male nursing student in class 

UC Davis leadership is setting the stage for master's and doctoral programs at the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing that will enable graduates to transcend the boundaries of traditional nursing career paths.

"Candidates for the master of science in nursing will be educated interprofessionally to take new leadership roles in a variety of settings," said Ann Bonham, interim associate vice chancellor/dean for the proposed School of Nursing.

As Bonham's team focuses on curricula development at the new school, the program will be designed to graduate the kind of nursing professional who will be best prepared to address the health-care challenges of the 21st century.

"Building a non-traditional, educational model from the ground up is the shared vision that brought UC Davis to the attention of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation," said Bonham. The Foundation is supporting the launch of the School of Nursing with a $100 million grant.

Bonham said a cornerstone of the curricula development for The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is an interprofessional educational plan with the UC Davis School of Medicine.

"Nursing graduate students and medical students will learn side-by-side in a significant proportion of their required and elective coursework. This level of exposure to coursework not traditionally covered in nursing schools will prepare graduates of the School of Nursing to assume leadership roles in a variety of health-care settings," Bonham said.

The vision for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing education meets Institute of Medicine and American Academy of Colleges of Nursing recommendations for educational reform in nursing, particularly at the graduate level. While the growing nursing shortage across the nation is of immediate concern, an examination of the roles played by professionals in both systems management and health-care delivery is leading to rapid educational reform across the nation.

Carol Robinson"A master's prepared nurse who has attained graduate-level competency in the use of informatics is uniquely positioned to influence life-changing decisions in the clinical environment."
— Carol Robinson, director of nursing

In its 2002 summit, the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Health Professions Education proposed a vision of educating health professionals to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team, emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement approaches and informatics.

"A master's prepared nurse who has attained graduate-level competency in the use of informatics is uniquely positioned to influence life-changing decisions in the clinical environment," says Carol Robinson, director of nursing for UC Davis Medical Center.

"The graduates of UC Davis' new program will have the skills and ability to identify, evaluate and apply evidence-based practices to patient care and health-care management decisions. This is a very exciting change in nursing education."

In one significant evolution of academic preparation, this interprofessional paradigm will open opportunities for graduate students in nursing to participate in original scientific research with faculty across the UC Davis campus.

"The rich offering of research programs in the professional and graduate schools on our campus will enable advanced degree candidates to choose a focus — for example, policy, law, or management — as a sub-specialization for their degree," said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor of human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine.

"Leadership positions in health care require a complex array of knowledge and skills that go beyond those acquired in traditional nursing programs. Our graduates will be qualified to take executive management and leadership positions in a range of health-care organizations. They will be able to apply their nursing perspective to leading public health, health policy, health research and other fields critical to the future of our nation."

This blend of interprofessional academic preparation and the nursing perspective is what the transition team and its advisors believe will qualify master-prepared nurses for leadership positions in health-care management systems, public-health agencies, health-policy research institutes, in addition to the traditional clinical environments.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis aims to foster nursing excellence through a comprehensive educational model that incorporates scientific rigor and immersive, interprofessional education for its students. The school is currently conducting a national recruitment for an associate vice chancellor, health sciences, and dean. For more information, visit