Mercedes Gallardo graduated with her BSN from West Coast University-Orange County in June 2015 and recently started her first full-time RN job at Torrance Memorial. She recently took some time to speak with current WCU-OC students at a Career Services' Graduate Panel with two other newly minted nurses, where she shared some career advice and lessons learned during her time at West Coast University.
Gallardo’s love for nursing developed early on in her education. “I did a lot of volunteer work at hospitals in high schools and I fell in love with the fact that I would be able to help people daily,” shared Gallardo.
She explained that she was drawn to West Coast University because of the accelerated program, advanced facilities like the SIM lab and opportunities to extern at many great hospitals.
“My experience at West Coast was great,” Gallardo shared. “The SIM lab won me over and the fact that I would have the opportunity to work with other nurses at great hospitals during my externships.”
She also shared that the best career advice she received was to help all nurses during her externship at the hospitals and to stay in touch with instructors throughout her courses.
“Every time I was there (during clinical), I offered myself to help them in any way possible from changing sheets to inserting a catheter, so they knew all the things I could do, no matter how small,” she said.
Her advice for current students?
“It’s going to be a tough two years but keep going you can do it. Offer yourself and take risks so you can get as much experience as possible. It will pay off when you start your first job,” Gallardo said.