NEWS | February 5, 2015

School of Nursing professor receives grant to develop manual for nursing-home care


Elena Siegel, an assistant professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, received a $299,000 grant from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Center for Regulatory Excellence Grant Program to develop and test a resource manual that directors of nursing can use as a reference to ensure the registered nurses safely and effectively delegate day-to-day tasks in nursing home settings. Siegel hopes her research will advance nursing policy and quality of care in nursing homes.

Elena Siegel Elena Siegel

“We have regulations for nursing practice in every state, yet nursing directors encounter numerous staffing challenges enacting those regulations,” Siegel explained. “This research is at the intersection of practice and policy and holds the promise of improving nursing-home care for all who receive it.”

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, more than 1.4 million people received nursing-home care in 2012. With the aging population expected to escalate, more individuals will require long-term care. In order to meet that need, registered nurses can direct a qualified person to carry out certain nursing tasks they would not otherwise perform. Delegation regulations vary from state from state, and resources to support the director of nursing in the implementation and oversight of delegation practices in accordance with state regulation are limited.  

For the two-year study, Siegel and her research team will convene an expert advisory panel consisting of representatives from state boards of nursing to help develop a set of guidelines that can ultimately serve as a resource for directors of nursing across the country. The guidelines — including flow charts, decision trees, checklists and assessment tools — will reflect the flexibility needed to direct directors of nursing to their respective state regulations.

“This will be a hands-on tool for directors of nursing to effectively lead and manage the delegation practices in their nursing departments,” Siegel said.  “My goal is to equip directors of nursing with valuable resources that enable them to follow policy confidently, protect nursing-home residents in their care and navigate the barriers they encounter on a day-to-day basis in their nursing-home settings.”

Siegel brings multiple perspectives to nursing-home research, including nursing, industrial and organizational psychology sciences, as well as business administration and management experience as a certified public accountant and controller. Her work over the past seven years aims to close an alarming knowledge-practice gap in nursing homes, focusing on the nursing-home leaders who carry overarching responsibility and accountability for quality improvement in the settings under their charge. 

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis transforms health care through nursing education and research. Established in 2009 through a $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the school offers four graduate areas of study, including doctoral and master’s-degree programs in nursing science and health-care leadership and master’s-degree programs for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary-care providers for rural and underserved communities. 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, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit