Today’s complex health problems cannot be solved through single-discipline research alone. Interdisciplinary research, drawing from nursing, biomedicine, public health, social sciences and other fields, is essential to the complex study of health and illness and to the discovery of creative solutions that are meaningful to society. The School of Nursing, with its values of interprofessional and interdisciplinary education and research, adds a much-needed perspective to the study of health and illness.
Nursing research contributes to the science of individual, family and community health. It is made up of the following areas of investigation:
- Understanding human experience—with respect to health and health conditions, functioning, symptoms, culture, and family experience and involvement—in order to optimize individuals’ capacity to manage illness and achieve health.
- Promoting human health—with respect to physiological and psychosocial functioning, community engagement and health policy—to help individuals achieve optimal health at every stage of life.
- Improving health care and health-care systems—with respect to quality, access and cost—to advance optimal care and resource deployment.
Together, these research areas serve to improve health for all, from the youngest to the oldest. Click here to read an article in the school’s Transform series about how nursing research advances health.
Nursing science research may also be viewed from the standpoint of where its improvements and impacts occur. From that viewpoint, School of Nursing research emphasizes Healthy Systems and Healthy People.
- Healthy People—Research for Healthy People promotes health for individuals, families, and populations in partnership with communities—with an emphasis on aging, rural and diverse populations—and includes community health, public health, epidemiology, gerontology, rural health and health disparities. The school’s faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students discover and share knowledge on the priorities and needs of population subgroups as well as tailor and test approaches to advance health in those groups.
- Healthy Systems—Research for Healthy Systems improves health-care systems and health policies to be effective, efficient and responsive. The scholarly work includes health policy, organizational change, informatics, implementation science and leadership. Healthy Systems research discovers and shares knowledge to analyze, shape, redesign and evaluate health systems.
Research at UC Davis Health System
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is an integral part of UC Davis Health System—an integrated academic health system located on the university’s Sacramento campus. This nationally renowned health system excels at translating scientific discoveries and new technology into improved health care and community-wide health. For fiscal year 2010-11, UC Davis Health System had more than 959 active research grants and contracts totaling $202 million. Research is funded by federal and state governments, private foundations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and philanthropic support.
As one of the leading research institutions in the nation, UC Davis Health System is home to a number of centers and programs that conduct studies on the leading edge of health care, providing established opportunities for students to participate in advanced and pioneering research.
- The Clinical and Translational Science Center
- The Center for Reducing Health Disparities
- The Center for Healthcare Policy and Research
- The Institute for Population Health Improvement
- The National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
- The National Children’s Study Center at UC Davis
- The UC Davis Center for Health and Technology
- The UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center
UC Davis Health System research is enhanced by collaborations with several affiliated institutions, such as Shriners Hospital for Children, the Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System, USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Health Sciences faculty are engaged in innovative collaborations within and outside the School of Nursing and School of Medicine, including collaborations with faculty of the College of Biological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Letters and Science, and School of Education.