Curriculum and Financial Support

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The Hillman Scholars Program takes a unique approach by combining the nursing education traditionally associated with the BSN program with advanced study as nurse scientists and innovative leaders. The curriculum gives the Scholars a seamless progression from entry into the BSN program through completion of the PhD. Specialized clinical and research experiences help scholars address important practice problems that have policy relevance.

Hillman Scholars are expected to complete their PhD degree in nursing within five to six years from matriculating into the BSN program.

“I believe the Hillman Scholars Program will give me all the tools I need to be a successful nurse researcher, professor, and ultimately a leader in the field.”
-Leah Morgan, Hillman Scholar

Hillman Seminar

Highly interactive seminars assist in integrating the knowledge and skills of reflective practice and scientific discovery. During these seminars, the scholars learn from today’s innovators, including the Hillman Scholar mentors, campus entrepreneurs, visiting scholars, colleagues from the Research Triangle and other research consultants.

Learn how to use science to improve health care 

  • Being part of a mentor’s research team provides relevant research skills for completing the undergraduate Honor’s Project and then building on it to complete dissertation research (read more on the Hillman Scholars Mentors page).
  • Individualized clinical experiences, tied to the scholars’ research interests, help scholars envision innovations that improve the care of patient populations and bring value to patients, providers and systems.
  • The scholars learn how to link scientific inquiry with real-world innovation by joining clinical research teams that are examining problems in practice. Through this experience, they learn how new models of care are tested and observe PhD-prepared nurse scientists in action.

Financial Support

Each Hillman Scholar will receive a forgivable education loan for the undergraduate nursing program ($15,000 per year). They will also receive doctoral training support of $35,200 per year for three years that will cover tuition, living stipend, health insurance and a modest travel fund.


Curriculum FAQs

Q: How long is the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation?
A: The program is completed in 14 to 17 semesters.

Q: Will Hillman Scholars be expected to continue course work through the summers?
A: Yes, in order to move the Hillman Scholars forward to the PhD in a timely fashion, course work, research and mentoring will continue though all summer sessions.

Q: Will Hillman Scholars be eligible for the RN licensure exam?
A: Yes, upon completion of the pre-licensure requirements, during the BRIDGE summer session, Hillman Scholars will be required to apply for and successfully complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam at which point they will become a registered nurse (RN).

Q: Is the Honors Project a requirement of the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation?
A: Yes. The Honors Project occurs in the latter portion of the undergraduate course work. This project is an essential component of the Hillman Scholars Program. Hillman Scholars will work with their research faculty mentor who will guide them through the Honors Project. Their dissertation builds on the work done for the Honors Project.