Former Disney Channel star Jennifer Stone recently got real about being a nurse during the current coronavirus pandemic. The Wizards of Waverly Place alum said she’s “grateful” to be able to help people during this hard time.

For those who missed it, on April 7, the actress revealed that she had officially become a registered nurse via Instagram. As fans know, she had taken some time away from the spotlight over the last few years to focus on her education. She finished nursing school in December 2019, and now, she has joined health care workers at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA on the front lines, to fight against the deadly disease.

“It had been a big milestone for me to get this particular job in the ER at Providence just because that was where I started my nursing journey as a volunteer,” the 27-year-old told Teen Vogue. “Plus, I’m so honored to be learning from and working with these nurses, and helping in any way that I can, especially during this time. That’s why I posted about it. I never thought that it would garner this reaction. I kind of woke up the next day and thought my Instagram had broken.”

She also got real about what it’s been like to start her nursing career during the health crisis.

“I can only imagine for nurses that have been on the floor for a decade how odd it is because protocols have just changed and shifted,” she explained. “It’s very different and it’s an odd time to start working, but I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to actually be able to help.”

That’s not all! Jennifer also shared the similarities that she’s found between her acting career and nursing career.

“What’s cool is the emotional aspect that I experience with acting, and being able to tap into emotional healing,” the 27-year-old explained. “Nobody wants to go to the ER. It’s not fun to sit in the waiting room, and then come and have people poke and prod you. You’re there on somebody’s worst day, so to have the skills that I’ve acquired from acting, to be able to listen, empathize, and a lot of times say, ‘I don’t know what you’re going through, but I want to,’ is really a beautiful blessing.”

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