This fall, UC Davis will continue its innovation in the field of health as it ushers in the inaugural class of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the first doctoral nursing program in the inland northern California and Central Valley areas.
A $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation’s largest grant ever for nursing education, made the program possible. Generous financial aide is promised to those in the program’s first cohort, with master’s degree students promised $6,700 a quarter for a minimum of five quarters while doctorate students are eligible for $20,000 a quarter for at least twelve quarters, according to a press release.
“We are committed to supporting the development of the leaders of tomorrow,” said Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing for UC Davis Health System and founding dean for the School of Nursing. “Substantial financial support will give talented students the opportunity to study at UC Davis.”
Though these amounts are only promised to the first group of students admitted to the school for fall 2010, program officials plan to extend financial support to future students as well.
“[Financial support] will be continued, maybe not to the same level or to every student,” said Jenny Clark, communications officer for the School of Nursing Dean’s Office. “We will assess this on an annual basis.”
The Gordon and Betty Moore foundation is a Palo Alto-based organization established in September of 2000, and has awarded grants to several projects in the UC system over the years designed to improve health.
The School or Nursing at UC Davis will be part of the UC Davis Health System located in Sacramento. Though only Masters and PhD students will be admitted for fall 2010, the program plans to phase in a Bachelor of Science in nursing program in the coming years. When full enrollment is eventually reached in all programs, the school is estimated to house 456 students.
Program officials are unsure about the number of students they will admit for fall 2010, and will come to a decision after assessing the number of applicants they receive as well as the amount of funding allotted by the state budget, Clark said.
The program will offer a unique collaboration with other graduate fields within UC Davis, including medicine, nutrition and public health, said Jeffrey Gibeling, dean of the UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies, in a press release.
“UC Davis is now providing an interdisciplinary Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership program that will play a key role in our contributions to the economic and social well-being of communities,” Gibeling said.
Sophomore cell biology major Hillary Lawson was drawn to the field of nursing by her mother, an Intensive Care Unit nurse. Lawson noted not only the convenient proximity of the new school, but also the potential it has to become an integral part of the UC Davis Health System.
“Personally, I believe Davis could build a solid program because they are already really strong in the sciences and I think the nursing program will blossom here, and I would love to be a part of that,” she said. “There is a chance to build a name for nursing at Davis.”
MEGAN MURPHY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.