NEWS | November 29, 2011

Nurse leaders from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis present at premier gerontology conference


Several nurse leaders from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis recently led meetings and symposiums at two national conferences related to aging and gerontology.

Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and the school's founding dean, convened a symposium at the Gerontological Society of America's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, "Lifestyle Behavior Change Across the Lifespan," Nov. 18-22. The session, which Young co-led with Kimberlee Greteback, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Cornelia Beck, a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, focused on lifestyle behavior change--interventions to identify and modify lifestyle factors that are vital for healthy aging--and related research approaches and funding opportunities. The conference is the premier international gathering of gerontologists. Young also convened the Gerontological Society of America Special Interest Group on Nursing Care of Older Adults. Numbering more than 300 members, this is the largest special interest group within the society.

"Promoting healthy aging and improving systems of care for our aging population is of great importance nationwide," Young said. "The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is focused on developing nurse leaders who will promote system change to improve health for all, including the increasing population of older adults. This commitment is evidenced by our faculty leadership in these national events."

Elena Siegel, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing, made three presentations at the GSA conference related to systems-of-care delivery and work design in nursing homes. She co-chaired the symposium, "Nursing Home Capacity to Deliver Quality Care: A Closer Look at Top Management," which highlighted a growing body of research about the role of the top management team in nursing home settings. As part of that symposium, Siegel presented her postdoctoral fellowship research findings, "Nursing Home Administrators: Education, Training, and Experience to Support Role Performance," in collaboration with Young, who served as Siegel's fellowship mentor, and other colleagues. This pilot study explored the education, training, and experiences that support nursing home administrators' development of the competencies necessary to meet the demands of this licensed position.

"These findings serve as a foundation for further research about the important issue of how we can best prepare and train nursing home administrators to improve the quality and value of nursing home care," Siegel said.

Siegel also co-presented the paper, "A Systems-Focused Context for Understanding the RN Role and Performance." That paper grew out of an international meeting on the role of registered nurses in long-term care settings. Siegel is the primary author, with five co-authors.

Debra Bakerjian, an assistant adjunct professor at the School of Nursing, co-chaired a symposium at the conference on "Optimizing Healthy Behaviors to Maximize Lifespan: Intersections of Research, Education and Practice." Bakerjian's research focuses on nurse practitioners and quality improvement practices in nursing homes and interprofessional education for health-care workers.

At the conference, School of Nursing postdoctoral fellow Casey Shillam chaired, and Young participated, in a symposium titled, "Blueprint for Aging Workforce Strategy: IOM Future of Nursing & Retooling for an Aging America Reports." As part of that symposium, Shillam co-led the session, "The Future of Nursing: Advancing Health for Older Adults." Shillam specializes in gerontology and conducts research under Young's mentorship. Her current research emphasis is gerontological nursing, specifically pain management in older adults.

Earlier this month, Siegel also co-led a session at the 11th Annual Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Leadership Conference in Boston, an invitation-only meeting that is part of the BAGNC program's work to improve the quality of health care for older adults by developing leaders in geriatric nursing. Siegel's session focused on the BAGNC Alumni Association's development of a peer-mentoring program.

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matters to California and to transform the world. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009, UC Davis' first major initiative to address society's most pressing health-care problems in its second century of service. The school was launched through a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation's largest grant for nursing education. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is to transform health care through nursing education and research. Through nursing leadership, the school will discover knowledge to advance health, improve quality of care and health outcomes, and inform health policy. The school's first programs, a doctoral and a master's degree program, opened in fall 2010. Additional students and programs will be phased in over the next decade. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of the UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing UC Davis School of Medicine, the 645-bed-acute-care hospital and clinical services of UC Davis Medical Center and the 800-member physician group known as the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit