First earning a diploma in nursing in 1961, following three years of study in a hospital 10 miles from her home, Dr. Patricia Anne Duick went on to join the University of Pennsylvania, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in organizational dynamics. During this time, she began her career and worked full time to support her education. She taught nursing at a series of local community colleges, notably starting practical nursing programs at several of them. Accepting a position at Temple University, she taught teaching strategies, philosophy of education, and sociology of education there for 15 years and spent time as the ombudsman for the College of Education. Over the course of her tenure with Temple University, she also earned a master’s degree in education psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy.
Dr. Duick concluded her career as a teacher at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania, while continuing in a part-time capacity with Temple University. In this role, she leveraged her expertise in medical surgical nursing, teaching strategies, and educational leadership and policy to teach students in the medical surgical units of the hospital. She taught 18 students at a time and would select 18 patients that the students would be responsible for and then would oversee the students as they provided care. Above everything, Dr. Duick considers the most gratifying part of her career to be watching her students graduate, feeling that there was nothing more rewarding than seeing her students off to careers in the real world.
Feeling that there is no end to learning, Dr. Duick later became certified as an international consultant in human caring and healing through the University of Colorado and notes the importance of learning from your mistakes, having humility, and listening with a caring and sympathetic ear when someone is in need. Throughout her career, she made a name for herself as someone who was willing to learn from everyone around her and who saw the importance of each individual person no matter their background. Recognized early on for her excellence by being named an Outstanding Bedside Nurse upon her graduation from nursing school, Dr. Duick hopes to leave a legacy as someone who was humble, always striving to learn more and valued her fellow human beings.
Retired since 2008, Dr. Duick has now focused her attention and skills to writing a book on post traumatic stress disorder. She was deeply impacted by her two brothers who suffered from PTSD following their return from duty in the Vietnam War. Her youngest brother struggled significantly with his PTSD and wound up dying at a fairly young age. Her other brother, Bob, was so traumatized by his experiences that he was unable to talk about what had happened for 30 years. Dr. Duick was eventually able to enlist the help of John McCain, who had served on the same air carrier as Bob, to get her brother the care that he needed.
Dr. Duick attributes much of her success to her parents, Stephen and Helen Cucura. They were her role models from an early age, and she was greatly influenced by their work ethic, good morals, strong character, and never-give-up attitude. She considers her parents to be the wisest people she ever knew. Furthermore, she spent 50 happy years married to her late husband, Jerome Peter, who held a position at the Princeton Forrestal Center of Princeton University, where he worked with a number of important German scientists, and spent roughly 30 years with IBM. She is the proud mother of two children, through whom she has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In her free time, Dr. Duick enjoys traveling, skiing and writing poetry.