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The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

A Message from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing

Building a Nursing School to Meet the Changing Health Demands of Our Community


Heather M. Young, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Nearly three months have flown by since I arrived here at UC Davis Health System and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and I have much to share with all of you regarding the progress of our new school.

First, it is thrilling to hear the excitement from so many people, not just here on our campus, but throughout California and the nation, regarding this unprecedented opportunity for a new school of nursing. I have met with dozens of people over the past several weeks and the amount of support and desire to be involved in this amazing project is both rewarding and humbling.

You may have heard about the nursing summit we conducted here in Sacramento Sept. 21-24 and the results of that meeting of nurse leaders, researchers and educators further clarified the need for this school while also enriching our vision and highlighting areas of synergy.

We heard from experts who agreed with our vision that transforming health care will take transforming nursing education and developing the science of health-care system change. Through both research and education, we will develop nurses who will deliver the highest and best care. We foresaw the 21st century nurse as a facilitator, connector, integrator and leader in promoting patient care and health-care reform.

As the discussion continued, we recognized this incredible opportunity also comes with enormous responsibility. There is only one launch of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis and it must be done right.

Throughout the summit and my meetings with nursing leaders throughout the region and the nation, I listened to this excitement and some caution. Many stressed to me the importance of our first class. Because there is only one first class, it must be composed of students of the highest caliber.

Additionally, to advance nursing education, transform health care and ensure the quality of nurse leaders envisioned by the grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, I determined we must first establish a graduate group entitled “Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership” that will include the new nursing school faculty and other faculty from around the campus. This decision signals a significant change in course. Previous plans had called for students to study within existing graduate programs, which would have allowed for a fall 2009 matriculation date.

After several careful and lengthy discussions about the matriculation date for the graduate programs, we are changing the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership matriculation dates to fall 2010 while maintaining a fall 2011 launch for the bachelor program.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is eager to bring in its first scholars and begin making an impact in nursing education and research. Already, the school boasts one postdoctoral fellow on site, Tara Sharpp, who is funded for two years by the John A. Hartford Foundation. In advance of the launch of the graduate group in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership, the school is actively recruiting additional postdoctoral fellows. These postdoctoral fellows will focus on strategies to transform health care through nursing. By recruiting these positions now, the School of Nursing will begin the important work of advancing scholarship and visibility through published works while simultaneously moving closer toward the goal of developing new nursing faculty. Postdoctoral study in the context of a developing school will provide valuable learning experiences for future faculty who will be equipped to explore uncharted territory and create, innovate and transform health care and education.

All of us involved with the launch of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis are committed to quality and transformation that is apparent at all stages, building a strong message for excellence and setting this school apart from others. The team will not sacrifice either the vision, the quality of faculty or the caliber of students by moving too quickly to matriculate students. The school’s message of innovation and quality education will continue to be strong. I encourage you to watch our Web site at nursing.ucdavis.edu for news of our growth and I will continue to post updates here as well.

As we actively recruit faculty and postdoctoral fellows to develop our research program, the education model and its curricula, we also continue to seek input and advice from various people, including our team here at UC Davis Health System as well as those in our community, region and beyond.

If you have questions, I encourage you to e-mail me at BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.

Heather M. Young, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Click here to read past messages from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing.