Outreach and Research


Sharing the Importance of Qualitative Research in China


The UCLA School of Nursing, research collaborations overseas have become a major priority for the school. The School of Nursing has already seen a major payoff: most notably, for a $1.75 million grant from the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital (HKSH, pictured right).

Under the five-year collaborative agreement, the School of Nursing is working with the nursing administrators at the Hong Kong institution on ways to improve the quality of care and patient safety at HKSH. In particular, the School has been collaborating with HKSH since 2010 to enhance the quality of nursing care delivered at the bedside and in its ambulatory clinics; promote mentorship of the nurses in conducting clinical research; and enhance the evidence-based practices of HKSH nurses as well as nursing students.

The collaborative relationship has brought expert nursing teams from the UCLA School of Nursing along with nurses from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital and Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, to Hong Kong to enable HKSH to build upon its status as a top hospital in Asia and ultimately become a worldwide model for patient care and nursing education for the 21st century.

The relationship between the two institutions began to develop approximately in 2008, when Dr. Walton Li, HKSH's medical superintendent, expressed an interest in tapping into the UCLA School of Nursing's expertise to advance nursing practice and improve nursing outcomes for patients seeking care at his facility. After several visits, both by the school's leadership team to Hong Kong and by the HKSH administration to UCLA, an agreement was reached.


Under the grant, faculty and nurse expert teams visit HKSH four times a year and conduct teleconferences three times per year. The topics have been diverse and examples have included nursing management, wound healing, advanced care of the Oncology patient, advanced ophthalmology nursing, etc. Our collaboration has developed and expanded ties, toward the goal of building infrastructure and advancing knowledge that will guide and promote evidence-based practice.  

UCLA School of Nursing Creates International Collaborations to Reduce Tobacco Usage


On August 18, 2010, the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing, on behalf of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) and in partnership with the University of Hong Kong School of Nursing, held a workshop titled "Building nurses' tobacco research capacity through international collaboration". The one-day workshop took place prior to the 2010 World Cancer Congress in Shenzhen, China. Additional support for the workshop was provided by the Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health, The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and was held in the Peoples Republic of China. The PRC has over 300 million smokers, including 60% of physicians. Very few nurses smoke and have the potential for major contributions in public health and reducing cancer risk by reducing tobacco use.

Drs Linda Sarna, Stella Bialous, and Sophia Chan, ISNCC Tobacco Task Force members helped to coordinate the conference and were assisted by staff from the UCLA, Dr. Marjorie Wells and Lisa Chang. Dr. Sophia Chan facilitated with translation of all of the presentation slides so that both English and Chinese language materials were available. Ingrid Plueckhahn, another ISNCC Task Force Member and Dr. Sanchia Aranda, ISNCC Past President, also participated in the conference.

The approximately 80 participants, mostly nurses from China PRC and Hong Kong had an opportunity to learn from each other and hear ISNCC Tobacco Control Task Force members discuss state of the art research and practice in nursing and tobacco control, with a focus on building international collaboration and strategies for increasing nursing involvement in tobacco control in Asia. All participants received a package of educational materials and resources and several colleagues from China had an opportunity to share the work they are doing in tobacco control in their workplace, from assessment on nurses' KAB regarding smoking cessation, to smoking cessation clinics staffed by nurses, as well as educational programs in nursing schools. Participants also heard from Prof. Xiao Nong Zou of the National Office for Cancer Prevention and Control, National Central Cancer Registry about opportunities for nurses to become involved in tobacco control in China.

At the end, participants provided feedback and the vast majority found the workshop extremely useful and informative and are looking forward to additional educational and networking opportunities from ISNCC. The ISNCC Tobacco Control Task Force will continue to seek funding for other international initiatives to enhance the nurse's role in addressing this leading cause cancer worldwide.

Following this workshop, the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care has received two grants to support international smoking cessation efforts.  Both initiatives will be led by by Dr. Linda Sarna, Professor, University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing, and Dr. Stella Bialous, Tobacco Policy International. 

Pfizer Foundation: 'Adapting a Smoking Cessation Intervention Distance Learning Program to Educate Nurses in China.

China has the largest population of smokers in the world. In support of the tenets of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, major tobacco control efforts by healthcare professionals are underway but there has been limited attention to enhancing the role that the 1.65 million nurses in China can play in curbing the tobacco-related epidemic. The goal of this project is to adapt a Web-based educational program to increase nurses' knowledge and skills in conducting tobacco cessation intervention. This innovative intervention will use  information technology and will be tested by 1000 practicing nurses in Beijing. Dr. Xiao Nong Zou, Chief, Office for Tobacco Control, National Office for Cancer Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and Professor Sophia Chan, Head, School of Nursing, University of Hong Kong, will serve as key consultants. A special page on the Tobacco Free Nurses website will include nurse-tailored translated materials and a twenty minute video Web-cast based on the Rx for Change curriculum© to educate nurses on tobacco cessation interventions. The project was launched in April, 2011.

Read more about the importance of this initiative and the School of Nursing Program in Bloomberg News.




Dr. Linda Sarna Appointed Visiting Professors in China

Dr. Linda Sarna has been appointed as a Visiting Professors by the Anhui Medical University in China.  As visiting professor, she has given lectures at the university, supported research projects and provided guidance and mentorship for faculty visiting UCLA from Anhui Medical University.



Dr. Barbara Bates-Jensen in Haiti


Like the rest of the world, two members of the UCLA School of Nursing faculty watched in horror January 2010 as television networks reported on the devastation in Haiti.  The 7.0-magnitude earthquake had wreaked unimaginable havoc, killing or injuring more than half a million people and leaving as many as 1 million more homeless.  But unlike most viewers, Dr. Barbara Bates-Jensen and Patti Taylor knew they had skills that were in great need in Haiti.

Dr. Bates-Jensen responded to an urgent call for wound-care experts. Although she had no experience responding to disasters or working in combat conditions, her expertise was in demand and "I could not ignore the need," says the associate professor. Taylor, a clinical nurse specialist lecturer and retired U.S. Army nurse who had served on the Desert Shield and Desert Storm missions, knew her experience as a military nurse could be helpful, so she volunteered to be part of a team of UCLA health care professionals – five nurses and one physician – who would treat Haitians suffering from injuries following the quake. "It was the right thing to do," Taylor says simply.

Taylor and Bates-Jensen were deployed at about the same time, and both led their groups. But their experiences were quite different. Bates-Jensen arrived in Haiti 30 days after the earthquake struck – on her birthday. She was sent to Tent City, a hospital compound that was divided into four areas for specialized care – pediatric, adult, surgical and outpatient. By that time, much of the health work in Haiti had transitioned from acute care to rehabilitation and chronic care. Upon her arrival, Bates-Jensen – the only person on her seven member team with wound-care experience – was appointed chief of wound services.

All told, there were 75 health care professionals living in one giant tent, with beds 4-5 inches apart. The bathrooms were portapotties and the small shower provided little privacy and only cold water.

The work day started at 6 a.m. and ended 15-16 hours later. On a typical day, Bates-Jensen saw more than 70 patients and she and her team performed between 12 and 20 procedures. They took care of horrific wounds: from botched amputations, from surgeries that hadn't healed properly, and from lying in one position in the rubble. Patients ready for discharge were sent to live in "outpatient" tents on the hospital compound so that they would be able to continue to receive the follow-up care they needed. It's not as if they had any place to go – their homes had been destroyed and they would otherwise return to sleeping on the streets.

"Conditions were challenging – similar to a battlefield without the bombs falling," recalls Bates-Jensen. One day the team almost ran out of water. And while there were two meals a day provided for most patients, food for staff was a bit sketchy. Bates-Jensen ate plenty of power bars and Oreos.



Dr. Carol Pavlish in Rwanda

Prior to joining the UCLA School of Nursing faculty in 2006, Dr. Carol Pavlish spent nearly three decades teaching at College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN, a women's college. There, she learned of the importance of viewing women's health in the context of women's political and socioeconomic wellbeing. Pavlish became acutely aware of the close link between education and women's ability to exercise options – and saw that when given the opportunity, women tended to make decisions that improved the lives of their families and communities.

Much of this thinking has developed in the decade that Pavlish has been working with the nonprofit American Refugee Committee (ARC), which has provided humanitarian assistance and training to millions of beneficiaries in its 30-year history, working with refugee communities in seven countries. Since 2000, Pavlish has made regular visits to the African countries of Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan in conjunction with the ARC, contributing her research and academic expertise.

What started as a health focus has evolved. "The women in these areas told us their health is much bigger than a physical experience – that it has to do with things like political autonomy and cultural traditions as well," Pavlish says. "They kept talking about gender-based violence and not having opportunities for education. We realized we couldn't address health without addressing these other issues."

The community-based research of Pavlish and her ARC collaborators aims to deepen understanding about the social context that influences human rights experiences and gender relationships in post-conflict settings. Working most recently in southern Sudan, they have teamed with community-based groups in an effort to explore perspectives on human rights barriers women encounter. "In post conflict settings human rights violations persist, and women and girls are especially vulnerable to discrimination and violence," says Pavlish.

Pavlish was most recently in southern Sudan in August and September, field testing and refining activities created by the community organizations before they are disseminated. Among the strategies are the use of drama and storytelling in an effort to develop and integrate a human rights framework that will be effective in the small villages.

"The stories we hear about human rights violations and gender-based violence are just heartbreaking," says Pavlish. "But there are many people in the country who are committed to doing something about it and improving the health and well-being of women and their families."



Dr. Linda Sarna in the Czech Republic

Click here for the original press release.


The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Bridging Cancer Care initiative.  This collaborative 2 year project includes a series of capacity-building Tobacco Cessation Leadership Workshops in the Czech Republic to educate nurses on advances in tobacco control, cancer prevention, treatment and care.

The major identified needs in the Czech Republic are three-fold: (1) to address the epidemic of tobacco use and the resulting cancers in the Czech Republic, (2) to engage nurses in the fight against tobacco and cancer prevention, and (3) to build capacity among nurses in the Czech Republic to continue working on smoking cessation and thereby cancer prevention initiatives. The project seeks to educate nurses on advances in tobacco control, cancer prevention, treatment and care.  The proposed project is a four-phased, two-year project that will build capacity among nurses in the Czech Republic to enhance their engagement in tobacco control and thereby cancer prevention.


Champions and ISNCC Project Leaders with Dr. Eva Kralikova and Dr. Alexandra Kmetova