Hinchman balances nursing school with raising two children | News, Sports, Jobs

Submitted photo McKenzie Hinchman is one year away from earning an associate degree in nursing from Davis & Elkins College


Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a week-long series of National Nurses Week articles.

ELKINS – After graduating high school, McKenzie Hinchman – like so many young adults – elected to put college on hold, start a family and go to work.

Now, at the age of 25, Hinchman is just one year away from earning an associate degree in nursing from Davis & Elkins College, something she was inspired to do while working to help take care of her two young sons, along with her husband, Dale.

“I had two children and after I worked as a medical assistant for a little while, I knew it was time for me to go back to school or I was never going to do it,” Hinchman said. “It’s something that I really want to accomplish and now I’m only a year away from doing it.”

Hinchman first started her work in the medical field at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, before taking a job at Mountain State Dermatology, where she spent a total of three years.

“I knew I always wanted to do something in the medical field, and after being a medical assistant, it just wasn’t enough,” Hinchman said. “Working there allowed me to see first-hand everything that encompasses a nurse’s role, so I knew being a nurse was something I wanted to do.”

Despite having to juggle all life’s endeavors, McKenzie managed to finish the spring semester at Davis & Elkins College with a 3.0 average.

“The nursing classes are a lot tougher than I expected,” she said. “It definitely requires a lot more work and time management if you want to be successful. Plus we have to have a B in every class in order to pass it. ”

In order to complete a class at D&E, all nursing students must finish with a grade no lower than a B. Hinchman expects things to become even more challenging during her stretch run toward her diploma.

“We actually start a lot of hands-on work the very first semester, but it’s going to get more in depth this year,” she said. “We will be doing more things like IV access and things like that.”

Hinchman, who is a 2015 graduate of Philip Barbour High School, said she is looking forward to finishing her last year of school and beginning her new career.

“I’m very excited to finish up and I actually took a job this summer to enhance my nursing skills and my knowledge, so that I’m not lacking when I go back next semester,” she said. “With that job, I basically follow nurses around all day and they teach me how to do things.”

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