alumni spotlight on alex warren uc irvine school of nursing alum 2017Our weekly Alumni Spotlight series features updates on the outstanding graduates of the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. Alex Warren, class of 2017, shares what it was like to be a nurse working in a pandemic.

Where do you work?

CHOC Children’s (pediatric oncology) and St Joseph’s (palliative care)

What is your title?

Clinical Nurse III

How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

It has altered the way that I engage in community. It has pushed me to pursue new ways of connection with myself and others. It has inspired me to dedicate time to self-care, nature, and prioritizing those I love (including myself).

It has humbled me to see the heartache and loneliness that my patients and families feel and has inspired me by the courage of my coworkers.

What initially drew you to nursing?

I wanted a career where loving people could be my career.

What do you love most about being a nurse?

I love being a nurse! It brings my such peace to sit alongside people on their hardest days. I love being able to celebrate the joy of a “last chemo,” embrace a mother tightly after her child was diagnosed with cancer, or to be called “family” by parents as I stand beside them as their child dies.

It is powerful, humbling, joyous, profound and challenging in ways I could have never anticipated. All of these reasons (and so many others) are why one of my favorite ways to describe myself is a nurse!