by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
If you find yourself going to Norman Regional Health System Healthplex, you will find Denny Hinkle, MSN, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Decision Unit. With many responsibilities each day, Denny is outstanding in the medical field and is dedicated in his work. (story continues below)
Denny is a nurse because he always wanted to help people. “As a nurse, I have the ability to be directly responsible in the care for others. I grew up playing team sports and working together as a group to accomplish goals that were big for me. When I came into nursing, the mentality was similar. As nurses, we have several different disciplines all working towards the same goal. We may not always be successful but we all want the best outcomes for our patients,” Denny said.
Denny grew up in Yukon, OK and graduated from Yukon high school. He graduated from OUHSC for his BSN and MSN in 2009 and has been an RN for eleven years. “I grew up with the ambiton of being a teacher so that I could coach. My mother was a teacher and it meant a lot to me for her to attend my summer activies. I wanted the flexability of being able to have family time and be a mentor to my players as my coaches were to me. As I got older, I realized that there are many sacrifices teachers have to make in this state and decided that I would look into healthcare. I originally planned on going to Pharmacy school but when I took Organic Chemistry I soon realized that was not my path. I found nursing and when I took the anatomy/physiology and it clicked for me,” Denny explained.
As far as it goes, Denny is a leader and a follower. “I took a class for my Master’s program called Followership. It taught me that in order to be good leaders, we must be willing to follow. I want to be a great leader, therefore, I must be willing to follow those that are leading me. At Norman Regional Health System, I am able to do that with ease,” Denny said. “They [Norman Regional Health System] dedicate themselves to the organization and the community and it is a privilege to work for them,” he added.
Denny’s day begins early. “Usually, I get to work and check on staffing for my two departments. I will round on the floor to check with my nurses to see if they need anything. On any day, I could have anywhere from two to five meetings that I will need to attend. Those could be quality , PI, management, departmental or system based meetings. I try to round at least four times a day on the floors. I still feel more comfortable on the floor than in the office,” he said with a smile.
Asking Denny if he had any mentors in nursing school, he replied, “Not during my time in nursing school. When I graduated, Leigh and Todd Parker took me under their wing and showed me how to survive. They both had different approaches to how they would mentor me and I cannot repay them for their guidance. Now, that Leigh is actually one of my employees, our nursing life has come back full circle. Marci Winningham was influential in pushing me towards leadership. She would encourage me to grow and often show me things in healthcare that I had never considered. I would not be where I am today without any of these people in my life.”
Describing himself, Denny said that he is a trusting person who tries to see the good in people every day. “Once I am able to trust a person, there is nothing that I won’t do for them. I strive to work as hard as my father did to provide for his family. I want to be the best husband possible to my wife and make sure there is always time just for us.”
On a personal note, Denny is an avid sports fan. “I love the Chicago Cubs, OKC Thunder and Oklahoma Sooners. Before this pandemic, my wife, Kayla, and I loved to travel. We made plans to visit all seven continents before we left this world. Since the pandemic, I have enjoyed playing video games with my friends online.”
Summing up his life in one word, Denny said, “Loyalty. I am loyal to those that I love and care for.”