Faculty Bio: Nicole Patterson, DPT

Nicole Patterson, DPT

Professor & PTA Program Director


  • Modalities
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • PTA Procedures

Teaching Philosophy

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

I vow to set realistic, attainable, but high standards, and clearly communicate what is expected of students in my class. I will encourage all my students to reach their potential, working with all learners and helping those who may struggle. I will connect course material to “real-world” scenarios and I will not only provide information to students, but also explain why it is important for them to understand it. I will seek student feedback and opinions, and remain approachable for any questions and concerns.

I am a firm believer that you learn by doing. Therefore, for as much time as I spend lecturing on a subject, I will try to spend at least that much time in the lab practicing the material. I am passionate about physical therapy, and want my students to develop that passion as well. Student involvement in class and with each other will help to foster a sense of belonging and investment in the profession.


Dr. Nicole Patterson earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Slippery Rock University in 2002. As part of her internship experiences there, she spent time in the Veteran's Affairs Hospital in Pittsburgh, working with children through the Intermediate Unit as well as orthopedic patients in an outpatient clinic. Upon graduation, she was employed by several outpatient clinics focusing on aquatic therapy, women's health and lymphedema treatment. She continues to work on an as-needed basis at an outpatient clinic in Carlisle. Patterson began teaching at Central Penn in 2006. She served as the internship coordinator for five years before transitioning into a purely teaching role. She became the director of the PTA Program in 2014. “I thoroughly enjoy working with our students to help them become successful PTAs,” she says.

Patterson was born and raised in a small town in western Maryland. She moved to Pennsylvania in 2005 and currently lives in Carlisle with her husband and two sons, who keep her very busy, which is good, she says, “Because I don't do well sitting still.”

She spends many weekends at the soccer or baseball fields, watching her sons compete. She enjoys fitness and running (most of the time). “I love vacationing at the beach and crab feasts,” she says. “I’m a Maryland girl through and through.” In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with family and friends.


  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Health Care Education, Washburn University, Topeka, Kan.
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa.
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, Mt. St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Md.


  • PA Licensed Physical Therapist
  • CPR Certified

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