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Rachel Hirschey, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 5104

Currently Accepting PhD Students

Rachel Hirschey, PhD, RN is a behavioral scientist with more than 7 years or experience in the field of exercise oncology. She is an associate member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on designing and testing physical activity interventions to improve cancer outcomes and eliminate cancer disparities. Priorities in Dr. Hirschey’s work include: (1) co-creating interventions with key stakeholders; (2) guiding interventions with dual process behavior theories; (3) creating interventions to be scalable and sustainable in oncology practice; and (4) tailoring interventions for groups who experience cancer disparities. Dr. Hirschey serves on the Oncology Nursing Society Triangle Chapter Board as co-chair of leadership and mentorship. She is passionate about working with oncology nurses and students to implement evidence-based practice changes.

Dr. Hirschey is the PI of a North Carolina Translational Research Institute Stakeholder engagement project. The goal of the project is to build a participatory research collaboration to design a physical activity intervention for African American cancer survivors. She is also the PI of a Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Alpha Chapter pilot grant. The goal of the project is to explore multilevel factors that influence nurses providing physical activity counseling to cancer survivors.

Other recent completed projects include a meta-analysis of the psychosocial constructs that predict physical activity in cancer survivors and a pilot randomized trial of an intervention to increase exercise among breast cancer survivors.

  • Triangle Oncology Nursing Society Conference Travel Award 2019
  • Lineberger Cancer Outcomes Research Program Travel Award for Fellow/Trainees 2019
  • Oncology Nursing Society Oncology Nurse Scientist Intensive 2018
  • Triangle Oncology Nursing Society Conference Travel Award 2018
  • Lineberger Cancer Outcomes Research Program Travel Award for Fellow/Trainees 2018
  • Jonas Scholarship for Nursing Leadership 2014-2016
  • Duke Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship 2015
  • Oncology Nursing Society Connections Scholarship 2013
  • Thanks Star Award – Patient nominated award for exceptional service 2008
  • Endicott College Award for Excellence in Science Academics 2004
  • Dolores Oullette Scholarship 2013
  • Awarded for balance of scholarship, nursing practice and community

Bryant, A.L., Coffman, E., Phillips, B., Tan, X., Bullard, A., Hirschey, R., Bradley, J., Bennett, A.V., Stover A.M., Song L, Shea, T.C., & Wood, W.A.  (2019). Pilot Randomized Trial of an Electronic Symptom Monitoring and Reporting Intervention for Hospitalized Adults Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Supportive Care in Cancer.

Hirschey, R., Rodgers, C., Hockenberry, M. (2019). A Program to Enhance Writing Skills for Advanced Practice Nurses. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. PMCID: PMC6684255.

Hirschey, R., Pan, W., Kimmick, G., Hockenberry, M., Shaw, R., and Lipkus, I. (2019). What Do Breast Cancer Survivors Expect from Exercise? Cancer Nursing. doi: 10.1002/pon.4849. PMID: 30085945.

Hirschey, R., Kimmick, G., Hockenberry, M., Shaw, R., Pan, W., Page, C. (2018). A Randomized Phase II Trial of MOVING ON: An Intervention to Increase Exercise Outcome Expectations among Breast Cancer Survivors. Psychooncology. doi: 10.1002/pon.4849. PMCID: 30071146. PMC6684254.

Bryant, A.L., Coffman, E., Bullard, E., Hirschey, R., Bradley, J., Stover, A., Wood, W. A., & Bennett, A.V. (2018). Experiences of Inpatient Bone Marrow Transplant Nurses and Providers using Electronic Symptom Reporting. Journal of Oncology Practice. doi: 10.1200/JOP.18.00074. PMID: 29944435.

Hirschey, R., Kimmick, G., Hockenberry, M., Shaw, R., Pan, W., Lipkus, I. (2018) Protocol of Moving On, a Randomized Controlled Trial to Increase Outcome Expectations and Exercise among Breast Cancer Survivors. Nursing Open. doi:10.1002/nop2.119. PMID: 29344401.

Lewinski, A.A., Mann, T., Flores, D., Vance, A., Prvu Bettger, J., & Hirschey, R. (2017). Partnership for Development: A Peer Mentorship Model for PhD Students. Journal of Professional Nursing. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2017.03.004. PMID: 28931484

Hirschey, R., Docherty, S. L., Pan, W. & Lipkus, I. (2017). Exploration of Exercise Outcome Expectations Among Breast Cancer Survivors. Cancer Nursing Doi:10.1097/NCC.0000000000000362. PMID: 26925999.

Hirschey, R., Lipkus, I., Jones, L., Mantyh, C., Sloane. R., & Demark-Wahnefried W. (2016). Message Framing and Physical Activity Promotion in Colorectal Cancer Survivors. Oncology Nursing Forum, 43(6), 697-705. PMID: 27768135.


Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Alpha Chapter | 2019
Exploration of Multilevel Factors that Influence Nurses Providing Physical Activity Counseling to Cancer Survivors
Project Goal: To assess multi-level factors that impact nurses’ delivery of physical activity counseling.
Source: Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Alpha Chapter
Role: PI


North Carolina Translational Research Institute | 2019
Stakeholder engagement voucher “African American Cancer Survivor Engagement to Develop a Physical Activity Intervention”
Project Goal: To build a participatory research collaboration with a community partner and develop the research strategy section of a grant proposal.
Source: North Carolina Translational Research Institute
Role: PI

  • Implementation of physical activity interventions into oncology care
  • Cancer disparities
  • Development and testing of theory-guided interventions