The University of California Board of Regents recently approved the appointment of Heather Young, a nurse leader, educator and scientist from Portland, Ore., as associate vice chancellor for nursing at UC Davis.
Young, a nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health, will lead a new school of nursing at UC Davis, now under review by the University of California Board of Regents. Upon Regents' approval this fall of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, Young also will hold the title of dean at the school.
Prior to joining UC Davis, Young was the Grace Phelps Distinguished Professor, director of Rural Health Research Development and director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence Research at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
"Dr. Young's record demonstrates her ability to inspire the kind of collaboration essential for creating the novel, interprofessional learning environment we are seeking to establish at a new school of nursing," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef.
UC Davis is establishing the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing with a $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the largest philanthropic commitment in the nation in support of nursing education. The UC Davis School of Nursing will bear the name of visionary philanthropist Betty Irene Moore, who with her husband established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
"The emphasis at UC Davis on reaching out to medically underserved communities, improving patient safety and collaborating across multiple disciplines is a great match for my own interests and priorities," Young said. "UC Davis has embarked on a course to create a different kind of nursing school, one that goes beyond traditional boundaries, and I am thrilled to be a part of it."
Young is a UC Davis alumna, graduating in 1981 with her bachelor's degree in dietetics. She later earned an associate's degree in nursing from Sacramento City College, and a bachelor's of science in nursing degree from Southern Oregon State College. Young then went to the University of Washington, where she received a master of science in nursing degree with a specialty in gerontology and a doctorate in nursing science.
Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor of human health sciences at UC Davis and dean of the School of Medicine, said, "Dr. Young's breadth of innovative leadership successes, knowledge of nursing and passion for a healthier world make her a terrific match for our desire to impart to our future students a complex array of knowledge and skills that transcend those of traditional nursing programs. She is the kind of leader who will prepare our nursing graduates to take executive management and leadership positions in a range of health-care organizations. They will be able to apply their nursing perspectives to lead public health, health policy, health research and other fields critical to the future of our nation."
Ann Bonham, executive associate dean at the School of Medicine who was the interim associate vice chancellor for nursing education, said, "Dr. Young is precisely the kind of dynamic and visionary nursing leader we were seeking, someone who will direct the creation of our transformative nursing science program and shares UC Davis' longstanding commitment to diversity and community. She is a well-regarded national leader who welcomes the opportunity for calculated risks and new frontiers."
The new school aims to foster nursing excellence through a comprehensive educational model that incorporates scientific rigor and immersive, interprofessional education for its students. It will provide a comprehensive educational opportunity that couples academic rigor common to both nursing and medicine, with interdisciplinary educational opportunities in basic sciences, humanities, public health, business administration and information technology.
The school anticipates accepting its first class of 50 candidates for the master's of science in nursing program and eight candidates for the doctoral program in the fall of 2009. Candidates for the bachelor's of science in nursing degree will enroll within the following two years.