Beloved Nursing Professor, Mark Klimek, Retires

by Kathryn McDonald

Professor Mark Klimek has been teaching at Cedarville University in the School of Nursing since 1983, and has seen the program grow from 30 students in the very first graduating class to over 500 students enrolled in the program as of the 2020-2021 school year. 

Mark’s plan, however, was not always to be a nurse. Starting out as a chemistry major planning to study pharmacology, Mark realized that his color blindness would not allow him to study chemistry due to the use of techniques such as chromatography which rely on the ability to distinguish between colors. At the suggestion of his brother, Mark switched to the nursing program instead and has not looked back since.

“I love it. It’s the greatest thing,” he said. 

Klimek has worked in a variety of settings outside of the classroom. His work as a nurse has included rehabilitation nursing, cardiac care, surgical intensive care, medical intensive care, neurological intensive care, and psychiatric inpatient care. Each experience provided him with the applicational knowledge to teach students what it means to provide care in a range of contexts. 

“You can’t just teach it from textbook knowledge, you have to actually experience it,” Klimek said. “You have to actually apply the principles and apply the knowledge to actual care of patients.” 

Klimek’s passion for teaching students what it means to think critically and articulate their knowledge well has enabled him to make an important contribution to the education of thousands of students. 

Today, Klimek’s favorite class to teach is Culture and Health. This interactive and engaging class allows students an opportunity to investigate how health is viewed through the contexts of different cultures. 

Mark’s philosophy is that learning is more than just listening to lectures. His favorite moments in the classroom are when students engage with the material. “I’m really into getting students to talk, discuss, think about, respond to issues and problems and really getting them to talk about things.” When students immerse themselves in the material and discuss it, learning happens at a deeper level. 

Klimek is able to care for people best when he views them holistically. Many of the problems that medicine and psychiatry cannot solve are spiritual problems.

“I just think that a person of faith is the best person in the world to take care of you because they are the ones that are qualified to care for your whole person,” he said.

He also shares that he tries to influence students to think about the whole of the person and ask themselves how Jesus, our master physician would care for this person.

After 38 years of faithful ministry and teaching in the nursing program, Klimek announced that he would be retiring from his position at Cedarville University at the end of this academic year. 

Klimek leaves a legacy at Cedarville.  His colleagues and students have been greatly impacted by his dedicated service.

Angelia Mickle, Dean of the School of Nursing, said, “I’m just amazed that over the past thirty-seven years he has literally breathed nursing into and formed every single nursing student that has graduated since the first nursing class that graduated in 1985.”

“He is just very passionate about his job and it makes the students excited to learn,” says current student Katie Seher.

This statement was echoed by other students like Trevor Meuller, graduate of the nursing program.

“He communicates in a very memorable way,” Meuller said. “So sometimes he gives you ways to remember things, other times it’s just the way that he communicates something that is so memorable.” 

Kristi Coe, a former student and current colleague of Klimek, said, “I think it’s very easy to see where he is now, an incredibly successful nationally known business for NCLEX review. But as I’ve watched his life closely over the last couple of decades, I think the words that I would use to describe it aren’t necessarily ‘great.’ It’s faithful and obedient. There wasn’t anything great about deciding to leave a large metropolitan hospital to come to cornfields for a brand new start-up nursing program; it was just obeying what God put before him at that time.”

This faithful service is at the heart of what Cedarville teaches its students and Klimek has been faithful to live this out in front of his students and fellow faculty for his time serving with the nursing program. Klimek’s legacy of obedience and faithfulness will be remembered long after the glitter of greatness fades away. He continues to serve as an example of living out an eternal perspective. 

Kathryn McDonald is a sophomore Psychology major and an A&E writer for Cedars. You can probably catch her writing a letter to a friend in the library or drinking coffee from her favorite mug. When she is not at her desk studying, she is probably on her phone catching up with friends or reading her favorite American poetry.

7 Replies to "Beloved Nursing Professor, Mark Klimek, Retires"

  • comment-avatar
    Christie Furrh January 21, 2022 (1:36 am)

    I am 61 y/o LVN of 20 years who recently graduated with ADN & I am studying for upcoming NCLEX. My fellow graduates have been talking about Mark’s lectures. In panic mode, I listened to his “Prioritization & Delegation lecture. I now understand all of the fuss. I will listen to as many lectures between now & Feb 8. Mark simplifies the confusion & has given me back the confidence in myself that I misplaced. His lectures are truly amazing! Thank God he chose to be a nurse educator. I’m on top of the world & I know I will pass the NCLEX now on first attempt. Thank you Mark & I wish you the best in retirement life.

  • comment-avatar
    Deborah P April 10, 2022 (1:27 pm)

    There are so many testimonials to Mark Klimek on the internet: ‘I passed NCLEX because I listened to his lectures’, ‘I used only Mark Klimek’, ‘He teaches you how to think through the questions’, ‘LISTEN TO HIM’. Honestly, I thought at first, ‘What’s the fuss all about?’ Then I listened to his lectures. Wow. Whoa. It changed me. Reminding us that we know what we know is priceless. Thank you for being you and helping us all learn to think critically, Professor Klimek. My confidence level has risen. God Bless You on this next phase of your Journey in Life.

  • comment-avatar
    Jacquie September 22, 2022 (5:20 pm)

    I’ve heard so many nursing school students especially on nursing facebook pages talking about Mark Klimek and I was wondering who’s this guy that everyone talks about. Not until yesterday that a friend who just passed NCLEX-RN and has been listening to his lectures reached out to me. He was so excited about passing and was saying it was all thanks to Mark Klimek lectures. So I told him to send the lectures and yesterday I listened to his popular prioritization/delegation lecture that he’s well known for. OMG!! I was listening and think mmmh I like this guy. I like what he’s saying and how he’s teaching. Now I cant get enough of his lectures. He’s simply amazing how he breaks down things to make it easier to understand. I’m now listening to his lectures everyday for the next 3weeks until my NCLEX-PN test and I already feel confident about passing. It’s sad that he’s retiring but he is a true definition of a life well lived and the legacy he’s leaving for impacting lives in the healthcare/nursing workforce. I wish him all the best and I hope he can read this comment.

    • comment-avatar
      Dawn January 24, 2023 (5:40 am)

      Thank you Mark Klimek.
      I passed the RN NCLEX due to your lecture videos.
      I’m over the moon!!!!
      I have learning disabilities and you made it so easy.
      Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • comment-avatar
    Ronke November 30, 2022 (8:45 pm)

    I just came across Mark Klimek today after hearing his name over and over on Facebook. I listened for 1 hour and I felt so confident! I was running around my house telling my family this guy is really good! You have truly delivered your purpose to the world, you have ran a good race and the price is awaiting you. May your days be healthy and peaceful. Thank you so much for your impactful legacy

  • comment-avatar
    RC November 7, 2023 (5:46 pm)

    Marks lectures truly are the best!! It’s no surprise he’s so beloved by all. I wish all nursing schools taught the way he did, he teaches in a way that is soo easy to understand. I found myself saying “Is that what they meant?” “I get it now” so many times when listening to his lectures. Thanks to him I passed my NCLEX! Thank you sir!

  • comment-avatar
    Monique May 22, 2024 (12:46 pm)

    The best of the best. I love you Sir Mark K. I wouldn’t be where I am today (happy and successfully working and thriving in this nursing profession) without your amazing lectures that’s everywhere on the internet. You’re second to none. I’m forever grateful. Thank you for your existence. Take care Sir.