SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Kerry Patchin grew up on a farm in Emmetsburg, Iowa. A recruiter convinced her to join the Navy after high school. Patchin said the transition from farm life to military life was easy.

“Farm life is hard,” Patchin said. “You have to take directions. You’re used to working hard, long hours, and so oddly enough the military, some of those same ideals, get up early work hard take directions.

As a hospital corpsman, she provided medical care for sailors and marines.

“Under our own supervision we could start IVs, We could do treatments,” Patchin said. “Marines sometimes would come in contact with spider bites, snake bites so we would have to treat those.”

After leaving the Navy in 2005, Patchin attended South Dakota State University. She earned a nursing degree at St. Luke’s College – UnityPoint Health in 2008. Now she teaches the next generation of nurses at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

Patchin said sometimes students have strong skills but struggle to understand the academics of nursing. That’s where she loves to make a difference.

“Skill-wise, people-wise, they have that magical touch,” Patchin said. “They just need help with the book part of it and that’s my passion is to help those students find those resources to excel.”

Patchin has been with Western Iowa Tech since 2017 and is the administrative program coordinator. She helps coordinate clinicals and preceptorships for students who hope to be nurses someday just like her.