GWU Nursing Student Will Continue Studies While Deployed With National Guard

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Hollis Guenther (’19) Serves His Country to Honor Sacrifices of Veterans

Hollis Guenther, left, and Derek Raxter are members of the North Carolina Air National Guard.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University graduate nursing student Hollis Guenther (’19) remembers listening to war stories told by his father and his neighbors in the small Michigan farming community where he grew up. On Veteran’s Day as he prepares for deployment to the Persian Gulf, he thinks about their service in World War II and the Korean War and is filled with appreciation for these men. Joining the Army Reserves helped him pay for college, but it also allowed him to honor their sacrifices.

He left the reserves when he graduated from college, but decided to rejoin the North Carolina Air National Guard as a flight nurse performing aeromedical evacuation. “I had always wanted to do something bigger than myself,” reflected Guenther, a resident of Catawba, N.C. “I talked with some guys at work about how much they enjoyed being flight nurses, and then after Hurricane Katrina, I felt like I just had to do it.”

He enrolled in the GWU Hunt School of Nursing for similar reasons. He is pursuing his Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) concentration to be able to do more to help people. “I’d love to be able to do mission trips in Third World countries,” he offered.

Because many of the courses in the MSN-FNP program are offered online, Guenther can continue to work in his civilian job at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C., and serve his country. In December he will be deployed to Qatar, where he will join a flight crew responsible for evacuating injured soldiers from Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Once he gets there and is settled, he will log into his GWU courses and complete assignments from the Persian Gulf. “I found everyone to be very helpful and willing to work with me as I face several obstacles in doing an online program while deployed overseas,” Guenther stated. “They are really concerned with helping me make the most of my experience.”

National Nurse Practitioners Week is Nov. 13-19. For more information about Nurse Practitioners and the GWU program, click here. 

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).