Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Daughter of Mexican immigrants excels as Navy nurse

Image of Military health personnel posing for a picture. Click to open a larger version of the image. Navy Lt. Karen Jimenez Gudino is a registered nurse at the Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms, Emergency Department, Marine Corps Combat Development Command Twentynine Palms in California, which serves Marines and sailors alike.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Navy Lt. Karen Jimenez Gudino, is not only a registered nurse in the Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms (NHTP) Emergency Department at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command Twentynine Palms in California, she's also the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

They didn't possess strong language skills, but they did possess a sense of ambition for their children and a desire to raise them in the land of opportunity, Gudino explained.

Gudino became interested in healthcare from a nursing program in high school. "Once you complete your first semester of nursing school, you can stand for that board and you can work as a certified nursing assistant in a hospital," she said. During high school she worked in a nursing home. "It was really rewarding being able to help people and save lives," she said. Also during high school, she was in the chess club for four years and served as its president during her senior year. "I'm known as the chess master in the emergency department," she noted.

Gudino earned her registered nursing degree, with a minor in Naval Science, from the University of Arizona through an ROTC scholarship. "It was good training," she said. "It was four years of keeping me in shape and giving me military training that continues to benefit me to this day."

Already with a military predisposition, she looked into pursuing a career in the Navy. "Honestly, when I looked into Navy nursing and what it entailed, I saw big old hospital ships; I saw Navy medicine promoted as the best and the brightest – it just really called to me," she said. "Being part of missions, being able to provide for our active-duty service members – it was a natural choice."

She was commissioned into the Navy in May of 2016, and assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. Soon after she had one of her ambitions fulfilled, when she was assigned to one of those "big old hospital ships," the USNS Comfort. During her deployment aboard the Comfort from Oct to Dec 2018, she got to visit Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Honduras.as part of Enduring Promise 2018.

"I think it was probably the most rewarding thing I've done in the Navy," she said. "There was this one case where I think if it wasn't for us this one little boy probably would have lost his leg. He had a really infected joint and I was part of the team that helped teach the local hospital how to care for his peripherally inserted catheter. Our interdisciplinary team shared our wealth of knowledge and it was hugely rewarding."

Gudino has been at NHTP since August 2019. She said she's taking her future one command at a time. "I just want to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Navy has to offer, whether that's going on another ship or going greenside and getting to do things that as a civilian nurse I wouldn't get to do," she said.

For hobbies, she enjoys hiking in Joshua Tree National Park; and playing tennis and chess.

She's the first in her family to enter the military but she's not the last. "My brother is following my lead," she said. "Of course he had to one up me. He's currently finishing his final year at the Naval Academy."

You also may be interested in...

Future of Nursing: Telehealth, More Innovation and Maybe Some Robots

Article
5/13/2022
Second Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron operating room nurse, briefs Col. Debra Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander, and other base leadership on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at the Keesler Medical Center June 16, 2017. (Photo: Kemberly Groue, U.S. Air Force)

The future of nursing is here due in part to changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus

Army Public Health Nurse offers thank you to nurses across Army: Reminder of where we came from

Article Around MHS
5/9/2022
Military personnel on infographic

U.S. Army Public Health Center thanks all Army Public Health Nurses for the hard work and dedication you show to the communities you serve every day. 

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength

How One Military Nurse Persevered Through the COVID-19 Response

Article
5/5/2022
Air Force Capt. Courtney Ebeling, a medical-surgical nurse at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Family Health Clinic, Texas, was deployed to support the COVID-19 response in Afghanistan in 2021. They administered vaccinations to U.S. citizens, service members, and foreign military members as well as supported the preparation to withdraw from the country. (Photo: Courtesy of Air Force Capt. Courtney Ebeling)

Nurses across the Military Health System have played a vital role in providing routine patient care and meeting the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength | Coronavirus | Nursing in the Military Health System

‘I Love the Intensity’ – One Nurse Recalls Three COVID-19 Deployments

Article
5/5/2022
In 2020, Air Force 1st Lt. Tiffany Parra, an ICU nurse at the 633rd Medical Group, on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, was deployed to a North Dakota hospital to support a FEMA COVID-19 mission. In the photo, she trains on equipment used for critical patients in a North Dakota ICU. (Photo: Courtesy of Air Force 1st Lt. Tiffany Parra)

Nurses are unique, they follow a calling to care for others. Military nurses do that as well as serve their nation. For Nurses Week, the MHS highlights some of their own.

Recommended Content:

Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength | Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus

Despite a low profile, Commissioned Corps nurses are proud to serve

Article
5/12/2021
Military health personnel posing for a selfie

Nurses account for the majority of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, are a tight-knit group, and wear plenty of hats.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Navy certified nurse midwife epitomizes life of service

Article
5/12/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask posing for a picture

Navy nurse contributes to Navy mission while representing Asian Pacific Americans as the only certified nurse midwifes

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Laughter really is among the best medicines, says Air Force nurse

Article
5/12/2021
Military personnel laughing

Air Force Col. Jacqueline Killian, senior nurse scientist for the 711th Human Performance Wing, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, talks about her 2015 PhD research on the health benefits of laughter yoga.

Recommended Content:

| Stress | Nursing in the Military Health System

USU nursing students saved lives, receive medal

Article
5/11/2021
Military personnel during their graduation ceremony

USU Nursing Students Receive Medals for Life-Saving Response

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Join Us!! Fifth Live Town Hall with Brig. Gen. Anita Fligge

Article
5/11/2021
Image of Brig Gen Anita Fligge, Deputy Assistant Director, Education and Training and Chief Nursing Officer

Join us for the MHS' Fifth Live Town Hall with Brig. Gen. Anita Fligge

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Two Munson nurses at forefront of COVID-19 vaccination tracking

Article
5/11/2021
Nurses discussing COVID-19 documentation

Munson nurses Ashley Woodruff and Erin Richter are on forefront of inoculation and tracking of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Military nursing highlighted during National Nurses' Week

Article
5/11/2021
Military health personnel checking patients vitals

Nurse facts by the numbers for 2021 Nurses’ Week

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

MHS Townhall, May 11, 2021

Video
5/11/2021
MHS Townhall, May 11, 2021

Tune in for another MHS and Military OneSource Town Hall with Brigadier General Anita L. Fligge

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Army nurse recognized with national nursing honor

Article
5/10/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask reviewing a patient's record

Army Lt. Col. DeAnna Hutchings was one of only 18 nurses from across the nation -- and the only military nurse -- to receive the 2021 Circle of Excellence award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

Eielson nurse says technology, readiness integral to military nursing

Article
5/10/2021
Military health personnel checking the ears of a patient

Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis, a clinical nurse at Eielson Medical Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, said technology like MHS GENESIS, working with the Army and her commander’s increased focus on readiness have already benefitted her early in her career.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Nursing in the Military Health System

Diversity, flexibility of Nurse Corps members makes them stand out

Article
5/7/2021
Military personnel speaking at a podium

Unified. Reliable. Ready. – National Nurses Week holds special significance after unforeseen events of the past year.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.