After caring for her younger brother with his daily needs when she was young, Gwendolyn J. Hollinquest decided to pursue a career in which she could leverage her caregiving skills and compassionate nature. At the inception of her career in 1967, she served as a nurse’s aide and worked in a conservation home in Santa Monica, California. Graduating as a licensed vocational nurse in 1969, she subsequently worked at the Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital prior to attaining her registered nurse degree from Santa Monica College in 1986. While at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, Ms. Hollinquest specialized in oncology and worked within the intensive care unit. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Veterans Administration Hospital in 1986 and remained as a registered nurse for the following 23 years.
Following her tenure at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ms. Hollinquest served as a registered nurse at the Hubert Humphrey Clinic from 2009 until her retirement in 2011. Congruent to this position, she also served the Delano Prison System for two years. Throughout her career, she has accrued many certifications, specifically within the fields of diabetes, wound nursing, oncology, telemetry monitoring, orthopedics and intravenous nursing. Notably, she has created instructional methods for patients to follow prior to their colonoscopy examinations, which improved the examination by 90 percent; as a result, other VA hospitals adapted the instructional procedure to their own clinics.
Ms. Hollinquest has earned myriad accolades for her nursing prowess, including achievement awards for instructional methods employed by hospital staff and performance awards from the VA hospital in recognition of her skills in nursing. She has further maintained affiliation with the Gastroenterology Nursing Society, and subsequent to receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2005, she was inducted as a lifetime member of the University of Phoenix Alumni Association.
Although her career has been abound with highlights, Ms. Hollinquest cites a career highlight to be the resounding impact she has had on her patients over the many decades she served as a nurse. Looking toward the future, she intends to volunteer in a senior center, travel extensively and possibly write a book.