Patricia Ann Chamings was born in Lakeland, Florida, on 21 June 1940 and grew up in Leesburg, Florida. She attended Orange Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Orlando in 1958, and after graduating in 1961 worked for a year at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida. Chamings then attended the University of Florida [UF], from which she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing in 1964 and 1965, respectively. She later attended Vanderbilt University, majoring in education, and received her Ph.D. in 1978.
After graduation from UF, Chamings worked as a supervisory nurse at the University of Florida for four years. In 1969, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to take a teaching job at Vanderbilt University Hospital. On April 29, 1970, she was sworn in as a captain in the United States Air Force in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She trained at the Veteran’s Administration hospital across from Vanderbilt until it closed and then went on inactive duty.
In 1974, Chamings joined the Tennessee Air National Guard’s Air Evacuation unit in 1974. She worked as an air evacuation nurse, flight instructor, flight examiner, and educational coordinator until 1984, when she moved to Atlanta to teach at Emory University. Chamings then served with a detachment of the 13th Contingency Hospital at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia until 1987. In addition to her Guard duty, Chamings served as interim dean at the School of Nursing at University of North Carolina Greensboro from 1985 to 1990.
Chamings was based out of Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., from 1987 to 1992. In 1991, she was called to active duty during Operation Desert Storm to help set up a hospital facility at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. From 1992 to 1997, she was command nurse at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base material command. Chamings was an Individual Mobilization Augmentee at the Pentagon until her retirement from the ANG as a colonel in 2000. She retired from her civilian career in 2005.