CTSI Spotlight: Deanna Sheeley

Deanna Sheeley, RN, is director of Clinical Research Nursing Services for CTSI’s Clinical Research Services (CRS) program. In April 2013, she received the 2013 Excellence in Leadership in Nursing Award, which honors a nurse who has made an outstanding contribution within the UCSF Medical Center through a professional presence.

The Department of Nursing at the UCSF Medical Center created the Excellence in Leadership in Nursing Award to recognize exceptional leadership and service. How do you feel about receiving this recognition?

Receiving the award was a wonderful honor and I value this recognition from the department of nursing for providing exceptional leadership. I work with an outstanding cadre of clinical research nurses who are passionate about their work and provide highly specialized care to patients participating in clinical trials. It is the combined synergy and expertise of the interdisciplinary team I work with daily that enables me to be successful in my leadership role.

How long have you worked at UCSF?

I have worked within the UCSF Department of Nursing in a variety of different clinical areas and roles for 35 years.

What do you do at UCSF and how is it connected to the UCSF mission?

I am the Director of the Nursing Clinical Research Services, which is provided at several sites offering both pediatric and adult inpatient and outpatient services. The research centers provide meticulous research nurses experienced in the implementation of sophisticated clinical research protocols. The research nurses are trained in good clinical practice, certified to provide chemotherapy & biotherapy administration, conscious sedation, IV therapy, pharmacokinetic blood sampling, administration of investigational drugs in clinical trials, complex specimen collection, pre- and post-operative care of surgical patients and venipuncture. I meet with new investigators to review protocols, identify nursing services required, estimate budgets, coordinate study implementation, oversee the nursing care provided to the patients, and monitor that all procedures are completed to achieve optimal study results.

The UCSF Medical Center’s mission is Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering. It is one of the very best medical centers in the nation, and I believe the CRS Clinical Research Centers are at the heart of the “Discovering” part of this mission. Being the best requires a combination of cutting edge research, outstanding and internationally known researchers, and the finest, most compassionate nursing care delivered to patients participating in clinical trials. The exciting science that is happening at our centers is transforming research into clinical care, and resulting in peer review publications that validate the value of CTSI’s mission of accelerating research to improve health.

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?

It is challenging in these economic times to strategically identify ways to do more with less. One of my personal goals has been to expand the nursing expertise beyond the Clinical Research Walls into other areas in the UCSF Medical Center and beyond. Currently, the research nurses are providing specialized mobile research visits on 14 protocols to several inpatient nursing units and clinic areas. The most rewarding part of my job is hearing from the patients and families we provide care to on the multiple and varied clinical studies.

What do you like most about being a nurse at the UCSF Medical Center?

I love being a nurse at UCSF. I am most proud of the recent American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet designation that was awarded in September 2012 for outstanding quality care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional practice. Research standards in this designation are high and hard to achieve with completion of nursing research projects and publications that define our mission. Only 7% of hospitals in the United States and abroad have achieved this status and we are the only magnet-designated hospital in San Francisco. Our department is grounded in the shared governance model and several of the research nurses are representatives on the department-wide councils.

What are some things that people may not know about the work you do?

I believe in promoting and advancing the nursing profession both nationally and internationally. I was part of a group that started up the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN) dedicated to supporting education and professional practice of clinical research nurses across all settings throughout the world. IACRN’s mission is to promote excellence in clinical research nursing practice through education, collaboration and dissemination of best practices. Each year I organize an opportunity to send two clinical research nurses to the group’s annual conference to learn from the international networking and excellent educational forums.

If you chose another career path outside UCSF what would it be?

Another career path outside of UCSF will begin after I retire and have time to spend on my passion for nursing in an alternative, complementary and integrative treatment model that focuses on holistic nursing practice and addresses all aspects of health and wellness. I will be collaborating with other professional practitioners who share this passion and we plan to open a holistic healing center that will offer acupuncture, massage, guided imagery, mindfulness techniques and reflexology to integrate mind, body and spirit for optimal health.

What's something that your colleagues or members of the UCSF community might be surprised to know about you?

I love jazz music and play saxophone and clarinet.

What are your favorite things to do with your free time?

I am an avid gardener, and I enjoy creating color spots of flowers in my backyard that bring the beauty of nature to my home.

CTSI Spotlight is part of an ongoing series that offers an opportunity for faculty and staff to learn more about the wide range of people who make CTSI's work possible. See all featured faculty and staff.