Sacramento is home to first-rate hospitals and medical care systems, which offer groundbreaking research programs and direct patient health care. In fact, U.S. News recently evaluated nearly 5,000 hospitals and ranked the capitol city’s UC Davis Medical Center in the top three percent in the country for adult cancer treatment.

Terri Wolf is in a newly created position as the nursing and quality coordinator at the UC Davis Cancer Care Network. She was previously an oncology nurse and healing arts educator. Wolf earned a master’s degree in nursing science and health care leadership in Sacramento after getting her RN and a BS degree in nutrition and communications. Wolf says that her education was vital to her successful career.

Terri Wolf, nursing and quality coordinator, UC Davis Cancer Care Network (credit: Valerie Heimerich)

Terri Wolf, nursing and quality coordinator, UC Davis Cancer Care Network (photo courtesy of Terri Wolf)

Education and its on-the-job application

“In my experience, every single class I took has come to bear in the job I have now,” says Wolf. As part of her current role, Wolf helps empower nurses to assist in transforming the healthcare process. Making things better for patients cannot be accomplished “if things are done the same old way,” so Wolf’s education in healthcare leadership has been invaluable.

Leadership takes development

While it is true that “every hospital system is different,” the foundation and skills you learn in nursing school are critically important. One aspect of her Sacramento education particularly sticks with her, that being how dedicated her instructors were to being outstanding role models. Wolf says that “education helps show others what leadership looks like” and sets a high standard for your own performance.

Becoming a nurse as a second career

For years, Wolf worked in a corporate environment, with duties related to communications and marketing. While this had its satisfactions, she decided to return to school to advance her career in the medical field. Having that background in business helped her apply the leadership skills she learned when getting her master’s degree. According to Wolf, education is essential to reshaping the delivery of healthcare. “The bottom line is having the best possible patient care, and that can only happen when nurses are engaged and involved.”

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at


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