Alyssa Castillo, ‘13

Alyssa Castillo graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2013. After moving back to her hometown of San Francisco, she began her nursing residency program at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) on a Medical-Surgical/Telemetry unit. Within this fast-paced and diagnostically diverse acute care setting, she was able to quickly apply her experience and clinical skills and continue learning alongside the very capable multi-disciplinary staff.

During her time at CPMC, Alyssa sought out opportunities to improve the unit. She practiced leadership skills through her work as a Super User, who managed, educated on, and audited the transition to newer software; as well as through significant project experience on the unit council. As an active unit council member, she learned how to be an effective representative of the staff as she worked to improve nursing practice and patient care. By identifying areas for possible growth in care standards, safety, and employee satisfaction, the unit council implemented several changes that helped staff ensure consistent, safe and quality care. Her first project created a comprehensive, unit-specific reference book aimed at easing the transition of new hires to the unit, incorporating common policies, procedures, contacts, and frequently asked questions.

In 2017, Alyssa took the next step in her career by accepting a position at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. On the Cardiac Observation Unit, she has been able to pursue her passion of cardiac care, and obtain additional training on specialized equipment called Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) that help with circulation in heart failure patients awaiting transplants. She joined the Unit Practice Council, which is currently working on improving pain management in their patient population, as well as increasing recycling opportunities on the unit. She has additionally performed as the preceptor for a MECN student at the UCLA School of Nursing, and will be taking the Progressive Care Certified Nurse exam this spring.