A Message from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing; Dean, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
Celebrating nurses and the future of the nursing profession
The May 12, 2011, celebration of Florence Nightingale’s birthday and the culmination of National Nurses Week come at a pivotal time for nursing. There is a nationwide rallying call to action that can unite the nursing profession, mobilize support from all stakeholders in health, and catalyze meaningful advances in health-care delivery and ultimately improvements in the health of individuals, families and communities.
Momentum continues to build for needed changes in both health-care delivery and the education of health-care professionals, specifically in nursing. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing positions us with the perfect opportunity to lead and make a difference as we tackle these important issues for the benefit of the populations we serve.
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and UC Davis Health System are actively engaged in implementing recommendations of the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” This report outlines a series of strategies to improve our health-care system and advance health for our population through nursing. Several members of our team are in leadership roles in the California Regional Action Coalition, one of five statewide coalitions to pilot implementation of the report’s recommendations. Already, UC Davis Health System convened a lively discussion on our campus, with more than 150 engaged stakeholders attending in person and another 300 joining the conversation via web conference. We plan to host another event, this one specifically to seek input from consumers of health-care services, on Aug. 4.
The IOM report on the Future of Nursing has stimulated a great deal of productive conversation in our school, and there are several areas that we have identified as core to our education, service and education missions:
- The report calls for educating nurses for the future, and increasing the number of nurses with advanced degrees. Our graduates need to deal with nursing practice as it is now, but more importantly, they need to be equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to move nursing practice to the future, through innovation and system change. UC Davis is contributing to the goal of increasing the number of nurses with doctorates, necessary to address the growing faculty shortage.
- Another recommendation is to optimize the role of nurses in health care. As we educate nurses, particularly as we teach them to innovate and develop new models to serve the population, it is essential that we address issues that get in the way of nurses practicing to the full extent of their education. We must grow and equip students with the confidence and skills to support their imagination as they fully realize their roles in society.
- The report also emphasizes nursing leadership. Now is the time to focus and apply that leadership, practice expertise, commitment to and understanding of how to promote health, expertise in translating research into policy, and influence in policy arenas, as well as developing leaders through our education.
- Finally, and I will argue, most importantly, our students are our future. They are learning at this amazing time in history. Their engagement is essential to shape the future that they will enact. We engage our students in meaningful ways in developing the solutions our society requires. We can use this opportunity to call them to leadership and we can support their growth and development toward the future we all prefer.
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis opened last fall to the first Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership graduate students of eight doctoral and 25 master’s degree students. We recently admitted a second cohort of the same size for this fall. I am pleased to report that we truly have a “first-class” first class – our students are thriving and we are delighted with their creative ideas, drive, and impressive academic performance.
Throughout this inaugural year of classes, we offered a variety of opportunities developed to underscore the school’s commitment to innovative education, including an interprofessional course on cancer health disparities for medical and nursing students and the Community Connections course, a field-work course where master’s degree students work in partnership with community organizations and agencies.
The work of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing would not be possible without the many partners who also believe in our collective vision to transform health-care through nursing leadership, education and research. Thank you for your partnership and commitment to advance health in our communities and nation. You can learn more about the work at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing when you visit the school’s website at nursing.ucdavis.edu.
Together, we will unleash the power and passion of nursing!
Heather M. Young, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing
Dean, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis