Mayfield Heights mom earns advanced degree


Ursula Kerns

Nurse practitioner Dannielle Grecar sets up her Metro Health Hospital office, joined by her daughter, Angelina.

Angelina Mellen, Guest Writer

In 2017, Mayfield Heights resident Dannielle Grecar went back to school to become a nurse practitioner.

Grecar had worked as an oncology nurse for nearly two decades when she decided to make the switch to a new career. She said, “I wanted to change my job because working as an oncology nurse could be really sad. Not to mention, I was doing the same job for almost 18 years, so I guess I was just kinda ready for a new challenge.”

Grecar now works as a full time nurse practitioner in geriatrics at Metro Health Hospital and began to see the struggles of transitioning into a new career. “When I first started working, I had a hard time getting patients on my schedule because everyone at the hospital already had a nurse practitioner,” she said.

Although Grecar found a lot of joy in her new career, she did have to deal with the stress of the job as well. She said, “Working with older people is hard because they can be really mean and stubborn. I can’t blame him, but I even had one patient with dementia who would kick and hit me whenever I tried to help him and his daughter that came to the appointment was so rude and unhelpful.”

When Grecar decided to change her profession, she found everyone in her family to be supportive. She said, “I first mentioned it to my husband and he was supportive right off the bat. And after talking it through together, we mentioned it to the rest of the family who all were excited for me.”

One person who supported Grecar’s choice to become a nurse practitioner was her daughter, Gabriella Mellen. “I was glad she was doing something she wanted,” Mellen said.

While her mother was busy studying for her new job, Mellen admits that it could be difficult at home. “I couldn’t do a lot of the stuff I used to do with her because she was always busy with school and stuff,” Mellen said. “It was hard seeing her so stressed and always being busy.”

But now, Grecar says that she enjoys a lot of her new job. She said, “Every day is something different, you know? I love being able to meet some of the sweetest new patients.”