Rear Adm. Rykowski is a native of Milwaukee. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1976 and a Master of Science Degree in Nursing in 1981.
Rykowski entered the Navy Reserve as a direct commission officer in 1987. She has held various assignments in both medical and fleet hospital units. In 1991, Rykowski was recalled to active duty service in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm assigned to Naval Hospital Oakland. Upon release from active duty, she served as department head, Medical Clinic, Treasure Island, Calif., and later transferred to Naval Hospital Oakland 120 where she served as executive officer. From 1996 to 1999, she affiliated with Naval Reserve (NR) Fleet Hospital 500 Combat Zone 9. Detachment S, Alameda, Calif., where she held assignments of training officer, assistant Officer in Charge and Officer in Charge. In 1999, Rykowski joined NR Naval Hospital Bremerton and served as Officer in Charge. She later affiliated with the Headquarters Staff and served as Command Training Officer. In 2003, she was recalled to active duty service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, assigned to Health Care Operations, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Wash. Upon return to reserve status, Rykowski assumed the position of director, Health Services, Readiness Command Northwest, Everett, Wash.
Rykowski commanded Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton until her mobilization in 2007 to serve with the Navy Expeditionary Medical Unit 08 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where she held the position of chief nurse, Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center. Upon her return, she served as Reserve Surgeon, Commander 3rd Fleet, San Diego.
In the civilian sector, Rykowski is a nursing director at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Army Commendation Medal and various unit and service awards.