NEWS | July 7, 2020

School of Nursing welcomes new students (VIDEO)

Future clinicians eager to become health professionals for the future


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(SACRAMENTO) — Future physician assistants (P.A.s), registered nurses and family nurse practitioners (FNPs) joined the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing this week for their graduate school education. 137 students embarked upon their education journeys in the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing, P.A. and FNP programs.

“You chose to come to health care at a time when we need you most. We need new views and new solutions and we look to you in your future careers to help,” said Stephen Cavanagh, School of Nursing dean, in a video welcome to students. “Welcome, we’re so glad you’re here!”

This week marks the start of didactic coursework through remote instruction. These clinical students will also participate in hands-on, in-person, small-group, clinical instruction in the upcoming weeks. Entry-level nursing students come to Betty Irene Moore Hall the week of July 20, followed by P.A. and FNP students the week of August 10.

Throughout June, new students participated in weekly online sessions with new assignments each week focused on aspects of student life at UC Davis Health. They also wrote discussion posts to get to know each other virtually in advance of meeting in person in the coming weeks and months.

“I was initially nervous about the fact that my background and level of experience would be very different from others. After discussing over posts, I was able to see how these differences are going to come together to be assets and valuable perspectives,” said one new student in post-event survey. “I liked that we had the chance to get to know each other a bit before meeting face to face.”

School of Nursing leaders and faculty weave valuable bonding exercises into their coursework for these new students to feel connected to each other and a part of the school as a whole.


Clinical students begin remote learning and prepare for hands-on training as they begin their graduate school studies at the School of Nursing.

“We strategically created 'houses' to promote connectivity and social engagement for our students. It proved to be a great way for students to make peer connections online until we can safely get together in person,” said Elizabeth Rice, associate dean for student and faculty success. “Instructors are also incorporating some element of socialization in their coursework.”

Rice, along with several other faculty, conducted synchronous sessions during the incoming students’ Leadership Immersion June 30 to July 2. From academic integrity and unconscious bias to wellness and a curriculum overview, students learned what to expect while at UC Davis.

“I loved that we could finally put faces to names for both faculty and fellow students. The games were a bonus and definitely contributed to the entire experience in a positive and engaging manner,” said one student after immersion.

“I loved engaging with the faculty,” added another student. “We really got a sense for how not only knowledgeable they all are about the field, but how supportive they will be as we move through the program.”

Students’ courses of study range from 18 to 27 months to complete, depending on their degree programs.

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis transforms health care through interprofessional nursing education and research. Established in 2009 through a $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the school offers five graduate areas of study, including doctoral and master’s-degree programs in nursing science and health-care leadership and master’s-degree programs for pre-licensure nurses, family nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary-care providers for rural and underserved communities. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of UC Davis Health, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit nursing.ucdavis.edu.