Friends and fellow Sharp HealthCare nurses Jerimie Taygon, RN, and Gino Lim, RN, admit their personalities are opposites. Jerimie is quiet and reserved, while Gino is talkative and outgoing, always the life of the party. Both of them admit they never wanted to be nurses but nonetheless ended up in nursing school in 2008. That's where they met and where their friendship began.
Jerimie, a 2004 graduate of Eastlake High School, tried accounting and computer engineering in college and says it just wasn't clicking for him. He couldn't decide on a major, so eventually - heeding his mother's advice - he enrolled in school for training to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN).
Gino admits he got into nursing by accident. In high school, he thought he'd have a chance to improve his GPA if he joined the nursing assistant program. He decided to continue on the nursing track, and when he enrolled in LVN school, a mutual friend introduced him to Jerimie. The two clicked immediately.
Over time, Jerimie and Gino became extremely close. Hanging out with extroverted Gino brought Jerimie out of his shell - somewhat. As friends and study partners, they worked through the nursing program together. According to Gino, Jerimie kept him on track every time they went to the library or had a test coming up.
When they passed the final exam and received their LVN licenses in 2010, they parted ways but kept in contact. Gino was hired at Sharp Rees-Stealy in Scripps Ranch. A couple of years later, he recommended Jerimie to his manager, and Jerimie ended up getting hired at Sharp Rees-Stealy's Mira Mesa clinic.
"When I first started my nursing career, I still wasn't sure if it was the right path for me," explains Jerimie. "Once I started working at Sharp Rees-Stealy, the people I worked with were amazing and the atmosphere made me so motivated. That's when I began to love nursing."
For a few more years, they both worked at Sharp and maintained contact. In 2016, they started talking about going back to school to become registered nurses (RNs). They both submitted applications and were accepted to National University.
Excited, they informed their managers and switched to a per diem, or as-needed, schedule to focus on school. Co-workers threw them a party to celebrate.
Jerimie and Gino's colleagues at Sharp Rees-Stealy threw them a party when the two were accepted to the LVN to RN program at National University.
The next chapter
The LVN to RN program at National University was 1 ½ years, with many days and nights spent at the library. Gino said Jerimie fell back into his old ways, keeping them both organized and on track.
In the spring of 2017, Gino and Jerimie - without planning to - scheduled their board exams on the same day, at the same place.
"We were so eager to get our results," Gino remembers. "We'd stay up until midnight playing video games just to look at the website to see if we passed."
One night, Gino woke up around 3 am and decided to check again. He was ecstatic to see that he passed his exam, and immediately looked for Jerimie's name on the list. He found it. They were both officially registered nurses.
Gino couldn't wait until the next morning, calling Jerimie immediately to share the news.
"I was half asleep and didn't really process what was going on," Jerimie recalls with a laugh. "I said, 'OK, call you back, bye' and hung up."
"Jerimie was the first person I called, not even my wife!" says Gino. "I said, 'Wake up, man! We're RNs!' It was a life-changing moment."
The pair wanted to continue working at Sharp and applied to new graduate programs at Sharp Memorial Hospital, Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in 2017. At the time, Jerimie's wife was pregnant with their first child.
Jerimie landed at Sharp Grossmont Hospital's cardiology department and Gino was hired at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, first as a "floating" nurse and later assigned to cardiology. They remain close. So close, in fact, that Jerimie made Gino the godfather of his daughter, Hana, named after a scenic road in Hawaii.
"Gino is a caring friend, a great nurse, an instructor for LVNs, a go-getter - I could go on and on," says Jerimie. "We always have each other's backs. I love that he loves my daughter. The way he cares for her shows how much he cares for me, and it means so much."
"I don't think I would be where I am without Jerimie, to be honest," explains Gino. "He is very caring, and he always kept me on track. We are opposites and balance each other out. We never realized all these years later, after meeting unexpectedly in LVN school, that we'd be so close now."
Brought together by chance, both finding a career they didn't expect to love, these 2 nurses have built a friendship that will last a lifetime.
Learn more about nursing jobs at Sharp by visiting our careers page.