College of Nursing

Rocket Nursing Love Story

By Kristen Gartland


Many friendships and professional connections are made at The University of Toledo, but sometimes a different kind of connection is made, a love connection! This is true for nursing student, Mackenzie Chojnacky and her new wife Brooke Tullis.

Mackenzie Chojnacky (l), Brooke Tullis (r)

Mackenzie Chojnacky (l), Brooke Tullis (r)

Mackenzie Chojnacky (l), Brooke Tullis (r)

Photos by Emily Hanson Photography

Mackenzie is in her third semester of the baccalaureate nursing program. She was recruited to UToledo for cross country and track. It was there where she met Brooke Tullis.

“We have been best friends and competitors since then. We only started dating five years ago. Our wedding, which took place on Saturday, August 14, was our 10 year anniversary of when we first met!” – Mackenzie Chojnacky

Prior to entering into the nursing program, Mackenzie completed her Master’s degree in Exercise Science with us at UToledo. Brooke is a graduate of our BSN-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program. It was Brooke who helped spark Mackenzie’s interest in nursing.

Mackenzie enjoys caring for people and likes the flexibility and variety of positions in nursing. Brooke had always been interested in health science and decided to try her hand at nursing, once she started clinical, she realized she loved it.

Mackenzie is working as a float nursing assistant at UTMC. She has also continued her love of running and works as a sales representative at Dave’s Running Store and head cross country coach for Sylvania Northview High School girls. Pending graduation she plans to find a nursing job and potentially go back to school to become a nurse practitioner like her wife.

Brooke is working as a nurse practitioner at Ruppert Health Center at UTMC in outpatient psych. She has also decided to carry on with her love for running and works as the assistant women’s cross country coach at Northview High School. She plans to continue to build her client base at UTMC and possibly pursue her psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification with us in the future.

Both Brooke and Mackenzie come from a family of nurses. Mackenzie’s sister Victoria is an ICU nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and her sister Nicole just graduated in May from a college in Tennessee. Brooke’s aunt Jackie just retired after 40 years in nursing and her sister Erica is going into her fourth semester of our Graduate-Entry Master of Science in Nursing program at UToledo. She switched gears from criminal justice and found her place in the program as a second degree accelerated nursing option.

Erica works as a nursing assistant in the float pool at UTMC with Mackenzie. Her sister Brooke was a big reason she decided to go into nursing. After graduation, Erica plans to follow in Brooke’s footsteps and pursue nurse practitioner certification and/or a nurse paralegal certificate. She envisions her future to be in labor and delivery or NICU.
Erica Tullis

“My family was a big reason I was able to pursue another degree. Toledo has given me so much. ‘This is Home’ truly applies to me when it comes to UToledo and I’m excited to give back and start helping the people of this community once I graduate.” – Erica Tullis

Erica and Mackenzie will be graduating their respective programs together in May 2022. We are excited to see what nursing avenues they pursue upon graduation. Congratulations to Brooke and Mackenzie on their recent wedding, it is a wonderful Rocket Nursing Love Story!

Last Updated: 6/27/22