10 Questions with Carol Parcher (’71)

Photo of Carol Parcher

Year of graduation from Mount Carmel School of Nursing: 1971, Diploma of Nursing

Other degrees/credentials: I also earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Westbrook College (now University of New England) in 1986, and later I was certified in Med-Surg nursing.

Professional highlights: For most of my career, I worked at the Maine Medical Center, first in the float pool, then in med-surg intensive care. I became the “patient teacher” for the open-heart patients. I really enjoyed meeting them and their families preoperatively, taking care of them and following them through discharge. For a while I worked in the offices of cardio-thoracic surgeons before returning to MMC in the cardio-thoracic step-down unit until I retired in 2013. Even though I don’t maintain my license in retirement, I keep my hand in by volunteering with the Area Agency on Aging, taking blood pressures and helping with balance assessments and such.

What is your hometown and where do you currently live? I grew up in Bucyrus, Ohio, and now live in Scarborough, Maine. I first came to Maine while a student at Mount Carmel – working two summers in a summer camp in Denmark, Maine. Right after graduation I worked for the summer at the amusement park at Cedar Point, Ohio, celebrated becoming an RN, bought a car, got my license and headed right to Maine!

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? When I was in high school, everything about the medical field interested me. I realized that being a nurse encompassed many roles, but didn’t know then that I should have added motivational speaker, actress, mediator and many other roles to the list!

What television show do you have to DVR every week? Rizzoli and Isles, NCIS and Survivor.

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel? My favorite memory definitely has to be hanging out with classmates in the dorm.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? Anything by James Patterson or Tess Gerritsen.

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professional or both? Just knowing you have the support of so many friends is priceless. I think networking is so important that for the last several years I’ve volunteered to help keep students and new graduates involved. I saw in the newsletter that alumni were asked to bake for the Finals Breakfast, but of course, I live too far away for that. So, when I saw the opportunity to write letters to students, I was so excited. What a great way to stay in touch from the comfort of my home. I remember so clearly how I felt when I was deciding to attend Mount Carmel, and I share with students who have been accepted, but have not yet declared, the excitement I felt then. It’s wonderful to be among the first to welcome them to the “wonderful world of nursing” that I have loved so much. If each member of the alumni would share their memories, what a great book that would make!

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from students to alumni of Mount Carmel? Believe in your dreams and enjoy the journey of reaching them. I remember thinking that "They shouldn’t let me graduate because I have never taken care of a patient with such and such disease.” But, I have eventually learned that I received a wonderful foundation of knowledge at Mount Carmel that was perfect for building all the new skills I would later need. There is always something new to learn in nursing, and you will be amazed at the number of changes and improvements you’ll see during the course of your career.

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