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UC Davis nursing faculty, students and alumni present research at regional conference


A contingent of more than one dozen nursing faculty, researchers, alumni and students from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis present their scholarly work at a major event over the next three days. Their work focuses on family caregiver experiences, health equity and innovative education models at the Western Institute of Nursing’s 55th Annual Communicating Nursing Research Conference in Portland, Oregon, today through Saturday.

The conference, Creating a Nursing Force for Change, focuses on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and features faculty, alumni and student research at either symposium presentations or poster sessions.

Janice Bell headshot
This exchange of research is critical if we are to be successful in improving health care.Janice F. Bell, School of Nursing associate dean for research
  • The School of Nursing’s Piri Ackerman-Barger, associate dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, is a featured speaker. She will present the State of the Science Address in Education. In “The Arc of Justice: The Role of Nurses in Advancing Health Equity,” she will discuss ways address health disparities, including developing a nursing workforce that mirrors the diversity of the population.

“It is wonderful to return to this in-person event that allows us to both disseminate our work and network with other nursing scholars, scientists and students,” said Janice F. Bell, associate dean for research. “As our regional organization, WIN addresses the needs and interests of nurses and students engaged in research, practice and education. This exchange of research is critical if we are to be successful in improving health care.”

  • Bell and Heather M. Young lead the Family Caregiving Institute’s program and policy evaluation unit. At the conference, they will share new research in the symposium, “Family Caregiving in the Context of Serious Illness: Assessment and Support for an Invisible Workforce.” Joining the discussion are Associate Professor Emeritus Elena Siegel, Associate Professor Mark Fedyk, doctoral alumna and Family Caregiving Institute Faculty Affiliate Robin Whitney, Heather M. Young Postdoctoral Scholars Tina Kilaberia and Orly Tonkikh. Also on the panel are Jennifer Mongoven, institute associate director of operations and current doctoral students Teuta Kadiu, Cherrie Demayo and Kerri Maya.

School of Nursing members were also recognized with special awards of excellence in gerontological research from the WIN Gerontology Special Interest Group, which seeks to build a cadre of gerontological nurses who improve care of older adults. They are:

  • Tonkikh, for her abstract, “Family Involvement during Acute Hospitalization: Families’ and Nurses’ Perceptions”
  • Demayo, who received a student research award for her presentation, "Burden of Care across Generations: The Millennial Family Caregiver Experience”

In addition to the lecture-style events, faculty, alumni and students participate in poster presentations. Shana Ruggenberg, director for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN), will present the poster “Scaffolding a Clinical Judgment Approach to Exam Remediation,” which proves an overview of a quality improvement project designed to scaffold MEPN students in their approach to exam review.

The innovative research and educational perspectives cultivated in the School of Nursing aim to further the conference goals to develop science researchers, create better networking for clinicians and make graduate education collaborative and accessible.

The Western Institute of Nursing is one of four U.S. regional nursing research organizations. Its mission is to embrace nursing education, practice and research leading to improved patient care. New and emerging nursing knowledge is featured at the annual research conference, which is the oldest conference of its kind in the United States.