Meet Barbara Conkle Clonch ’69, BSN, RN, CCRN
Year of graduation: Diploma, Mount Carmel School of Nursing in 1969
Other degrees and conferring university: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Franklin University 1993 – I had begun those studies just before Mount Carmel transitioned to the College of Nursing.
Certification: I later earned my certification, CCRN (critical care nurse).
Professional highlights: I’ve always been at Mount Carmel and I’m grateful to have been part of a group of RNs who helped open the first ICU at Mount Carmel West in 1970, back when respirators were brand new technology. I also worked at the ICU/CCU that opened in 1971 at East Hospital and spent 25 years in ICU and CCU, taking a few years off after my marriage to raise our children. When I returned to work I went to Congestive Heart Failure Community Case Management for 10 years, before going to Mount Carmel’s Wellness Program in 2007 before I retired in 2009 – after a 40-year-career.
Original hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio
Current hometown: Pataskala, Ohio
When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? My mother was a nurse at Good Samaritan in Cincinnati and was in the U.S. Nurse Corp. She passed away when I was in 8th grade, and I think that’s what inspired me to continue the tradition. My high school guidance counselor also encouraged me and arranged a visit for me to Mount Carmel, which I fell in love with. The rest is history.
What television show do you have watch or record every week? “Call the Midwife” on PBS.
What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel? The dedicated and expert professors who guided us. And, although I was a pretty serious student, after graduation I joined my classmates in cutting up our uniforms and hanging them out the windows to celebrate.
What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? “Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time,” by Lelia Janah
How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professionally or both? Most of the time, because I worked at Mount Carmel 40 years, I was nearly always with Mount Carmel alumni and, when I was in ICU, I tended to hire Mount Carmel alumni. So, when I go to the Annual Homecoming, I feel so blessed to know so many. After our 50th reunion this last fall, where it was as if we had never been away from one another, we pledged to keep in touch. I’m pleased to say that my husband’s niece, Christian Clonch Cavanaugh, BSN, RN, graduated from the SDAP program two years ago, and I am so impressed to see how the high standards I learned from 1966 to 1969 continue to be in existence to this very day. I am so proud to be a Mount Carmel nurse and know that we – as 50-year alumni – are in good hands with this current generation of nurses!
What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from student to alumni of Mount Carmel? Always continue the high standards of what you’ve learned at Mount Carmel and never lose the caring and compassion that has been instilled in you to go that extra mile.