I Am An IU Nurse

Mackenzie Reetz

Class of 2017

“Love her! She was not only a great student, but she is just a really great person. She is passionate about nursing and very caring with patients and families.” Those are the words that Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Roxie Barnes uses when describing 2017 IUSON Bloomington grad, Mackenzie Reetz.

Mackenzie is from Indianapolis (“Love the 317,” she says). She is a nurse on the Surgical Trauma Critical Care unit at IU Health Methodist Hospital where, she says, “my nights are always different! Our unit takes care of a variety of patients, but trauma season (the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day) is my favorite.” Mackenzie is also Co-Chair of the unit’s Professional Practice Council and its representative on the hospital’s Academic Health Center PPC. If that wasn’t enough, Mackenzie is also working on kick-starting a mentorship program on each unit at Methodist.

“I feel like I work all the time,” she says. “I believe, as nurses, we have this special ability to compartmentalize work and life outside of it, but it can be hard not to take some of the situations we see home with us.”

For Mackenzie, that home consists of her adorable pup, Maizie; her new kitten, Griffy (named after Bloomington’s Lake Griffy); and her fiancée and fellow IU Grad, Leah Edge. Leah and Mackenzie met while Mackenzie was at IU and working at Camp Kesem, a summer camp for children whose parents are suffering from cancer and “one of the most incredible organizations on campus. There, I volunteered alongside some of the most dedicated and passionate people who I'm lucky to call my friends,” she says, “as we got to host camp for some pretty inspirational kids.”
Mackenzie with Leah (left), and Maizie (right)

“My biggest piece of advice is to trust your instinct! The first year of being out of school is overwhelming, but will fly by before you know it. You will find your groove on your unit!”

                            -- Mackenzie Reetz 




Leah and Mackenzie are getting married next June in Indy. “We have a goal to visit all of the National Parks, and this year we are crossing off the Everglades, Biscayne, and Acadia!” she smiles.

Mackenzie has fond memories of her time as a student nurse at IU, with some of the best times “being with my nursing friends finding random rooms to spend hours studying in, or watching one of my best friends ride in the Little 500 during senior year.” And while Mackenzie feels her time at IUSON “really prepared my mind to think like a nurse and adapt to situations”, the transition from student nurse to working professional was not always an easy one.

“I would definitely say that my first few weeks of orientation felt like I had learned nothing in school,” she says. “But, as the weeks progressed, the amount of information I had to learn dwindled, and I was able to think critically about what and why I was doing certain things.”

“My biggest piece of advice,” she continues, “is to trust your instinct! The first year being out of school is overwhelming, but will fly by before you know it. You will find your groove on your unit!” And Mackenzie’s inspiration for a nursing career that has already achieved such success and shows so much promise? “My amazing Mom,” she says. “She is strong and selfless. She taught me to believe in myself and think of others on the way. My mom has helped me become the person, and nurse, I am today.”
I Am an IU Nurse is a regular feature of The Nursing News, in which we feature the accomplishments and personal stories of IUSON Bloomington’s student nurses and alumni.