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


Photo submitted 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 articles on National Nurses Week.

ELKINS — After graduating from high school, McKenzie Hinchman — like so many young adults — chose to skip college, start a family, and go to work.

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

“I had two kids and after working 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,” said Hinchman. “It’s something I really want to accomplish and now I’m only a year away from doing it.”

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

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

Although he had to juggle all the stresses of life, McKenzie managed to finish the spring semester at Davis & Elkins College with a 3.0 GPA.

“Nursing classes are much more difficult than I expected”, she says. “It definitely takes a lot more work and time management if you want to be successful. Also, we must have a B in each class to pass.

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 get even tougher on his run to his degree.

“We actually start a lot of hands-on in the very first semester, but it’s going to deepen this year,” she says. “We’ll do more things like intravenous access and things like that.”

Hinchman, a 2015 graduate of Philip Barbour High School, said she was looking forward to finishing her final year of school and starting her new career.

“I’m very excited to finish and I’ve actually taken a job this summer to improve my nursing skills and knowledge so I won’t miss out when I come back next semester,” she says. “With this job, I basically follow the nurses all day and they teach me how to do things.”

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