NEWS | March 19, 2009

UC Regents approve Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

Heather M. Young named dean to new school


The University of California Board of Regents today approved establishment of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis. The school is so named in honor of the historic $100 million philanthropic grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Supported by the nation's largest grant for nursing education, UC Davis is launching the new school with a vision to develop highly skilled and well-prepared nurses as leaders in health care to ensure patient safety, improve quality of care and health outcomes, guide policy decisions and discover knowledge to advance health.

"The establishment of a new school of nursing increases the University of California's capacity for preparing nurses and nurse faculty, while also providing a historic opportunity to develop a new interdisciplinary education model that will pave the way for improving health in California and in the nation," said Richard C. Blum, the Regents' chairman.

"As it was when we first announced the grant, today's announcement is about investing in future nurse leaders," said Steve McCormick, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. "We share a vision with UC Davis to transform health systems and nursing education. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing will foster innovation that advances the field of nursing. We need more leaders to join this partnership and make this vision a reality."

Nursing workforce shortages in California are forecast to reach a shortfall of more than 100,000 by 2020, according to the California Board of Registered Nurses. Yet the state's nursing schools turned away more than 20,000 applications from qualified new students last year and the greatest contributing factor was lack of faculty to teach. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis plans to address the faculty needs through the development of graduate-level nursing programs that will increase the state's nursing education capacity by supplying faculty for all levels of nursing education, from community colleges to universities. The school's programs also aim to graduate nurse leaders for area hospitals and community-based programs.

"This is a unique opportunity for UC Davis to look at the future of health care and the health needs in our communities," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "This school is being founded on the premise of transforming nursing education - changing how we teach health professionals together and how health care is delivered in our communities."

The school's research and education will emphasize promoting healthy people and healthy systems. Specific areas of study and research will include populations that are not currently well served, specifically ethnic minorities, rural and aging people, as well as leadership in improving health-care systems.

"This School of Nursing builds on UC Davis Health System's strengths in research, education and practice, and provides transformative opportunities to our interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives," said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for human health sciences for UC Davis. "The school builds on our commitments to diversity and social responsibility, where faculty, staff and students of multiple professions and disciplines collaborate daily to confront today's urgent problems, advancing health for all."

With the formal establishment of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for Nursing at UC Davis Health System, also assumes the title of founding dean for the new school.

"We have an unprecedented opportunity to not just improve, but redesign health care through this visionary partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation," Young said. "Together, we'll lead a transformation with long-lasting effects for generations to come."

The school anticipates accepting its first class for the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the fall of 2010. Additional students and programs will be phased in over the next decade.

About the University of California, Davis

For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matters to California and transforms the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 31,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $500 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges--Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science -- and advanced degrees from five professional schools -- Education, Law, Management, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine. The UC Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis Medical Center are located on the Sacramento campus near downtown.

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Established in September 2000, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for future generations. The Foundation's science-based, results-driven orientation stems from the principles and interests of Gordon and Betty Moore. The Foundation operates proactively in three specific program areas: Environmental Conservation, Science and the San Francisco Bay Area, where a significant and measurable impact can be achieved. Achievement at this scale requires strong partnerships with communities, government entities, other nonprofit organizations and the private sector. The Foundation's Environmental Conservation Program includes the Andes Amazon, Marine Conservation and Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiatives and its commitment to Conservation International. Its Science Program includes its Marine Microbiology Initiative and its commitment to California Institute of Technology. Its San Francisco Bay Area Program includes the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative and support for Bay Area land protection and science and technology museums. The Foundation has awarded over $1.7 billion in grants since its inception. For more information, visit or contact Chris Pallatto at