A lively wit and a warm personality together with a quiet sense of determination enabled Sister Kathleen to excel in professional and personal relationships.
Sister Kathleen McKiernan (Sister Dolores Elizabeth) was born February 8, 1934, in Manhattan, one of seven children, three daughters and four sons, of Patrick and Elizabeth Cogan McKiernan. Kathleen attended Ascension Elementary and Cathedral High School, both in Manhattan, before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1951.
Sister Kathleen received her RN after attending Saint Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing, Manhattan. A BS in Nursing from Hunter College, an MA in Medical/Surgical Nursing from New York University and a Master of Education (Ed.M) in Supervision and Nursing Services from Teachers College of Columbia University followed. Additionally, she was awarded New York State Permanent Certification in the fields of Nursing Home Administrator, Gerontology and Nursing Administration.
Sister Kathleen committed fifty-three years of active service to the healing ministry of nursing through a variety of fields. For three years she worked as a staff nurse and assistant head nurse at Saint Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan. For nine years she used her skills and education for the training of future nurses as an instructor of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology at Saint Vincent’s School of Nursing and, later, as its Associate Director. She also served as Associate Director of the School of Nursing at Saint Vincent Hospital, Staten Island, and joined the Adjunct Faculty at Pace University, Manhattan, in the Associate Degree Nursing Program.
Sister Kathleen’s abilities, training and experience made her well-suited to serve for forty-one years as an administrator of various nursing programs and services. During these years, she directed the Nursing Service of Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Yonkers, and, at intervals for a total of nineteen years, was Administrative Coordinator of Cabrini Nursing Home, Dobbs Ferry. She also directed the accreditation services of the New York City office of the National Association of Practical Nurse Education and Service, and fulfilled the roles of both a Supervisor and Branch Chief of Survey and Certification for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services Finance Administration in the New York area. In addition, she offered volunteer services at the Westchester County YWCA Children’s Center in White Plains and, in her retirement years, at a Lifeway Network safe house. In 2020, Sister Kathleen retired at Mount Saint Vincent Convent, the Bronx.
A lively wit and a warm personality together with a quiet sense of determination enabled Sister Kathleen to excel in professional and personal relationships. She always remained close to her family and faithful to her friends. The strains of an Irish step-dance would set her feet tapping as she led any gathering to the dance floor. May she rejoice now with all those who preceded her into the heavenly kingdom. Blessings on you, Sister Kathleen, faithful Sister of Charity.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Kathleen was offered on September 4, 2020, at St. Margaret of Cortona Church in Riverdale, New York. A moving eulogy was offered by Sister Kathleen’s dear friend, Sister Karen Helfenstein. Click here to watch the eulogy. A PDF of the eulogy is also available: https://scny.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Eulogy-for-Sister-Kathleen-McKiernan-SC.pdf
Date of Death
August 31, 2020
Private Wake & Funeral
St. Agatha Cemetery
Archdiocese of New York
- St. Vincent Hospital, Manhattan
1957–58, Staff Nurse
1958–60, Adm. Supervisor, Assist. Head Nurse
1989–90, Admin. Resident
- St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing
1962–66, Assist. Director
- St. Vincent Hospital, Staten Island
1966–68, Assoc. Dir., School of Nursing
- St. Joseph Hospital, Yonkers
1968–73, Dir. of Nursing Service
- Pace University, Manhattan
1973–74, 1984–85, 1989–90, Adjunct Faculty, Assoc. Degree Nursing Program
- National Assn. Practical Nurse Education & Service, NYC
1973–83, Dir., Dept. of Education Accreditation Services
- Cabrini Nursing Home, Dobbs Ferry
1983–91, 1999–01, Admin. Coordinator
2001–2010, Per diem Admin. Coordinator
- U.S. Dept. HHS
1991–94, Health Care Finan. Admin. Supervisor
1994–99, Health Care Finan. Admin. Branch Chief
- Westchester County YWCA Children’s Center, White Plains
2001–04, Volunteer Services
- Lifeway Network Safe House