Alumni impact
UC Davis Health - Medical Center

Alumni Perspectives

For this issue, we asked alumni to share their thoughts on what “strategies for success” they learned at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing that serve them well in their professional or personal lives. They also reflect upon the past year. Here’s what they wrote.

Krista Greaves, M.S. ’17, R.N., CCRN-K, NPD-BC

Nurture the relationships you make during school! Your classmates will go on to work in positions with influence, as will you.

      Joanna Mello, M.S. ’14, R.N., CCRN

      In the master’s-degree leadership program we engaged in a lot of discussion about how to be an effective change agent, both at the organization and community levels. As an assistant nurse manager who is tasked with implementing frequent change, I am constantly strategizing to break down silos, open pathways of interdisciplinary communication and access all stakeholder insight to obtain the best possible engagement and ensure success.

      Reflection on the past year: I sense that in 2022 we will apply many of the “lessons learned” from the COVID-19 pandemic. I have observed nurses at all levels rising as leaders to help patients and health care teams overcome the challenges of COVID-19. It has truly been both a humbling and inspiring time to be a nurse.

      Cindy Wilson, M.S. ’14, R.N., PHN, IBCLC

      As I completed my master’s-degree leadership in 2014, my director of nursing was planning her retirement. My previous experience and the leadership strategies learned through my education at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing placed me in an ideal position to take her place as the next director of public health nursing for Nevada County. In particular, the partnerships we developed through the Community Health course opened more doors for my work and enhanced my skills in program and policy development, implementation and evaluation. The timing was right, and I spent the next eight years providing leadership and direction to a small but mighty staff of public health nurses and support personnel who make a significant impact on the health of Nevada County’s residents.

      Reflection on the past year: A few years ago, I was approached about providing community health clinical experiences for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing students at the School of Nursing. Even though I already had a very busy schedule, I wanted to give back to the school that helped shape me as a person and a leader, so I agreed. Over the next few summers, graduate nursing students joined our team where they learned, taught and gave back to the community. My passion for promoting and strengthening the future public health nursing workforce was ignited through shaping their experiences and encouraging them to see the benefits and strengths of working in public health.

      Working with them, and the partnership with UC Davis faculty and clinical instructors, eventually brought me full circle, back to the School of Nursing, this time as a staff member. I joined the Public Health Nursing — Empowering Nurses, Teaching Rural care Using Simulation Training (PHN-ENTRUST) team in January 2022 as the clinical nurse educator, where I am working with the rest of the health professions education grants team to develop simulation learning experiences that teach public health core competencies to the graduate nursing students. I love that I get to work with this team to trailblaze a new way of influencing nursing students and nurses to think bigger and broader, address social determinants of health and health disparities, and move our work toward upstream prevention efforts. I can’t think of a better legacy for impacting nurses and nursing.

      During the two years of the pandemic, working in public health meant being fierce and brave, knowledgeable, nimble, humble, proactive, as well as reactive, creative and resourceful, compassionate, resilient and... tired. It was a privilege to both lead and follow, to save lives through our multipronged efforts, to identify and serve our most vulnerable residents in creative and non-threatening ways. I am proud of the way our team worked hard and pulled together to promote health, prevent disease and protect lives.

      Hannah Davis, M.S.N. ’20, R.N., PHN

      Hannah Davis, MSN, R.N., PHNI am so thankful for my time learning at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Many aspects of my career cannot be taught in hospital orientation and I am grateful I had a strong foundation from my nursing education. A few specific strategies learned in nursing school that I use often are how to have a difficult conversation with family members, how to advocate for vulnerable populations at the bedside and how to support the next nursing generation. Because of the coursework, I understand the relationship between research and evidence-based practices and follow studies to improve my practice. The connections I made with faculty and my peers are invaluable and provided me a strong support system I will have throughout my career. I am proud to be an alumna of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

      Angelique Silva, M.S. ’17, RNC-OB, C-EFM

      All throughout the many leadership courses I attended at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, we would hear over and over about including your stakeholders and evaluating the need. These two topics have been the basis for all the leadership roles I have immersed myself in. This understanding takes you down a path of leadership that is not about the titles, nor prestige. It is about doing what is best for those you are leading so they can, in turn, do what is best for their patients. It is a never-ending circle that will enhance outcomes.

      Reflection on the past year: This last year has been a whirlwind, as I transitioned from perinatal nurse educator and safety specialist to the perinatal unit director. All the leadership techniques I learned at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing came full circle.