Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis graduate student Patricia Gonsalves is one of only 20 students chosen to participate in the Los Rios Community College Faculty Diversity Internship Program, which provides hands-on training and experience working in a classroom setting at the community -college level. The competitive program, within the second largest community college district in California, was created to support the development of a diverse pool of future community-college instructors.
"I am inspired and excited to be a part of such a competitive program," Gonsalves said. "I feel this is an important step in reaching my goal to obtain a position as a full-time nursing faculty member."
For the past year, Gonsalves worked full-time at Dignity Health Sacramento and San Joaquin Service Area Transfer Center while also working toward a master's degree in the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Program at UC Davis. In her Dignity role, she triages and manages internal and external transfers within the region based upon need and facility resources. Previous to that, she was a clinical nurse at UC Davis Health System's Women's Pavilion, Labor and Delivery Unit, where she provided telephone triage, bedside assistance and peer education in an effort to improve newborn outcomes.
Gonsalves said the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing appealed to her because of the vision to advance health through nursing leadership, education and research.
"I have a developing desire to change health care by teaching those around me" Gonsalves said. "At the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing I have become more confident about my skills as an educator. I am provided the tools to take what I have learned and turn around and do the same for others."
The Faculty Diversity Internship Program, now in its 23rd year, was developed to recruit qualified faculty who mirror the district's student population and are committed to diverse perspectives.
Gonsalves, now a second-year student, said her passion is nurse education. Over the course of her career as a bedside nurse, she spent time teaching women and families about postpartum care and triaging individuals in the emergency room. She added that her fluency in Spanish helped her play an active role in the improvement of individuals' health-care experiences and overall health outcomes.
The internship program provides the hands-on experience Gonsalves wanted to supplement her education at the School of Nursing. Through the program, which supports internships in a variety of disciplines including nursing, interns participate in 34 hours of experienced faculty instruction prior to the 16-week internship in an educational setting with a faculty mentor. Gonsalves was accepted after an in-depth interview process, which included an impromptu lecture.
In addition to her acceptance into the Los Rios Community College Faculty Diversity Internship Program, Gonsalves received the State Nursing Assumption Program of Loans for Education for Nursing Faculty. The state program encourages nurses to complete their graduate degrees and serve as nursing faculty at an accredited California college or university. It pays up to a total of $25,000 on outstanding student loans over the course of three academic years for teaching nursing on a full-time basis.
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009 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 discovers 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 UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, the 619-bed-acute-care hospital and clinical services of UC Davis Medical Center and the 1000-member physician group known as the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit nursing.ucdavis.edu.