Nancy Donaldson

2011 Excellence in Leadership Award winner Nancy Donaldson

An internationally recognized leader in nursing quality measurement, nurse staffing effectiveness and clinical patient safety, UCSF nursing professor Nancy Donaldson was awarded the 2011 Excellence in Leadership Award from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis Sept. 15 as part of the school's annual ceremony to welcome new graduate students.

The award celebrates and recognizes nursing leaders who exemplify the values of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and serve as role models for the enactment of the school's vision to transform health care through nursing leadership, education and research.

"Dr. Donaldson is a nursing leader who has built a strong foundation for the nursing profession and continues to be an advocate for health," said Associate Vice Chancellor of Nursing and Founding Dean Heather M. Young. "Her commitment to strengthen the quality of health care and increase the capacity of nurses as leaders throughout the nation embodies this school's vision."

Leadership development is a core element of education and research programs at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, woven into every aspect of the school's curriculum. The school embraces and advocates for the values of leadership within every initiative and activity as it prepares the nurse leaders of the future in research, teaching, health-care delivery and policy. The Excellence in Leadership Award is one of many efforts to promote the contributions of nurse leaders.

Donaldson, a clinical professor at the UCSF School of Nursing and director of the UCSF Centre for Evidence-Based Patient Care Quality Improvement, has been engaged in clinically based, multisite quality improvement and translational science inquiry and evidence-based practice capacity development for two decades. She is a productive author of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and academic/staff development educational courseware and media. Since 1996, Donaldson served as the co-principal investigator for the collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes Project, a robust, international, nursing-quality measurement, research and development project.

"We in nursing are blessed to share the journey of birth and death, of illness beyond cure and recovery beyond imagining," said Donaldson. "This is nursing's transformational moment and we need leaders to grab hold of this propitious moment."

Donaldson also serves as a member of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research & Quality of the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) and served, from 2001 to 2008, on the AHRQ Patient Safety Research Coordinating Center Steering committee. Donaldson served as a member of the California Health Policy & Data Advisory Commission Technical Panel since 1997 and a myriad nursing and health-care quality advisory panels nationwide. She is co-chair of the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel of Quality.

"Nurses witness the power of the human spirit, the depth of suffering and loss and the power of love in action—all in a day's work," Donaldson told the students at the welcoming ceremony. "Thank you for your commitment to nursing and for your passion for human caring. It is you, this next generation, which must continue the transformation of nursing—we need you!"