news-category: Academics

GWU Hunt School of Nursing Recognizes MSN Student in Celebration of National Nurses Month

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Christina M. Hollingsworth Cares for Patients While Working on Master’s in Nursing

As nurses around the world are on the frontlines of caring for patients with the coronavirus, it’s appropriate that even before the pandemic began, 2020 was designated as the “Year of the Nurse.” The declaration by the World Health Assembly celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing. Further, the American Nurses Association, which traditionally observes National Nurses Week May 6-12, has expanded the recognition to the entire month of May.

The Gardner-Webb Hunt School of Nursing is celebrating the month by highlighting its students who are either working in the field while continuing their education or are preparing to begin a career in nursing. Christina M. Hollingsworth, of Chesnee, S.C., is a student in the Master of Science in Nursing Administration program at GWU. She received both her Associate (2010) and Bachelor of Science (2019) degrees in nursing from Gardner-Webb.

Hollingsworth shares thoughts about her profession and what it means to her to be a nurse.

Q: What are your job responsibilities?

Hollingsworth: I am a Registered Nurse. I work for Gibbs Infusion Center at Spartanburg (S.C.) Regional Medical Center, where I give chemotherapy to cancer patients as well as medication for anemia, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis. I also work at Cherokee Medical Center (Gaffney, S.C.) in the Emergency Room, where I care for emergency patients as well as others.

Q: Why did you choose nursing as a career?

Hollingsworth: My grandmother was an ICU nurse at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. I remember when I was young, watching her get ready for work. She would put on her white uniform dress with her white shoes and stockings. Lastly, she would place her white nursing hat on her head before she would kiss me goodbye. Later, my mother became a paramedic and my father was a security officer at the emergency room. I grew up around healthcare workers and just always knew I would be a nurse.

Q: How are your nursing professors and GWU classes preparing you for the next level of your profession?

Hollingsworth: They have taught me how to lead, and they are also teaching me how I can make a difference for my patients and my co-workers. They have talked about the importance of participating in nursing associations and how to get involved in policy making when change is needed. I have learned how I can make a difference in policies, plan of care, and create a better and safer environment for the patients and those who care for them.

Q: How has your job changed since the pandemic began?

Hollingsworth: The pandemic has changed everyone’s lives. I am more cautious of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when caring for others, educating my patients on how to wear PPE and ensuring my patients have the ability to care for themselves. I want to make sure my patients understand that they need to be hyperaware of germs, especially on surfaces they don’t think about such as cell phones and money. I find myself volunteering to help get supplies they may need and ensuring they have someone to care for them. I change clothes immediately when I arrive home and wash before interacting with my family. My son and his wife are expecting my first grandson in June. I am very cautious when it comes to the virus and my family.

Q: What does being a nurse mean to you?

Hollingsworth: I love my job and would not choose another profession if given the chance. Nurses choose this profession for the love of caring for others. From holding the hand of an elderly woman so she does not die alone to giving someone a hug when they are told the treatment for their cancer did not work, just knowing you were there to make a small difference in someone’s life makes everything worth it. Nursing is not a career. It is a passion that does not seek recognition or rewards. We are perfectly happy with caring for our patients.

Nurses work as a team. It is not one nurse who made the difference, it is not one healthcare worker who cares for the patient. It is everyone—from the receptionist who checks the patient in with a smile to the person who cleaned the area and the inventory guys who make sure the patient does not run out of supplies. It takes a team to care for the patient, and they all need to know they are a part of something special.

Learn more about the Hunt School of Nursing.

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