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Martchenke and family ready for adventures in nursing

Students

Second or third career, but who’s counting?

Author Dana Brandorff | Publish Date May 12, 2020

For 15 years, Bill Martchenke was a high school and middle school teacher. A devoted teacher, he regularly worked 12-14 hour days. When his wife became pregnant with their first son, he couldn’t justify it any longer and got a job working for Kaiser Permanente in their electronic medical record (EMR) department training nurses on the system. After supporting the hospital for five months, “I recognized nurses had the greatest job in the world and why wasn’t I doing this?”

Thank You CU Nursing
A little over 2 weeks and many of my colleagues and I will be graduating. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and the College of Nursing for all that you have done to prepare us for nursing and see us through this challenging season. I was truly saddened when I realized we wouldn't have an in person graduation in May, but I was equally excited and thrilled that we can get the chance to join a ceremony later in 2020. I can only imagine the machinations that have happened behind the scenes with the state board of nursing, the college and the state to get to the point we are at today. I don't know who else needs to see this, but please pass this email along to whomever might want to know that their work has not gone unappreciated.

This program has been challenging from the start. Never in my life have I had to juggle, study, care, and work this hard. Yet I'm also sure that I have rarely been as supported and confident of my future as I have been in this program. My intention is to return as a nurse practitioner student as soon as I can gain some clinical experience. There is no other school I am considering due to the quality and amazing commitment of the faculty and staff at CU.

Thank you Shane for your unwavering support. My classmates and I are privileged to soon be CU alumni.

Looking forward to the future!

In 2010, he started accumulating prerequisites to enroll in a nursing program. “It took a lot longer to get them done than I intended,” said Martchenke. With two children and a third on the way, it was challenging to make the time. “Life doesn’t just go according to plan. As John Lennon wrote, ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,’” said Martchenke. He managed to get his prerequisites and enrolled in CU’s nursing program. “I’m nowhere near the youngest in my class, but I bring life experience to the job.”

During his immersion at Rose Hospital in the post-partum unit, Martchenke solidified his calling. “It was fantastic,” he said. Even though it is a rare occurrence for male nurses to be in labor and delivery, the practice is becoming more accepted. He carries the advice to “listen more” that a male Nurse Practitioner gave him. “He told me, ‘You have an advantage especially in OB/GYN. You have no frame of reference and because of that, you can’t assume what your patients are going through. That sets you up to be a better caregiver.’” Still teaching EMR to this day, he is awed by what nurses -- especially NPs in Labor and Delivery -- do and intends to pursue that area of nursing.