Rachel Parker, a registered nurse with eight years of experience, was recently hired by Utah State University Moab as a professional practice assistant professor. Parker, who is currently in her master’s in nursing program, has a wide array of nursing experience, ranging from the emergency room to labor and delivery to the operating room, according to USU.
“I started my bachelor’s in nursing program at 18. Since then, my entire adult life has been in nursing,” said Parker. “I loved nursing school. I remember loving my clinical instructor so much that I could not wait to get enough experience so I could be in the same type of role for nursing students.”
Last semester, Parker helped USU by teaching in the nursing lab. “I was finally in a role I had dreamed of since nursing school,” said Parker. “I was very excited to work with students.” In her new role, Parker will be responsible for teaching students who are in their first year of USU Moab’s nursing program. First-year nursing students work toward passing the state’s exam to become licensed practical nurses. Parker will oversee the curriculum, nursing skills and clinical rotations, according to the statement.
“I want the students to graduate, pass their state licensure exams, and be desirable hires for anywhere they want to go,” said Parker. “I would love for them to stay within our community. We are lucky to have this program and have graduates working in Moab now.”
Parker was first drawn to Moab when she and her husband made a quick trip from their home in Colorado. While driving through, they discussed moving here so they could get a dog, have chickens, and hike every day. Parker then landed a job at Moab Regional Hospital and has lived in Moab for four years in nearly the exact spot they first discussed the idea. They now have chickens, a dog, and hike every day.
Parker will fill Connie Wilson’s position, who has been promoted to nursing coordinator and instructor at USU Moab. Wilson will replace Nancy Chartier, who is retiring. “Connie did an amazing job of creating content for lectures and assignments,” said Parker. “I hope to follow through with all her hard work and build on that foundation.” Parker will officially start her position on Aug. 1 and will begin teaching the next nursing cohort.