NEWS | April 22, 2011

Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing faculty, students earn honors at annual Western Institute of Nursing conference


The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis received two awards last week at the Western Institute of Nursing Conference in Las Vegas. One award recognized a UC Davis faculty member for her research efforts and the other was a school-wide award for a skit presentation by students and faculty at the conference.

Assistant Adjunct Professor Debra Bakerjian received the Western Institute of Nursing/John A. Hartford Foundation Regional Geriatric Nursing Research Award for a New Researcher. She was selected from nominations across the Western United States to recognize her use of interprofessional models to enhance the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of care-delivery systems in nursing homes.

Photo pf Bettu Irene Moore School of Nursing Assistant Adjunct Professor Debra Bakerjian
Debra Bakerjian

"I am extremely honored that my colleagues nominated me for this prestigious and competitive award," Bakerjian said. "Nurses need to work to the full scope of their practice within a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment, as the recent Institute of Medicine 'Future of Nursing' report stated. The research I conduct will provide a better understanding of ways to model best collaborative practices while supporting that recommendation and will also have a direct impact on how nurses are educated."

Bakerjian was presented with the honor at the April 14 Awards Luncheon at the conference in Las Vegas. Since 2001, the Western Institute of Nursing has honored one new and one senior researcher who make outstanding contributions to enhance the care of older adults. The Western Institute of Nursing includes more than 25 nursing schools from across 12 western states.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing and Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing Heather M. Young and Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus of Sociology and Nursing at UCSF School of Nursing, nominated Bakerjian for the award.

"Dr. Bakerjian is a rare new researcher who combines a highly relevant, high-impact area of research with practice and policy action," Young said. "Her leadership will assure that this important research is translated into wide adoption and practice."

Bakerjian's research primarily focuses on the work of nurse practitioners, physicians and physician assistants in nursing homes and linking patient quality of care to outcomes. She also researches the transitions between acute-care facilities, nursing homes and assisted-living centers; chronic disease management; pain management; quality of care and of life; and education for health-care workers.
"As a nurse practitioner, I have been caring for patients within a collaborative practice model for 20 years," Bakerjian said. "My research stems from these experiences. I am interested in how health providers work individually and collaboratively and how they influence the system of care to improve the lives of patients and staff in nursing homes. First we need to know what types of care or systems give us a better outcome and then policy and education can follow."

Past Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing recipients of the Geriatric Nursing Research Award include Young (Senior Researcher, 2007), Assistant Professor Elena Siegel (New Researcher, 2008) and Postdoctoral Fellow Casey Shillam (New Researcher, 2010).

More than 22 School of Nursing faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students participated in the poster sessions and symposiums at the Western Institute of Nursing 44th annual conference. The 2011 research conference, which ran April 13-16, concluded with the annual RIFF-RAFF Reception, where faculty and students from six schools presented a four-minute skit based on nursing education and research. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing skit, "WIN Side Story," parodied the Broadway music "West Side Story" with an illustration of the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods in nursing research. The presentation included more than 20 School of Nursing students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and staff as rival gangs: the Qualitatives and the Quantitatives. Young portrayed Florence Nightingale, who encouraged the two gangs to work together using mixed methods.

For their win, participants received the Golden Dung Award, a traveling trophy that is showcased by the winning school.

"I have coveted this award for many years," Young said. "But on a more serious note, I am even more thrilled with how we won this award. This skit was created, produced and led by the students. They brought everyone together to collaborate and produce with the intention of winning. I am very proud."


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