Faculty and Staff Bios

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Caity Wells


Caity Wells MSN, RN ,CCRN earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Fox University and her Masters of Science in Nursing Education from University of Saint Mary. She has five years of nursing experience specifically in critical care. She currently practices as a critical care travel nurse around the Pacific Northwest. Caity joined LBCC in 2019.

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Telena Bence


Telena Bence, MSN, RN, CNOR initially earned her associate degree in nursing from San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas in 1999. After working fourteen years as a registered nurse, she decided to go back to school for her Bachelors in Nursing. She graduated with her BSN from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014. In 2017, Telena graduated with her Master's in Nursing Education from Grand Canyon University. Telena's nursing background includes being a clinical nurse expert in the perioperative area (short stay, day surgery, and operating room and recovery room areas). Telena joined LBCC in 2019, and enjoys crocheting and walks with her mini schnauzers.

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Tonia Benham

Department Secretary

Tonia began working at LBCC in 2008 and joined the Nursing Department in September 2010. Tonia worked in the LBCC Human Resources office prior to becoming part of the Nursing Department team, and has a background working in varied administrative positions for the federal government and in the nonprofit industry prior to coming to work at LBCC. Tonia considers her position here at LBCC an absolute blessing, and is honored to be able to assist LBCC nursing students in reaching their goals however she can.

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Briget Ferguson


Briget Ferguson MSN, RN, CEN earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oregon Health and Science University and completed her MSN through Western Governors University. She has 12 years of experience in the Emergency Department at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande Oregon. She has also worked in the Education Department at Grande Ronde Hospital where she co-developed and led a Newly Licensed RN program, was a member of the simulation team, along with many other roles. Briget joined LBCC in 2020.

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Emily Fisk


Emily Fisk MSN, RN , CHPN earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from Chemeketa Community College and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University in 2021. She is also completed her Master of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University. She has 15 years of nursing experience and specializes in hospice and palliative care. Emily joined LBCC in 2020.

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Melanie Kelly


Melanie Kelly, MSN, FNP, RN, CFRN earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural anthropology from Western Washington University and then proceeded to earn a bachelor of science in nursing from Gonzaga University. She has also completed a Masters of Science family nurse practitioner degree from Gonzaga University. She has ten years nursing experience; in settings ranging from rural Indian Health Service Hospitals to downtown Level I trauma centers. Her areas of focus have been pediatric emergency, adult emergency and the surgical intensive care unit. For the previous two years she was a flight nurse working on a helicopter throughout Western Oregon. Melanie joined LBCC in 2019.

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Heather Peacock


Heather Peacock MSN, RN, RNC-OB earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Canyon University and her Master of Science in Nursing Informatics from Western Governors University. She has eight years experience in obstetrics and pediatrics. She currently practices in Labor & Delivery at Sacred Heart Medical Center Riverbend. Heather joined LBCC in 2020.

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Marcy Shanks

Clinical Coordinator/Faculty

Marcy Shanks, MSEd, MSN, RN entered into nursing practice after earning a Bachelor’s Degree from Oregon Institute of Technology in 1987. Established her nursing experience in ICU, Med-Surg, and clinic settings. Began part-time at LBCC as a clinical faculty and skills lab instructor in 1996 while continuing to work in acute care. Joined LBCC full-time faculty in 2002 after earning a MS in Health Education from Western Oregon University. In 2013 completed a MS in Nursing from Western Governor’s University.

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Caitlyn Terrell


Caitlyn Terrell, BS, MSN, RN is an alumni of the LBCC Nursing program, class of 2009. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science with a minor in Chemistry from Oregon State University, and her master of science in Nursing Education from Grand Canyon University. Her specialty areas include High Risk Obstetrics, Ambulatory Surgery, Endoscopy and Nursing Informatics. She joined LBCC in 2016.

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Kristina Thompson

Department Chair/Faculty

Kristina Thompson, MS, RN holds a BS in Family Resources and Human Development/Clinical Nutrition from Arizona State University (1990) and a BSN from the University of Texas at El Paso (1994). Years as a military spouse allowed for many opportunities to serve as an RN and after 17 years of practice in a variety of clinical settings, she returned to grad school and earned her MS in Nursing Education from New York University (2012). Upon graduation, Kristina took a faculty position at the State University of New York/Orange County. She joined the amazing nursing faculty team at LBCC in 2017.

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Katie Tokarczyk


Katie Tokarczyk, MSN, RN has been a nurse for 24 years and graduated from the University of Portland with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Western Governor’s University. Katie’s focus has been pediatrics and neonatal/postpartum. Katie spent a few years at Seattle Children’s Hospital on a step down unit caring for kids of all ages with various cardiac conditions, neuro-surgical procedures, and organ transplant patients. She then spent 15 years in the neonatal/postpartum setting, specializing in newborn care and stabilization. For 3 years following the hospital setting, she was a school district nurse before pursing her long term goal of nursing education. She joined LBCC in 2017.