UC Davis nursing school announces new academic dean
Appointment of Amy Nichols rounds out School of Nursing leadership team
Dean Stephen J. Cavanagh has announced the appointment of Amy Nichols as associate dean for academics at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Nichols has held the position on an interim basis since January of this year.
In this role, Nichols continues to guide program leaders, overseeing the School of Nursing’s four graduate-degree programs and outcomes. She also supports faculty in their instruction of students, examines faculty workload, ensures the quality and approval of curriculum and collaborates with UC Davis campus units.
“Dr. Nichols’ long career of advancing graduate education makes her the optimal person to drive our program organization, partner with faculty on career advancement and ensure our alignment with procedures for the accreditation process,” Cavanagh said. “I also rely on her expertise and input on strategic investments and resource allocation to meet the school’s academic mission.”
Nichols also partners with the school’s other associate deans, especially Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Piri Ackerman-Barger, to implement inclusion enhancement plans and teaching plans for faculty as necessary. In keeping with the School of Nursing’s commitment to interprofessional education, she plans to work with the faculty leadership of the UC Davis School of Medicine.
“This is an opportunity to for me to take on a leadership role in something that I’ve been committed to all my life. Now, I hope to have a larger impact on this incredible school,” Nichols said. “I’m committed to supporting the faculty who guide our students and help the school move forward.”
With this appointment, and the recent addition of Assistant Dean for Administration Holly Evans, the school’s leadership team is now complete. School leaders finished a five-year strategic plan in August. The new team will lead its implementation.
Nichols also serves as chair of Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group, is a member of the Leadership Transition Advisory Committee and formerly served as the school’s director of clinical simulation. She is an editorial board member for the Nursing Administration Quarterly and contributing editor for PSNet, an online resource in patient safety. She is also a fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education.
Nichols has more than 30 years of academic experience and is emeritus faculty at San Francisco State University School of Nursing for her 20-plus years of service.
Her academic interests include the preparation of new nurses as leaders in evidence-based practice, leadership, advocacy for diverse patient populations and change agents to support a strong nursing workforce. She also has extensive knowledge about the use of simulation-based learning and transforming curriculums using this methodology.
As a clinical professor, Nichols serves as a specialty content expert in maternal child health and evidence-based practice for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing. She also teaches courses in improving quality in health care, primary health care and preparation for clinical practice in the Master of Science — Family Nurse Practitioner and Master of Health Services — Physician Assistant Studies degree programs. Her background is in maternal-child nursing, women’s health, simulation pedagogy and leadership.