Jamie Denecker returned to Holland, despite the money she could have made in Michigan.
The 22-year-old graduated cum laude from Eastern Michigan University in the spring with her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Denecker said she could have made more as a registered nurse in Michigan, but wanted to come home to family and friends.
“I feel there is a lot to do,” she said. “There are a lot of parks, bike riding, going along the river. I like that kind of stuff.”
Being away for college made her appreciate Toledo. Sometimes while in Michigan, she wished she went to UT.
At Christmas, she decided to return to Toledo after graduation.
She passed her boards in June and will start at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in July, working in the psychiatric unit, an area that interests her.
“I will only have four patients,” she said. “I will be able to concentrate more on it, and help them work out issues on their own with [my] assistance.”
Sitting with patients is important to her. So is earning a master’s degree with a focus in mental health involving children and adolescents.
As a nursing student, she saw young people who tried to commit suicide by overdosing on their psychiatric medications.
When nurses find out Denecker chose the psychiatric unit as her focus, their reactions aren’t always positive. They say, “Why do you want to do that?”
“I feel like for a lot of people it is not their thing,” she said … “I thought it was more rewarding.”
Denecker volunteered at St. Luke’s Hospital while a student at Springfield High School, where she graduated in 2004. Her parents, Jim and Lisa, both work at St. Luke’s.
Her mom was worried she wanted to be a nurse. She knew of the nursing shortage and how overworked they are. But she’s thankful Denecker got a bachelor’s and didn’t just settle for a two-year program.
She’s glad her only child is back.
“I missed her being in Michigan,” she said.
To nominate a Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan resident for the Brain Gain series, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.