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Thursday, September 23, 2021

UC Davis breaks ground on new $50 million nursing building

BETTY IRENE MOORE SCHOOL OF NURSING / UC DAVIS
BETTY IRENE MOORE SCHOOL OF NURSING / UC DAVIS

Betty Irene Moore Hall to open on Sacramento campus fall 2017.

On Nov. 15, UC Davis held a groundbreaking ceremony on its Sacramento campus to celebrate the beginning of construction for the new Betty Irene Moore Hall.

The $50 million hall, which is expected to open in fall 2017, will be the central building for the university’s already established Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing located on UC Davis’ Sacramento campus.

Established in 2009, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing was made possible through the $100 million endowment by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation’s largest grant for nursing education. Gordon E. Moore, the foundation’s creator, is famous for his breakthroughs in transistor technology, including the discovery of the self-named “Moore’s Law.” The nursing school is named after his wife, Betty Irene Moore.

“On the behalf of the entire UC Davis community, I want to thank the Moore family […] for their trust [in] us that we can build this innovative school and facility,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi in a speech during the ceremony. “When it started, it was an amazing dream to really provide a new way to educate nurses, and to create the nursing profession for the 21st century.”

The building is a part of the 2010 Long Range Development Plan for the UC Davis Sacramento campus to expand research, education and student enrollment.

The 70,000 square-foot, three-story building is more than a series of classrooms, according to Katehi. Its different types of learning spaces offer innovative ways of learning through collaboration and hands-on experience. The hall features open spaces, re-arrangeable walls and areas with writable whiteboard walls.

Suites in the building will also host lab simulations to train students to make critical decisions under stress and urgency in order to bridge the gap between classroom instruction and clinical practice. Scenarios include treating mannequins with responsive technology to simulate human responses and diagnosing patients or interacting with families portrayed by actors

“Today’s groundbreaking is of course [the] next step in our institution-wide effort to bring this university to the 21st century, but not just to bring it, but make it the university of the 21st century,” Katehi said. “This is the first school and the first building that will showcase our dream about the future.”

The dream Katehi is speaking of is transforming the way UC Davis educates its students. Through the hall’s innovative features, Katehi believes that the university is moving away from the education system’s traditional lecture hall format to one that is more interactive where students are responsible for what they learn and become more engaged.

The flexible uses of the building are also meant to evolve with the changing and complex problems of healthcare in order develop leaders in health who can address these future problems, according to Katehi.

Jennifer Mattice, a 2012 alumna of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, spoke at the ceremony on the problem in nursing education and practice, and what her alma mater did differently.

“In 2010, before I started the program, I was […] a burnt-out nurse,” Mattice said. “When I was interacting with the patients and the families, I loved my job. But the minute I stepped out of that patient room, something changed in me […] and all I could see were the problems that surrounded me, and I had no voice for the solutions I had come up with. I really felt stuck.”

Once accepted into the program, Mattice felt it allowed her to lead the change to problems that surrounded her in the nursing profession. Her education there helped lead her to her new current job as a clinical nurse educator at the UC Davis Medical Center.

“This program […] gave me the tools to be able to look in a mindful way, bring the right stakeholders to the table, and come up with a solution that worked for everybody,” Mattice said.

The Betty Irene Moore Hall will continue the nursing school’s goal to provide innovative ways of healthcare teaching and research through its interdisciplinary format. This gives both students and faculty of diverse disciplines the opportunity to learn from each other’s perspectives from studies as various as nursing, medicine, health informatics, nutrition, biostatistics, pharmacy, sociology and public health. The Moore family chose to endow UC Davis due to the interdisciplinary nature of their program.

Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean of the Moore School of Nursing, explained that the collaborative and experiential education the school envisions finds its roots in the creation of the hall itself.

“Many people contributed to the design and the construction of the Betty Irene Moore Hall,” Young said. “I think what this speaks to is the volumes about what the school is and what it aspires to be in the future— collaboration is key.”

Written by: Viet Tran – campus@theaggie.org

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