Jessica Camacho and Jose Fregoso met as nursing students at West Coast University’s Los Angeles campus in North Hollywood. At the end of 2019, after a long night of studying, they found themselves on their first date.
“We went to go eat because we had been studying for about 10 hours,” Jessica said. “I wasn’t aware at the time but apparently that was our first date.”
They shared dating in general would have been close to impossible had they not both been pursuing the accelerated, 39-month program. Their study sessions doubled as time spent getting to know one another.
“There was no other way to do it since we were both working full time while going to school,” Jessica said. “Any free time we had was to study.”
The program itself may have been rigorous but Jessica and Jose found going through it together made all the difference.
“When you have someone going through the same intense program, it doesn’t feel as intense because you’re also seeing somebody you care about and appreciate do it too,” Jose said.
Following their WCU experiences, they both started working at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was sink or swim for both of us,” Jessica said. “I think we both did it really well and that we owe to our education with West Coast University.”
“We would have sunk more than swim if it weren’t for WCU,” Jose said.
While navigating their nursing education and first jobs, they were able to lean on one another for support during a very overwhelming time.
“We definitely leaned into each other for support at our ICU jobs,” Jessica said. “We each have our strengths and are able to bounce ideas off each other. If one of us does not really understand something and the other does, we are able to help each other be better.”
As they continued working through the pandemic, they felt motivated by the national support for frontline workers.
“I do it with all the best intentions and that’s why I decided to go into nursing at all,” Jessica said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point."