Dan Marinelli, RN, BSN, CCN, Charge Nurse, CMH CCU - Nurses Appreciation Winner
“I have been in the CCU, watching my dear friend hooked up to lifesaving machines, not knowing whether he would live or die,” the nomination said. “Daniel was kind enough to explain to me what I was witnessing. His professionalism and his soft way made me understand the process and take it all in and be there to hold my friend’s hand when my first reaction had been to run from the unknown.” Dan Marinelli has an ability “to remain the essence of what one comes to expect from someone in this field,” his nomination continued. “His ability to remain professional in what is often the most critical whirlwind of someone’s life is beyond my understanding. He shows just the right amount of compassion when needed and is stoic in the face of turmoil. When a loved one lost her life partner in the CCU he was able to explain to me in a way that panic never got a chance to set in, and I was at peace so I could comfort my friend. He has been wonderful both times I have had experience with one of the scariest places on earth.” For Marinelli, nursing at CMH is the family business. His mother has been a nurse for 40 years and worked at the hospital while her son was growing up. His late father worked in surgical services as a sterile processing technician, a job Marinelli also held while attending nursing school. “Nursing was always a dinner table conversation for us,” he said. The family moved to Citrus County in 1990, when Marinelli was four. After graduating from Citrus High School in 2003, he worked a variety of jobs before deciding to become a nurse. He has been a critical care nurse at CMH since 2012, the past several years as a charge nurse. He’s earned his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from the College of Central Florida and currently is working on a master’s degree. “I love to help people,” he said. “I have a strong faith in Jesus and I work to fulfill that need to help people. I love to sink my teeth into the full care of patients. It’s intensified in CCU, of course, where we can affect whether someone makes it through the worst time of their lives. For better or worse, I get to help people do things they didn’t think they could do. That can be a difficult position to be in but it’s something I always wanted to do — be there for people.” As a charge nurse, Marinelli still does patient care but he also oversees the staff of the Critical Care Unit and responds to codes — standard response announcements for emergencies such as cardiac arrest or stroke — throughout the hospital. “If there’s a code the hospital needs me to go to, I’m there,” he said. “It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing I made an impact on the hospital.” Marinelli’s life has been a “whirlwind” since he chose nursing, but he credits his wife, Wendy, for helping him through. The couple have a three-year-old son, Mason.
“I met Wendy right before nursing school in 2010. She’s been with me through some difficult times,” he said. “She helps me deal with all the shenanigans of work and studying. She’s amazing.” As he continues his education toward becoming a family nurse practitioner, Marinelli finds the prospect of moving on bittersweet. He hopes to practice dermatology or ear-nose-throat medicine and possibly teach. “I don’t know what kind of role I’ll have in the future, but I hope it still involves CMH. This hospital has been my life, it has helped me grow personally and with my career.” He also participates in career days at local elementary and middle schools. “I love to pass on whatever small amount of wisdom I may have,” he said. “It’s so interesting to see that spark in students’ eyes when I talk about nursing. They get as excited as I am. “I have seen people on the verge of death make it. I have held more hands than I can count and helped people pass away in comfort. I have seen some amazing things,” he said. “It’s a great feeling that people appreciate what I do.”