Reiko Nagumo was born in Hollywood, California in 1934. In 1942, she was among the 120,000 Japanese Americans sent to internment camps during WWII. After being interned at Heart Mount Wyoming Relocation Camp, she returned to Hollywood to complete public school education. In 1956, she completed her BS, Nursing at UCLA, and went on to complete her Master’s in Nursing with a focus on medical surgery. She also completed her MA in Sociology at Berkley in 1967.
Nagumo started her career straight out of nursing school at UCLA Medical Center in the medical surgery unit. She went on to serve as a Foreign Service Nurse for the US Department of State in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Cairo, Egypt before returning as a charge nurse to Children’s Hospital of Oakland, CA in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. From 1969 to 1995, Nagumo worked for the California Department of Health, first as a Health Consultant, and then as an administrator with California Children’s Services and the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program.
Nagumo retired in 1995 after 26 years of State service. Since retirement, she has volunteered in a variety of positions. She tutored for the Adult Literacy program under the Sacramento Public Library; served as Secretary to the Hemophilia Association; volunteered at an Adult Health Care Center; served as a Docent at the California Museum and the Crocker Museum; and for the past 20 years, she has worked in the Library at Sacramento State University working on the Japanese American Archival Collection and other special collections.
Nagumo values her UCLA education as everything she learned in class was relatable outside the classroom. In addition to learning from her professors, she also benefitted greatly from discussing nursing issues and learning from her classmates.