UC Irvine School of Nursing alum Justin Reyes, '13, shares his experiences working as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic.Our weekly Alumni Spotlight series features updates on the outstanding graduates of the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. Justin Reyes, class of ’13, shares what it was like to be a nurse working in a pandemic.

Where do you work?

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian — Newport Beach

What is your title?

Nurse practitioner — Advanced Endoscopy, Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery

How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

COVID-19 coincided with our first-born and finishing coursework for my master’s in nursing, family nurse practitioner specialty at CSU Long Beach. Overall, I have been fortunate that the only impact has been the decision to see friends and family less than before.

What initially drew you to the nursing profession?

My mother as a role model, the flexibility of the profession, and the life experiences gained through doing something you love. I love the endless possibilities as a professional in this career.

What do you love most about being a nurse?

The options are truly endless: bedside clinical, outpatient clinical, urgent/emergency care, operating room assistant, clinical education, academia, information technology… The list is endless, which makes for a profession you should never become complacent in.