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7 Summits: A Nurse's Quest to Conquer Mountaineering and Life

Author(s): Patrick Hickey, DrPH, RN, CNOR, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
  • ISBN-13: 9780763772635
  • Paperback    179 pages      © 2010
Price: International Sales $59.95 US List
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7 Summits: A Nurse's Quest to Conquer Mountaineering and Life tells the story of how hard work, persistence, a belief in oneself, and the support of family and friends can get one to the top of the world. This book is the story of Patrick Hickey’s journey as an insecure youth dealing with the challenges of rural life, meager financial resources, and awkward peer interactions. Despite his challenges, he harbored dreams of adventure, faraway places, and success in life. A support network of family, friends, and eventually co-workers played key roles in his direction to a successful career as a university nursing professor, an adventure traveler, and the first nurse in the world to successfully summit the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents of the world. This book explores the broader perspectives of goal setting, motivation, dedication, and the pursuit of challenge in the face of extreme adversity. This book is a captivating story and a must-have for every practicing or student nurse.


A portion of the sale of this book supports the "Nurses Can Do Anything" Scholarship established by Dr. Hickey in the Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association (

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Chapter 1  Mt. Everest
Chapter 2  Balance
Chapter 3  Wellness
Chapter 4  Goals
Chapter 5  Attitude
Chapter 6  Potential
Chapter 7  Success
Chapter 8  Legacy

Patrick Hickey, DrPH, RN, CNOR-Clinical Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

Patrick Hickey RN,BSN,MS,MSN,Dr.P.H.,CNOR is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, SC. Mr. Hickey acquired his Diploma in Nursing at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, his Baccalaureate in Nursing at Corpus Christi State University in Corpus Christi, Texas, and his Masters of Science in Health Education, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctorate in Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.

Mr. Hickey has dedicated his 32 years of nursing experience to creating positive experiences for patients and their families as he has advocated for safe, efficient, and quality nursing care. He has had a long and distinguished career in which he has functioned in a variety of roles which has enabled him to view health care from a variety of perspectives.

Mr. Hickey’s career started as a Medical Surgical Nurse where he gained a valuable base in nursing. From here he progressed to work as a staff nurse in a Coronary Care Unit and soon afterwards a Nurse Manager position in the Emergency Department of a Level One Trauma Center. Mr. Hickey next transitioned to the Operating Room setting where he progressed from a staff nurse to Assistant Nurse Manager, and then Educator. A departure from the Operating Room resulted in a position as Director of Performance Improvement and eventually Risk Manager. It was in these latter roles that Mr. Hickey was most effective in implementing patient safety measures that were to save innumerable lives.

Mr. Hickey has been very involved in his nursing profession as a contributing member on a variety of professional organizations. He has been very active in the perioperative nursing community at the local, state and national level and served as a national board member for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Additionally he has been involved with the South Carolina Nurses Association (SCNA) on a variety of committees, and has been a member of the American Nurses Association, Hispanic Nurses Association, Transcultural Nurses Association, and American Public Health Association. Mr. Hickey has volunteered his professional time as a member of the SC State Board of Nursing’s Investigative Review Committee as well as the Panel Hearing Committee and in these roles has been able to keep current with the challenges that nurses experience in their professional careers.

In his local community Mr. Hickey has served on numerous Boards to include the SC Hispanic Health Coalition, Hispanic Outreach, Partners of the Americas, and the SC Association of Hospital Risk Managers. He has been a member of the SC Rural Health Association, the SC World Affairs Council, and most recently a Steward for the United Way.

Mr. Hickey has been the recipient of many recognitions for his work to include being a member of the inaugural Palmetto State’s top 100 Nurses – the Palmetto Gold Award in 2002, SC Partners of the Americas Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004, and SC Nurses Association Presidents Award for Service in 2007.

In his spare time Mr. Hickey is an avid adventurer as he enjoys camping, hiking, and travel with his wife Carol. Together they have explored 57 countries around the world. On May 24, 2007 Mr. Hickey completed the 7 Summits of the World (highest mountain on each of the 7 continents) when he stood atop Mt. Everest. In doing so he became the first nurse in the world, and one of only 120 people in the world to complete this “holy grail of mountaineering”. He has been described by the press as “a cross between Florence Nightingale and Indiana Jones” … despite his extreme fear of heights!


  • “Pat's quest to conquer the seven summits is an amazing story filled with high risk and personal satisfaction.  It is not a quest of wealth but of personal measurement and of opportunity to ensure a strong future for the profession of nursing.  I hope you enjoy joining Pat on his adventures to the 8 highest points in the world  - the seven mountain tops and the classroom full of nursing students.”

    William Duffy
    Vice President, Nursing
    NorthShore University HealthSystem


    “Patrick Hickey shares a remarkable story of persistence, aspiration, and achievement in his book 7 Summits. His story will appeal to many who have an adventurous spirit, compassionate heart, and determined will.”

    Daniel J. Pesut
    Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
    Indiana University School of Nursing



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