A lifelong dream becomes an amazing reality
Doctoral graduate credits UC Davis with knowledge, opportunities
The coronavirus pandemic thrust the world into a learning experience — from mask wearing and social distancing to vaccine effectiveness and value of friends and family.
For Bill Randall, a newly minted doctoral degree prepared him to educate future nurses for a post-COVID-19 world and further his research in emergency nursing.
“I really wanted to teach the newbies to help guide them and mold them into what a nurse should be,” explained Randall, a Class of 2020 graduate from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree Program in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership. “I bring in my rich, diverse experience to talk about an array of topics and make it salient.”
As an assistant professor at Samuel Merritt University in Sacramento, California, Randall discusses COVID-19 vaccinations and end of life. He also works with students about how to build nurse-physician relationships. All the while, he serves as a peer reviewer for one of the major emergency nursing journals in the country and prepares to have his dissertation research published.
It’s the impact he hoped to bring when he thought about earning a Ph.D. Choosing to do so at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing took him beyond his wildest dreams.
“Getting the Ph.D. in nursing was lifelong dream,” he said. “I found it very illuminating to be in the program to really get a solid grasp on the literature out there, the science, as well as the gaps in science where we can make a difference. The nursing viewpoint is so important.”
Randall entered the program in 2016 excited to achieve, what he calls, the epitome of nursing education. He exited when the world was locked down, the pandemic having taken hold. But the crisis — and his degree — opened doors like never before.
“I went to the assistant professor level [at Samuel Merritt University,] where besides teaching clinical nursing with the students in the hospital, I now teach theory,” he explained.
Randall said that research even has him working with his former dissertation chair and research mentor, Professor Ester Carolina Apesoa-Varano.
“I’m really thrilled at having gone to the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. I really felt like the professors cared,” he said, “She continues to be a source of mentoring and inspiration. I’m always grounded when I talk to her.”
Randall now mentors current students in the program and guides his students into what a nurse should be in the evolving world of health care. It’s the best of all worlds he set out for when embarking on that dream of a Ph.D.
“Getting a degree is one thing. But being able to utilize that degree on the job and in academia, it offers promotion opportunities, research opportunities,” he said. “I’m amazed at the opportunities that have come from it.”
Are you interested in applying to the Ph.D. program? If so, you can learn more on the program web pages. Prospective students may also sign up for the school’s email group to receive regular updates about the school’s graduate degree programs.