UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May has named Stephen J. Cavanagh, current dean of the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing, the new dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, effective July 22.
Cavanagh brings extensive experience in collaborating across the entire campus of a university to create innovative programming for students and new forms of interprofessional education with him to UC Davis. He has been recognized for developing the health care workforce, maximizing the use of advanced-practice nurses in clinics around the region to advance access, and educating the next generation of clinicians and scholars.
Ralph J. Hexter, provost and executive vice chancellor at UC Davis, tells UCDavis.edu, “On behalf of Chancellor May and the entire UC Davis community, I am extremely pleased and honored that Dr. Cavanagh has accepted the nomination to be our dean for the School of Nursing. I am confident he will lead the next phase of growth for the School of Nursing in a manner that serves our students and our community well.”
Cavanagh joined UC Davis because of the opportunity it gives him to improve the health of Northern California using new models of nursing and medicine collaboration to improve health. As dean of the College of Nursing, Cavanagh looks forward to finding new ways to engage communities, new technologies to prepare students, and new opportunities for science to improve lives.
To learn more about Stephen J. Cavanagh who was recently appointed as the new dean of the UC Davis College of Nursing, visit here.
In February, the California Future Health Workforce Commission issued their final report describing recommendations to maintain the workforce needed to meet healthcare demands for the present day and the future (source). The California Future Health Workforce Commission was established in 2017 “to help close the gap between the health workforce we have and the health workforce we need.” The commission includes senior leaders from philanthropies across the state (source). The plan develops critical strategies to address professional nurse recruitment.
While the document targets issues across California, the primary concerns are generalizable to the nation. Historically in the U.S., the supply of nurses has not kept pace with demand, predominantly in underserved communities. The impending nursing shortage and an aging population crisis impact communities nationally.
The following key strategies from the report translate well into tactics for professional recruitment.
- Increase opportunities to advance in the health professions allows professional development, advancement, and job progression. Increasing job satisfaction and salaries promote staff retention.
- Align and expand education and training by anticipating areas of deficits and coordinating community and healthcare stakeholders to encourage buy-in. To guarantee continuing improvement, recruiters must look at the shortage as a process instead of a resolved episode. Healthcare organizations and hospital systems have an essential role in addressing the crisis.
- Strengthen the capacity, retention, and effectiveness of nurses by identifying how to minimize burnout and maximize utilizing nurses efficiently.
The California Future Health Workforce Commission report gives recommendations that relate to professional nurse recruitment. By keeping nurses satisfied, promoting community involvement, and reducing burnout the healthcare systems can develop a three-prong approach to recruiting and maintaining a robust nursing staff.
Our Nurses of the Week are UCLA School of Nursing professors Christine Samuel-Nakamura and Mary Rezk-Hanna who have both received grants from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research to conduct research projects inspired by their heritage. After earning their doctorate degrees at UCLA Nursing, both nurses were welcomed as assistant professors at the university.
Samuel-Nakamura grew up on the Diné (the indigenous name for Navajo) Nation reservation in New Mexico where she was the youngest child in a large family that raised its own livestock and crops. Her experience growing up on the reservation made Samuel-Nakamura aware of the challenges facing her tribe, including poverty and chronic health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She later decided to help address these issues by becoming a nurse.
Samuel-Nakamura earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of New Mexico, then pursued her Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing degree at UCLA. She tells Newsroom.UCLA.edu:
“I wanted to be able to work with communities on their health issues and empower people to help themselves…As a researcher, you investigate and explore what you see in clinical practice and develop some type of explanation for it and find a way to address it. Clinical practice informs research which, in turn, informs clinical practice.”
Samuel-Nakamura worked for several years in the clinical setting in the federally run Indian Health Service and in tribal hospital clinics on the Diné reservation in Arizona where community elders appreciated her ability to speak with them in their native tongue. She recently received two one-year grants to re-evaluate environmentally contaminated sites in Los Angeles County (home to the largest urban American Indian population in the United States). One grant comes from the American Indian Studies Center in the UCLA Institute of American Cultures and the second is from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research.
Mary Rezk-Hanna found inspiration for her research program growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, where both of her parents worked as physicians. She shadowed them as they treated patients, which influenced her decision to become a nurse. One thing she remembers from growing up in Alexandria is looking down from her apartment balcony and being fascinated by the popular hookah cafes across the street.
Rezk-Hanna’s family moved to the US when she was 13 and she later earned her associate degree in nursing and worked as a registered nurse where she became interested in the physiological effects of smoking in young adults with tobacco-related illnesses. She then obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University, and while pursuing a Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science degree at UCLA, she was selected to conduct a community research project about a local population health concern.
Rezk-Hanna found that two of the largest hookah lounges in LA are within one mile of UCLA and considered a major community health concern. She noticed most customers were young adults, with a large portion of them being females, and decided to conduct a study to assess young adult hookah smokers’ attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs toward their choice of smoking, and to identify predictors of hookah smoking. She found that the majority of subjects believed that hookah smoking is not harmful to one’s health.
Rezk-Hanna tells Newsroom.UCLA.edu, “These data could be used to inform young adults about the dangers of hookah smoking as well as provide evidence to guide policy specific to hookah and other alternative tobacco products and nicotine delivery systems.”
Rezk-Hanna is building on her recent findings by studying other evolving hookah tobacco products and their effects on heart health. She has received three grants to investigate the potential cardiovascular toxicity of electronic hookah use among young adults: one from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one from the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and one from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research.
To learn more about UCLA Nursing professors Christine Samuel-Nakamura and Mary Rezk-Hanna and how their heritage has inspired their research, visit here.
Two nurse scientists from the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) recently received the 2018 RDML Mary F. Hall award for nursing publication. This highly acclaimed award was created to recognize the contributions to nursing made through professional publications.
This is the second year in a row that Cmdr. Wendy Cook, a Nurse Corps scientist and head of Nursing Research and Analysis at the Clinical Investigation department at NMSCD, has won the award for co-authoring “U.S. Military Service Members’ Reasons for Deciding to Participate in Health Research,” which was published on Research in Nursing and Health.
“It’s a great feeling,” Cook told Defense Visual Information Distribution Services (DVIDS). “I am delighted to have two separate publications recognized two years in a row, especially because I am aware of the high quality of the other nominated publications.”
Cmdr. Abigail Yablonsky, principal investigator for Naval Health Research Center’s Directorate for Military Population Health, is another recipient of the RDML Mary F. Hall award. Her publication, “Research, Readiness, and Military Parents,” which was published by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, won first place.
“Both Cmdr. Cook and Cmdr. Yablonsky have been wonderful to work with,” Capt. Heather King, Senior Nurse Researcher at NMSCD, shared with DVIDS. “They are dedicated nurse scientists who continually strive to create and disseminate new knowledge to benefit our NMSCD service members and beneficiaries.”
To read more about the NMCSD recipients of the 2018 RDML Mary F. Hall Award, click here. For more information about the Naval Medical Center San Diego, click here.
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