Photo of Shirley Moore

Shirley Moore, a nurse scientist “blending heart and mind,” awarded Distinguished University Professorship

Shirley Moore can’t recall a time in her life, even as a girl on the family’s Ashtabula, Ohio, dairy farm, when she didn’t want to be a nurse, to care for others.

But Moore, the Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing and associate dean for research at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, remembers exactly when she gained a parallel passion for scientific research in support of nursing.

“It was like a click—a spontaneous conversion in my 30s when I got my PhD,” she said. “Maybe I was a bit young to become a nurse scientist, but I knew then that I wanted to devote my life to developing evidence for the difference that nurses make.”

Now, Moore is being awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve, an honor acknowledging outstanding contributions of full-time, tenured professors with a distinguished academic record of extraordinary research, scholarship, teaching and service.

Moore, who received her MSEd, MSN and PhD from Case Western Reserve and has been on the faculty since 1992 and associate dean for research since 2001, is one of four recipients to be so honored during fall convocation on Aug. 30 at Severance Hall.

Over the last 25-plus years, her accomplishments reflect a career that has fulfilled both professional, personal pursuits—caring for others and enriching the field as a nurse scientist.

Moore, who received her MSEd, MSN and PhD from Case Western Reserve, has secured—as principal or co-investigator—more than 40 research grants totaling $35 million and eight education-training grants totaling another $8 million.

She’s published more than 150 manuscripts and was named inaugural inductee into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

In addition to directing the Center of Excellence in Self-Management Research, she has served as co-director of U.S. Veterans Affairs Quality Scholars Program and as past president of the Academy for Healthcare Improvement.

Moore was named a fellow in the National Academies of Practice, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Nursing, and has lead six national projects addressing the design and testing of interdisciplinary curricula on continuous quality improvement.

She also works in leadership for the national Quality and Safety Education for Nurses and at the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Institute at Case Western Reserve. 

“Shirley is always learning—new methods, new communities to connect with, new questions to answer,” said Kurt C. Stange, MD, PhD, Dorothy Jones Professor and director of the Center for Community Health Integration at Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve. “And she shares this excitement of discovery with others to create communities of shared learning.”

Others talk as much about Moore’s character and caring as they do about her awards or accomplishments.

“For 30 years—since she was my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop leader—Shirley Moore has been a model for blending heart and mind into the soul of university and community life,” said Peter Whitehouse, professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve.

Martha Sajatovic, the Willard Brown Chair in Neurological Outcomes Research at Case Western Reserve, described Moore as “an outstanding mentor, respected colleague and caring, sharing person who always has something smart, useful and memorable to say.”

Moore’s affection for Case Western Reserve is also rooted in professional relationships.

“People here listen to you with an open heart,” she said. “I know people from all disciplines, and they have really enriched my research and ideas.”

That collaborative approach has helped Moore become a “pioneer in self-management science and cardiac care” as she has involved colleagues in exercise physiology, medicine, systems engineering, neurocognitive science, economics, psychology, social work and statistics, School of Nursing Dean Mary Kerr wrote in Moore’s award nomination.

Moore said that collaboration also supports the main objective she realized as a young girl—helping people.

“My main thing is behavior change for promoting healthier lives,” she said. “Working with other disciplines helps to measure that and make it happen, and that’s a good thing.”