Stephen CavanaghDean Stephen J. Cavanagh

As we celebrate National Nurses Week, I want to take a moment to recognize the extraordinary work that each of you does every day to improve the lives of patients and communities. Whether a student, faculty or staff member at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, you make a difference.

For those of you involved in direct patient care, you bring critical-thinking skills and a passion for caring to your work, which makes a significant difference in the lives of those you serve. From advocating for your patients to ensure their voices are heard to providing support to patients and their family caregivers during difficult times, you make a difference.

If you balance intense coursework, clinical rotations and family commitments, your dedication will make a difference in the future of health care.

Those who educate the next generation of clinicians and providers, your innovative approaches to education and mentorship makes a difference in the lives and success of our students. Your teaching through an equitable lens prepares our graduates to address health disparities in underserved communities and bring diversity to the health care workforce.

Those who ask the tough questions in your research, your commitment to developing new knowledge to help people age healthily, support family caregivers, and identify how technology can improve health and well-being make a difference.

To all those who serve the mission of this school as members of the education, research, advancement, grants, operations, human resources, Family Caregiving Institute, Betty Irene Moore fellowship program and administrative teams, you make a difference every day to advance our vision of optimal health and health equity for all.

By working together with our physician assistant and UC Davis Health colleagues, we can amplify the work being done by the nation's 4.4 million nurses in the workforce and extend our collective impact beyond the walls of Betty Irene Moore Hall and health care facilities throughout California.

This year's theme, "You Make a Difference," reminds us of the critical role nurses play in the health and well-being of populations. As we celebrate National Nurses Week, let us take a moment to recognize and thank our nurses for all they do.

Thank you for your commitment to our mission and for being part of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing team. Together, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our patients, our communities and each other.