5/02/18

Nurse gathers experience in patients’ homes, in her community

Laurie Pampel’s nursing experience is as varied as the clothing, shoes and other goods at Angel’s Closet. Her Milford shop spotlights her dedication to her home health patients and her community.

Angel’s Closet gives items to anyone who needs them, but Pampel, RN, initially only intended to have extra clothes should her often-homebound patients need them. She knew money for even the basics – food, clothing, transportation – was sometimes hard to find.

“It’s so rewarding to be able to give to someone – a new bookbag, their first pair of Nikes, even next-to-new blankets and towels. It’s the things we take for granted,” the nurse of 26 years said. “This is all God’s plan, not mine. When I go to work, I stop feeling sorry for myself about every little ache, each little pain.”

Experienced nurses moving to east central Illinois and those looking for a rewarding change can learn more about nursing careers at Carle online on May 3 during the Nursing Virtual Job Fair. Recruiters and nursing leadership will be available to answer questions in real time from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and again from 5 – 7 p.m. Register today to learn more about open positions and next steps for joining the Carle nursing team.

Pampel’s nursing career started in medical-surgical. She was a nurse at Danville Correctional Center for a time. She worked in a host of departments at Iroquois Memorial Hospital, including hospice and home health. She joined Carle’s home health team two and a half years ago, and she’s two classes away from completing her master’s in Executive Leadership in Nursing at Purdue University.

“I’ve moved around in my career, and every time I moved I learned how much I didn’t know,” she said. “As I grow as a nurse, I can give patients more and have even better patient outcomes.”

The variety of home health suits her.

“I love that I care for 2-day-old babies and people over 100 and everything in between,” Pampel said.

From the moment nurses begin their careers at Carle, they are part of the Professional Nurse Advancement Program, which recognizes and rewards great patient care, education and experience.

Pampel recently achieved her Level III designation.

“I was so excited to work at Carle. It has always been my ideal of a great institution for patients and for nurses. It’s all-encompassing with so many services,” she said, adding Carle’s on-the-job education and help paying for school are keys to her success.

Of course, top-quality leadership makes a huge difference.

Enter Jennifer Wilken, RN, Director for Home Care and Hospice, who Pampel followed to Carle.

“She is always there for us, always positive. She’s always pushing us to do better in such encouraging ways,” Pampel said. “Carle is a nurturing environment for nurses. They take care of you, support you, provide what you need so you can take great care of your patients.”

In return, Wilken said, "Laurie lives Carle's mission, vision and values every day. She's a great person who always cares for her patients and everyone she meets holistically."

Giving to her patients and her community, Pampel insists, is in her nature.

“It’s just how my parents were,” she said. “It’s just how I am.”

Learn more about nursing opportunities at carle.org/nursing