She’s been known to plant seeds in the soul and now in the garden. Once an evangelist, Carol Dorough, Ed.D. is an avid gardener who also happens to be a nurse.

After marrying her college sweetheart 38 years ago, Dorough and her husband began traveling around the country as evangelists while raising two children. But her dream of being a nurse, something she’d wanted since childhood, never died. She went back to school, studied hard and accomplished her dream. She would work in several positions before moving to Indiana in 2010 to take the position of nursing dean for Bethel College.

Dorough took some time out of her schedule to tell me a little about her multifaceted life.

CB: Where are you from?

CD: Until my junior year of high school, my parents and I lived in western Pennsylvania. In 1968, we moved to Oklahoma City, Okla., where my parents were faculty at Bethany Nazarene College, now Southern Nazarene University.

CB: Where did you go to school?

CD: [I have] two baccalaureate degrees from Southern Nazarene University (SNU), a B.S. in Medical Technology (‘74) and a B.S. in Nursing (‘91). [I also have a] Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler (‘97) and an Ed.D. in Higher Education with a concentration in Healthcare Education from Nova Southeastern University (‘06).

CB: What was it that attracted you to the nursing field?

CD: From as far back in my childhood as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. There was never any doubt. Then, during my senior year [of high school], I started to get scared. With no other options opening up, and college starting in two days, I switched my major to medical technology. It wasn’t until my senior year [of college], which was a 12-month residency at the hospital, that I really understood what a medical technologist did. As it turned out, all the things I thought I would hate about being a nurse were routine for medical technologists.

CB: How did you end up becoming a nurse?

CD: Seventeen years after I became a medical technologist, I went back to school and began pre-requisites for a nursing degree. I just realized that the dream of becoming a nurse had never really died, the fears I had so many years earlier were unfounded, and if I didn’t do it right then, I probably never would.

CB: What are your job responsibilities as the dean of nursing?

CD: My overriding responsibilities are administrative. Some specific activities are working with the faculty to plan new strategies for delivering nursing education, as well as reviewing and revising nursing curriculum; dealing with student problems; and chairing, or participating in, nursing committee meetings. I also teach courses in each of the four nursing programs.

CB: Can you tell me about your traveling evangelism experience?

CD: My [family] traveled a route roughly between the Midwest and Southwest, with many meetings in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Texas. My husband preached, and we both did the music. Except for a couple months in the summer and a few weeks at Christmas, we were on the road all the time.

CB: Did you have a favorite part about evangelism?

CD: We were all together all the time. I’m a rare mom who got to work full time while being with my kids full time. Jim and I love to sing together, so that was a joy, and the kids often sang too. We made friends across the United States and saw God work in our lives and the lives of those to whom we ministered. God kept us safe, and we never missed paying a bill.

CB: Besides singing, do you have any other hobbies?

CD: I also enjoy decorating the house and gardening. Last summer, my husband and I took what we called “weekend vacations” to different sites around the state. That was great fun, and we plan to do that again.

CB: Why do you like to garden?

CD: Playing in the dirt, as I call it, is a great stress reliever. It is good exercise, but I know there will be something to show for my hard work in time.

CB: What is your favorite flower?

CD: I’m much more of a vegetable gardener than a flower gardener, but I do love flowers with a nice fragrance: roses, lilacs.