“The mood is ecstatic. The faculty and staff have worked so hard to reach all the important milestones to achieve school status,” says Adeline “Adey” Nyamathi, founding dean of nursing. “This will allow us to move forward much more strongly on our vision for the future.” Todd Cheney / UCLA

Adeline “Adey” Nyamathi joined UCI on Jan. 3 as founding dean of a proposed nursing school. For 10 years, the Program in Nursing Science had built a solid academic, research and clinical reputation, and on Jan. 26, UC regents approved the creation of the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, the fourth nursing school in the UC system. A recent $40 million gift from the William & Sue Gross Family Foundation will fund construction of an expansive new building for the school, which Nyamathi hopes to dramatically expand in size and scope. From her Berk Hall office, she shared her vision.

Q: What was the reaction in Berk Hall when the regents approved the nursing school?

A: The mood is ecstatic. The faculty and staff have worked so hard to reach all the important milestones to achieve school status. This was the culmination of 10 years of work by faculty and such phenomenal leaders as Ellen Lewis, Ellen Olshansky and Alison Holman.

Q: You joined UCI last month as founding dean of nursing. What is your vision for the school?

A: My vision is for it to become a top-tier school in the next several years. This includes forging a strong academic-practice partnership wherein the School of Nursing and UC Irvine Medical Center and their community clinic sites will collaborate in joint strategic planning to create a model for the innovative integration of research, teaching and patient care. We will train future nurse researchers, nurse educators and nurse innovators in the classroom and across the healthcare delivery system in ways that will enhance population health outcomes, improve the patient experience and reduce costs. Models of care delivery, which will be interprofessional in scope, will include a focus on the prevention and management of chronic health conditions. This focus will involve transitional care strategies, faculty practice and first-responder support.

Q: There’s a critical need for more highly trained nurses and nurse practitioners in the future. How will your school help address this?

A: Our school will fulfill this need through the innovative programs that we will offer. These include the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing, with a focus on delivering care in the community using transitional care models and technology such as telehealth and mobile health. Our self-supporting professional degree program in the Doctor of Nursing Practice will also focus on shaping the next generation of doctorally prepared nurses, who will innovate delivery of care to populations who are aging and suffer from complex healthcare conditions. Further, our Ph.D. students will lead the advancement of science in areas of importance to nursing: staying healthy physically, mentally and socially.