Patricia began her career as a nurse in Leeds before moving to Cumbria working as a health visitor, and later moved in to education to pursue her passion for healthcare and training. After three years at Plymouth University as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, Patricia has decided the time is right to return to Cumbria to progress her career.
“I worked in Kendal as a health visitor in the early 1990s,” she said. “Things in healthcare were beginning to change so I started to set up groups and courses alongside traditional health visiting.
“I realised that I needed to learn the right skills to do that, so I went to Kendal College to do a teacher training course. As I finished the course, a job came up at the college and I moved in to further education, which I really, really enjoyed.
“When I got into education I realised that I needed a degree, so I put myself through one at St Martin’s College, which later merged with other institutions to form the University of Cumbria. I then got a job there and worked spanning Cumbria, setting up modules to enable people who were working part-time to get degrees and developed community children’s nursing as part of that.
“I needed an extra qualification, so I went to Manchester and studied to be a community children’s nurse and set up the service in North Cumbria as part of my PhD.
“Once I’d gained my PhD, I realised that I needed to widen my experience, so I worked in London for seven years. My time there was fantastic and I learnt a lot, particularly the importance of networking as I got places on national boards and groups while I was there.
“I then went to Liverpool for four years and spent the past three years in Plymouth as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. The Faculty encompasses eleven health professions and psychology, and I also had a strategic role across the whole university as part of the Executive Board.”
After gaining a wealth of valuable experience during her career, Patricia is keen to bring her expertise back to Cumbria to shape the future of the University of Cumbria.
“My passion is about growth, development and real opportunities,” she said. “It gives me great pleasure to see students and staff growing, as well as knowing that I’ve been part of introducing new provision that will really benefit people.
“The University of Cumbria has such great potential and I want to be part of enabling that. I want to bring back to Cumbria all the things I’ve learnt, the experience I’ve had and the networks I’m a part of to help to enable that growth and development.
“I’m so glad to be back in Cumbria and I feel my experiences bring a lot with them. For me, it’s onwards and upwards now.”