Thursday, June 20th, 2024
Who Makes Millersville Special

Dr. Ruth Davis

Find out more about a professor of nursing.

This edition of Who Makes Millersville Special features Dr. Ruth Davis, professor of nursing.

Q: Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in Barnsboro, N.J., a very small rural farming community.

Q: What motivated you to pursue a career in nursing?

I guess my interest in nursing stemmed from wanting to be involved in an applied health science. I found my niche as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP), where I provide primary health care to clients.

Q: From what school(s) have you earned your degree(s) from?

I completed two years of undergraduate education at Eastern College (now University), earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University, a master of science in nursing from University of Pennsylvania, and D.Ed. from Penn State University.

Q: What is your favorite class to teach at Millersville? Why?

I teach a wide range of topics and courses including pathophysiology and advanced physical assessment for our graduate nursing students in the MSN programs, as well as general education courses, which include Intro to Women’s Studies and Women’s Health Issues. As a member of the Women’s Studies faculty, I particularly enjoy teaching these courses because the students enjoy themselves.

Q: Is there a specific health topic you are passionate about?

I like neurology related to clinical practice. There is always something new and exciting to incorporate from research into my lectures. I also care about diabetes because of the systemic nature of the disease; it is as challenging to teach as it is to treat in primary care.

Q: What do you want the students and staff to know about the nursing program at Millersville?

Our undergraduate program is a BSN completion program designed solely for Registered Nurses. So, folks come to us as transfer students, completing the requirements as a registered nurse elsewhere. We offer undergraduate courses leading to the BSN and also two graduate level nursing programs culminating in the MSN. These include the Nursing Education and the Nurse Practitioner options, the latter preparing students to become certified family nurse practitioners. Soon, we will be offering a BSN option totally on-line, in addition to our very active on-campus BSN programs on Millersville campus and our HACC off campus site. We are currently working on a DNP (Doctorate in Nursing Practice) program.

Q: You have presented at multiple conferences all around the world. Which conference was your favorite and why?

One of my favorites was a research conference in Iceland. I rented a car for a day, and traveled all around the island. It is awe-inspiring, very stark and beautiful with many active geysers. I had the chance to not only engage in great conversations with the other participants, but also had a chance to get out into the community and get to know the people who live there.

Q: As a result of these conferences, you’ve done a great deal of traveling. Which country has been your favorite to visit?

I had an incredible experience while in Botswana. I had a rare opportunity to spend a few days with a family in an outlying village. One of the people that went with me had brought dozens of toothbrushes to give out. Most had never had one before in their lives. I also left some clothing and a pair of shoes. The woman I gave them to said to me that she now had “new shoes” to wear when she went to the clinic.

Q: What are you interested in researching?

I would say I am most interested in finding out how people, particularly women, experience life events and how these shape their perceptions, ideas and coping skills.

Q: Are there any research projects that you have done in the past or present that you would like to tell us about?

One of the major endeavors I have been involved with over the years is my clinical work as a nurse practitioner with the Blackfeet tribe in Montana. I went back every summer for years, volunteering a clinic based in the hospital on the reservation. I was fortunate that I was able to stay with a family and got to understand the culture, as I was included in a variety of activities for which most people do not have the opportunity.

Q: How do you want students to remember you?

I want them to remember that I am their biggest advocate. I know I set a high bar for students in my classes because I truly want them to be as successful as they can be.

Q: What are your interests outside of work?

I’m interested in sewing, quilting, concerts at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, travel, reading, watching classic films and baseball. I also love being involved with my church community and volunteer work as a nurse practitioner at Water Street Health Services and at a health clinic I created at the Shelter for Abused Women in Lancaster.

Q:  Do you have a favorite quote?

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
— Maya Angelou

Q: What is something you absolutely need to get through your day?

My faith and prayer, and coffee—but it is mostly decaffeinated!

Q:  What is your greatest accomplishment?

My lovely, talented, daughter. She is my greatest blessing and joy. 

3 replies on “Dr. Ruth Davis”

Hi Ruth, even though I’m retired from MU, you all are still a part of my life forever. I remember our talks in Roddy Hall with you and Tom Mertz. I enjoyed hearing about you in this article. Retirement is great, live well and love often.

Bonnie Work, Retired Secretary, Computer Science Dept.

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