jill blackoburnJill Blackbourn, RN

Caritas Coach® and HeartMath Trainer
Registrar, Caritas Coach Education Program®
Watson Caring Science Institute Faculty Mentor


Jill Blackbourn is a Watson Caring Science Institute Faculty Mentor as well as the Registrar for the Caritas Coach Education Program. Jill recently retired from her positions as a Nursing Systems Specialist at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI. In this role, Jill has had the privilege of partnering with nurses throughout the integrated system, mentoring in the shared governance structure, editing the organization’s nursing newsletter, and teaching communication strategies. In addition, since becoming a HeartMath trainer and graduating from the Caritas Coach Education Program® in 2012, Jill has had the privilege of “cultivating Caritas” in the organization. Partnering with a Caritas Coach® colleague, multiple programs that embed caring science in the fiber of the organization have been created. These include such things as a Caritas Circle, where interprofessional colleagues come together to learn about and then share caring science in their practice environments; orientation experiences that occur in nursing and spiritual care and expanded education for those in the Nurse Residency Program; and Nightingale Rounds, a forum for telling stories of Caritas living in our work. Jill helped lead the work to a new Nursing Professional Framework in 2013 which has Caritas – Human Caring Theory – as its foundation.

Jill attended the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and Madison General Hospital School of Nursing, and prior to her current role, practiced in obstetrics and emergency services. In 2012, Jill became a certified HeartMath Trainer, and has taught multiple workshops and customized sessions for GHS as well as a local school of nursing, technical college and more. Jill is also a Level III student of Healing Touch.

Jill’s journey into Caritas has made an indelible mark on her life, and she finds it one of the greatest gifts she has received. This blessing has carried her beyond the walls of Gundersen, where she presents on caring science and the richness it provides in our connections. Becoming a Registrar and Faculty Mentor for the Caritas Coach Education Program has provided Jill with the amazing opportunity of meeting and partnering with students from around the country as they come to know the beauty of learning and living Caritas.