A message from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, UC Davis;
Dean and Professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Nurses Leading the Way
Nurses have the privilege of working very closely with individuals and families during important times when health is threatened by illness or injury or when improvements in health are desired. We salute our colleagues who are making a difference in education, research, practice and policy across the nation. Wherever health care is provided, a nurse is likely to be there —hospitals, ambulatory care centers, private practices, retail and urgent care clinics, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living settings, homes, schools, universities, and public and nonprofit agencies. From May 6-12 we celebrate National Nurses Week, an annual opportunity to recognize the full range of the nursing profession’s contributions.
At the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, we are demonstrating that nurses are also leaders who improve the quality of care and expand access to care – in short, leaders who advance health. We are delighted to be contributing to the critical mass of innovative nurses who can lead the changes to improve health care for the future.
More and more, the leadership role of nurses is recognized and celebrated on a regular basis in the media, through coverage of workforce issues, the impact of the Affordable Care Act, the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 “Future of Nursing” report, and initiatives such as the Center to Champion Nursing in America, sponsored by AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nurses lead at the bedside, in the boardroom, throughout communities and in the halls of government. Nurses also lead through research and education, generating new knowledge to guide practice and advance health, and preparing the next generation of health-care professionals.
This June, we will celebrate the accomplishments and graduation of our entire class of eight inaugural Doctor of Philosophy students. With this momentous occasion comes the opportunity to share with you the impact our school has made in developing nursing researchers. We formed the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group, a talented and dedicated group of faculty from more than 10 disciplines, including nursing, medicine, public health, nutrition, psychology, informatics and other fields. This group designed the curriculum to prepare researchers who could discover solutions to complex health-care problems and how to deploy these solutions to improve outcomes for individuals, families, communities and health-care systems. We dreamed of a school where researchers would discover innovations that would inform and improve how we provide care and also shape policy.
The stories of these eight students, who come from diverse professions, backgrounds and experiences, exemplify perfectly the areas we envision creating significant change. We are so proud of them and eager to follow their successes in the next chapter of their careers.
Many of our Ph.D. students examined how to use new technology to improve health care for people with limited access or special needs. For example, Perry Gee, a nurse from Redding, Calif., aimed his research to understand how consumers engage with electronic health records, technology in use today. He now educates future nurses in rural Northern California on how to use this technology to provide better care. Deborah Greenwood, a diabetes nurse specialist with Sutter Medical Foundation, focused her research on how nurses can utilize telehealth monitoring to help patients with diabetes better manage their condition and improve their health.
Two candidates explored the intersection of health and the internet. Susan Perez, a former clinic manager, was interested in understanding how individuals seek health information on the internet when confronted with a health decision. Results of her study suggest that there are fundamental similarities in the ways individuals go about seeking information. Katherine Kim’s work addressed the dearth of knowledge about how government standards, strategies and organizational structures effectively govern data sharing in health care and research. She concluded that the need for flexibility in the development and implementation of policies must be balanced with responsibilities of data stewardship. These findings are crucial to future health-data policies.
Some of our soon-to-be graduates aimed to improve patient outcomes through interventions in care, such as UC Davis nurse practitioner Lori Madden, who studied how temperature management affects outcomes for individuals with traumatic brain injury. Frances Patmon, an emergency room nurse, examined pain management among older adults with the goal of reducing return emergency department visits for older adults who suffer from acute pain.
Another important focus is how to address health care needs among the most vulnerable members of our community. For example, Sheridan Miyamoto, a UC Davis pediatric nurse practitioner, explored how to combine information from several state data bases to better predict and identify children at highest risk for abuse and neglect. Lisa Martinez investigated physical activity and academic performance among Mexican-heritage children, with a goal to reduce obesity and its negative effects in the Central Valley.
Please join me in celebrating this milestone and congratulating our newly minted Doctors of Philosophy. You may visit our website at nursing.ucdavis.edu and click the Students link if you would like to read more about our graduates.
Thank you for joining the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing in this journey. Together, we achieved the dream of opening a new School of Nursing that ignites real change.
One journey. One UC Davis.
Heather M. Young, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, UC Davis
Dean and Professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis