About Patricia Klimkewicz
When she was in first grade, Sage alumna Patricia Klimkewicz, dean of health sciences at Hudson Valley Community College, hoped that when she grew up she’d become either a nurse or a teacher.
True to form, she checked both boxes.
Actually, she checked them in a big and bold way. Here’s a slimmed down version of her resume:
Prior to becoming dean, Patricia worked as a professor in the HVCC nursing department for 19 years. She’s also a captain in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, holds a doctorate in health services from Walden University, and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing as well as her MBA at Sage.
But as impressive as all that sounds, the Cliff Notes of her resume don’t really do her justice. Patricia’s outstanding military service includes two years at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany treating wounded service members. She also spent nine months in Afghanistan, six months on the USNS Mercy as the nurse educator for Pacific Partnership and was involved in numerous other humanitarian missions.
This past spring, she was deployed to New York City to care for and treat COVID-19 patients, where she was recommended for Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals for meritorious performance.
Sage played a key role in Patricia’s career development. By earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, and her MBA, she created opportunities for herself in nursing, teaching and the leadership roles she excels at both in the military and in academia.
“At Sage,” she remembers, “I appreciated how the faculty shared their experiences in the field, and how many of the students also shared their work experiences. It was a cohesive group, all of us moving forward together.”
Patricia says people often ask where getting the MBA fits into her story. She tells them she sees nursing as a business as well as a caring profession. She’s always been involved in scheduling, budgeting and determining how the job gets done with maximum fiscal responsibility.
You see, there’s a philosophy that guides the approach to her professional life.
“As a nurse,” she says. “I need to be a life-long learner. That’s certainly what’s prepared me to do what I’m doing today as a dean, managing over 19 different programs. I use all I’ve learned over the years and continue to do so today.”
Patricia recalls a moment back when she was finishing up her bachelor’s at Sage, and now-retired Professor of Nursing Lynne Golonka said something to her she’s never forgotten. “She told me that I was going to need to continue my education. She knew something about me that I didn’t know about myself at that point in my career.”
Patricia certainly knows this about herself now. She teaches, travels the world, keeps herself involved in bedside care and is a leader and role model for young nurses.
“The thing about the nursing profession is that there are so many different opportunities, with so many different specialties to explore,” she says. “And, you have the experience of touching hearts. Not just with your patients, but also with their families.”
When asked what she’s found most rewarding about her career as a teacher, Patricia answers: “Being there when one of your students puts all the pieces together. When they understand how something they’re learning is going to be put into practice. When they say to you, ‘Dr. K., Thanks, I get it now.’”
Patricia’s experiences at Sage and in life have assisted her in accomplishing pretty much everything she has put her mind to. And the best part is, there is more to come.
“I appreciated how the faculty shared their experiences in the field, and how many of the students also shared their work experiences. It was a cohesive group, all of us moving forward together.”