uc irvine school of nursing alum class of 2021 kevin nolasco

Our weekly Alumni Spotlight series features updates on the outstanding graduates of the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. Kevin Nolasco, class of 2020, shares what it was like to be a nurse working in a pandemic.

Where do you work?

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital

What is your title?

COVID support nurse

How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

It impacted my education and clinical experience. I finished my nursing schooling online and had my preceptorship canceled. Dealing with home life on top of that was also hard. My parents are much older and or higher risk, so dealing with the risks of COVID has been difficult.

What initially drew you to the nursing profession?

The qualities of the nursing role were what really drew me in. I was looking for a profession with a certain “combination of art and science,” per se. I wanted to apply my passions for social sciences and hard sciences into one career, while knowing that I could make an impact. So in this sense, my pursuit for deeper experiences and connections through nursing hooked me in.

What do you love most about being a nurse?

I love our ability as nurses to be able to make both an individual and community impact. Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see nurses working with our patients in the hospital and reaching out to our vulnerable communities, too.

We’re involved in so many layers of care, from prevention to direct patient care. I absolutely love this depth to nursing!