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A:The Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation prepares the next generation of nurse innovators who have the knowledge and research skills needed to solve complex health problems and improve patient care. By completing a PhD earlier in their career, Hillman Scholars will have a greater impact on patient care through leadership, innovation and research in a variety of academic and clinical settings.
A:The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation is a New York-based philanthropy dedicated to improving the lives of patients and their families by fostering nurse-led innovation.
A:Rita & Alex Hillman were noted philanthropists and art collectors. In the late 1980s, the city and countrywide nursing shortage inspired Rita Hillman to shift the focus of the foundation to support nursing in New York City, with a special emphasis on bedside care, and to assist nursing students who could not afford tuition. Since 1989, the Hillman Foundation has provided support for more than 1,200 registered nurses. In 2011, the Hillman Foundation funded the University of Pennsylvania for the first Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation followed by the Universities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michigan in 2012.
A:UNC and the University of Pennsylvania are the only two schools in the nation to offer the Program.


A:Hillman Scholars are expected to complete their PhD degree in three years after completing their BSN.
A:Yes, in order to move the Hillman Scholars forward to the PhD in a timely fashion, course work, research and mentoring will continue during all summer sessions.
A:Yes, upon completion of the pre-licensure requirements, and before matriculating into the PhD program, Hillman Scholars must apply for and successfully complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam at which point they become registered nurses (RNs).
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 work with their research faculty mentor who guides them through the Honors Project. Their dissertation builds on the work done for the Honors Project.


A: Eligible applicants include UNC School of Nursing BSN students who have been admitted to the August cohort just preceding the Hillman Scholars application deadline and students who have applied to the ABSN cohort for May matriculation following the Hillman Scholars application deadline.
A: No, the Hillman Scholars Program is only available to pre-licensure nursing students.


A: There will be four students admitted each year. The students will be selected from the applicant pool of BSN students and ABSN admits.
A: No. The GRE Requirement has been waived.
A: All eligible applicants will have their Hillman application reviewed by a faculty committee, and select applicants will move forward for an interview.


A: Hillman Scholars receive approximately $15,000 per year for the undergraduate nursing program. Upon completion of their BSN, they receive annual doctoral training support for three years to cover tuition living stipend, health insurance, research support and travel to annual Hillman meetings.
A: Each situation will be considered on an individual basis; however, not completing the program will require the student to reimburse the grant for the amount of the loan granted to date.


A: In addition to the regular mentoring all students receive as part of their curriculum in the School of Nursing, Hillman Scholars are mentored by the Director of the Hillman Scholars grant: Dr. Cheryl Jones and by a research faculty member to whose research aligns with their interests. Scholars and their faculty mentors are typically partnered in the first semester of the Hillman Program.
A: The intent is that the Hillman Scholars will work with their mentor throughout their program of study.


Dr. Cheryl Jones leads the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation with a unique blend of scientific inquiry, research and clinical expertise.

Cheryl B. Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
Office: 4012
Phone: 919.966.5681

 Contact Us

The office is located in Carrington Hall, Room 3002

Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation
School of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carrington Hall
Campus Box 7460
Chapel Hill, NC 2759-7460

Phone: 919.966.4260