Alumna puts her education into practice

Sarah Brown Blake
Sarah Brown Blake, a 2017 graduate of the Doctor of Philosophy Program, now prepares new nurses as an assistant professor at the School of Nursing at California State University, Chico.

Sarah Brown Blake embarked upon a new chapter of her life this fall at California State University, Chico School of Nursing. When she set foot in her classroom as a first-time tenure-track faculty, she felt confident.

“I thought, I’ve got this,” Blake says. “I realized that my time at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis prepared me perfectly for this moment and this next step in my career.”

Blake admits she never imagined she would be a nursing professor one day. Attracted to nursing research, she entered the master’s-degree leadership program in 2014 and didn’t stop there. She went on to receive her doctoral degree in 2017 and serve as a postdoctoral scholar at the school for a year.

“There was a tipping point when I was working on my thesis. I knew I couldn’t stop,” Blake recalls. “I got the bug and applied to the doctoral program. Then my unique postdoc position let me hone my teaching skills. Everything about the School of Nursing prepared me to put my education into practice.”

She joins more than 20 doctoral alumni and postdoctoral scholars from the School of Nursing now teaching at four-year universities across the country. “The idea is to share our knowledge, so that we can turn out great future nurses,” Blake says.

When she was a practicing registered nurse, Blake concentrated in public health departments and community settings. Now, she teaches public health to future nurses in hopes of increasing their excitement to work in that arena and advocate for populations that often lack access to quality care.

“I always thought my impact on nursing would be in communities, one on one with patients and families. The School of Nursing reframed that. Now I realize the nursing students I am working with will make my biggest impact,” Blake says. “That would have not happened had I not chosen this route. The School of Nursing opened up another door that I never expected and it’s so much fun!”