NEWS | December 3, 2019

UC Davis nursing school receives $37.5 million from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support nurse leaders and innovators, expand national impact


UC Davis today announced a $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to launch the Betty Irene Moore Fellowships for Nurse Leaders and Innovators at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. This new fellowship program recognizes early-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing-science research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship.

School of Nursing Dean Emerita Heather M. Young serves as program director for a new national fellowship for nursing leaders and innovators. School of Nursing Dean Emerita Heather M. Young serves as program director for a new national fellowship for nursing leaders and innovators.

“We are honored and grateful that the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has chosen to invest, once again, in UC Davis in order to deliver on our mission to improve and advance health by leading change in health systems and communities,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “This investment signals an opportunity to build upon our foundation of nurse leaders and offer an educational experience beyond UC Davis that addresses the needs and challenges of a diverse and changing world.”

In the spirit of Betty Irene Moore’s passion to advance nursing with the goal of better outcomes for patients and families, the foundation seeks to prepare nurses as collaborative leaders with the skills and confidence to inspire others, enact change and challenge the status quo. With the creation of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship Program for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, the foundation will support nurse leaders who can take ideas to scale that advance high quality, high value care and optimal health outcomes.

“Nursing has become one of the most trusted professions and supporting leadership and innovation in nursing is a sound investment in the future,” said Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “This fellowship program honors Betty Irene Moore’s commitment to nurses as leaders and change agents and we believe it will improve the quality of patient care for everyone.”

UC Davis and the foundation have partnered in a shared vision to transform health care since the School of Nursing was founded in 2009 by the foundation’s commitment of $100 million. In the past decade, the school has launched five graduate-degree programs, graduated more than 500 alumni, and is ranked among the top 50 nursing schools in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.

Foundation leaders recognize the school’s success to date and entrust its founding dean, Heather M. Young, and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, now led by Dean Stephen J. Cavanagh, to continue making a national impact with this effort. The program will be guided by a Fellowship National Advisory Council and School of Nursing Dean Emerita Young will serve as national program director. The nationally ranked UC Davis Graduate School of Management joins the program with expertise in leadership and entrepreneurship. Rao Unnava, dean of the Graduate School of Management, will co-direct the leadership development curriculum.

“It is my great honor to lead this initiative, building a strong program with colleagues and engaging the best and brightest of our next generation to accelerate their leadership journeys to shape our preferred future,” Young said. “I’m eager to see the new ideas that these fellows will bring to develop new knowledge in nursing science and innovation to advance health and health care.”

The foundation’s initial investment over the next five years will support approximately 10 fellows each year from eligible institutions. This fellowship program expands national impact by accelerating the careers of nursing leaders who are making substantive changes in health care improvement while advancing the School of Nursing’s vision.

This three-year fellowship program will engage promising nurse scholars in a journey of leadership development and mentorship to complete an innovative project or study.  Each fellow will receive a total of $450,000 over three years to support their work. The program will feature a curriculum designed to develop leadership and innovation capacity, to strengthen strategic thinking and collaborative skills and propel innovative ideas to fruition. Recruitment begins in early January with the first cohort of fellows named by Spring 2020.

More information on the application process will be announced January 2020.

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