mobility needs.”
Bonaventura has also helped to foster a supportive environment for staff, according to her nomination.
“To be an excellent nurse, you need to treat the whole patient, not only physically but also spiritually, mentally and emotionally,” Shapiro 8 nurses wrote in a letter of support. “Leslie is that nurse, not just for our patients, but for our entire team of nurses, PCAs and unit coordinators on Shapiro 8. She has shown this in various ways by her willingness to always lend a helping hand.”
This was especially evident through the pandemic, when Bonaventura organized ways to support colleagues who experienced loss, as well as celebrations, including baby showers, holidays and other occasions.
“During this time of uncertainty, one of the needs of the unit was to create a healing environment with an authentic caring presence,” wrote Susan Williams, DNP, RN, CCTN, nursing director. “Leslie rose to the occasion to create a caring, positive atmosphere for the nurses and patients.”
Bonaventura earned her MSN from Salem State University and her BSN from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is an adjunct faculty member at Boston College, where she teaches undergraduate students.
Nominated by Susan Williams, DNP, RN, CCTN, nursing director of Shapiro 8, with letters of support from Shapiro 8 nurses and Melissa Moniz, MSN, RN, CNL, SCRN