“I remember going to my first California Association of Nurse Practitioners (CANP) Educational Conference in March 2017 with my classmates. The nurse practitioner (N.P.) faculty were enthusiastic and encouraged N.P. students to attend; they even rented a van for us and coordinated everything! I remember how, while Professor Michelle O'Rourke drove us to the conference in Burlingame, my classmates and I were in the back seats, studying together for the upcoming dermatology exam. When we got to the conference, we met up with faculty Laura Van Auker, Elizabeth Rice, Virginia Hass, Rick Norwood and others. They gave us tips on how to make the most of the conference experience, they introduced us to their friends, and we got to relax over dinner. It was through this experience that I not only gained more appreciation for conferences and the continuing education and networking opportunities they provide, but also felt connected and integrated into the family that is the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.”

Victoria Jackson, assistant clinical professor and M.S. family nurse practitioner alumna, ‘18

“Shortly after I arrived, I saw that the Ice Bucket Challenge was becoming a thing. I wanted us to be the first nursing school to post a video about this. I pitched the idea to Debbie Ward (founding faculty member) and Heather Young (founding dean) and they gave a green light. They had me go to Jenny Carrick (marketing director) who managed to arrange for us to do it with a DJ from a local radio station and with the local ALS society, which got bucket donations from Home Depot. I went around trying to garner faculty and staff support. A number of people jumped at the opportunity; we even picked up a few students along the way. I knew I had found my true home when I could see that I was working with a group of individuals who would quickly come together in the spirit of friendly competition and an important cause!”

Terri Harvath, senior director for strategic initiatives

“I have so many fond memories since coming to the school in 2009 as a postdoctoral fellow:

  • Debbie Ward greeting me our first mentoring meeting and making me feel welcome
  • Finding out that I would become the first adjunct faculty and work with Family and Community Medicine to explore transitioning the family nurse practitioner and physician assistant programs to the School of Nursing.
  • Meeting the small but mighty staff, all working hard to be ready for the day they could send the “Open for Business” message out to waiting applicants for the first cohort and just two years later, the first graduation

One of my happiest memories is working side by side with Jann Murray-Garcia creating the Community Connections course; we had no idea the impact that course would have on students and how much we ourselves would learn along the way. I remember those first years when we all knew every student and had them in at least one of our classes; when faculty fit around a conference room table with room to spare. Other fabulous experiences were co-teaching Leadership with Heather Young, working closely with everyone transitioning the family nurse practitioner and physician assistant programs to the school, the year I taught 13 courses (the courses actually taught me), annual writing retreats to Ashland, creating the Quality and Safety courses with physician colleagues, the first accreditation preparation and visit… it was truly a decade of speeding down the freeway while still building the car as Heather was so fond of saying. I have LOVED and treasured every day!”

Debra Bakerjian, clinical professor

“I remember the joy of our first welcoming ceremony at the California Museum across from the Capitol. We selected the location because we were making history in California as we launched the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing with a vision to advance health and ignite leadership. The auditorium filled with families and friends of our inaugural class, our supporters and advocates from across UC Davis and the community, and the leadership of UC Davis and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. As the buzz subsided and the processional music began, our small faculty and staff, and our incoming students gathered in the foyer, took deep breaths and embarked upon a life changing journey. That evening marked the end of months of planning and great anticipation and the beginning of extraordinary relationships and creativity as our students, faculty and staff brought the vision to life. In my remarks, I likened our experience to approaching a quiet pond into which Betty Irene Moore had thrown a large pebble and that we were all the ripples that were beginning to roll out, and would continue to roll out as the students and faculty influenced so many others in the coming years through education, research, practice and policy. Our inaugural students clearly felt the importance of this moment, surprising all of us with their pledge to pay forward by establishing a scholarship for subsequent students. Our team shared the great excitement of seeing the promise of our future leaders that night.

Founding Dean Heather M. Young