Our Scholars Programs

Hillman Scholars in Nursing Innovation
Creating tomorrow’s leaders, today

The Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation is designed to produce the next generation of nurse researchers who will lead the realignment of health care to become more effective, patient-centered, accessible, equitable, and affordable. ”Many nurses are drawn to direct care and think that the only way they can make a difference is by taking care of patients one by one,” says Hillman National Program Director Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCRN. “We are focused on the power of nurses to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of patients through research and innovation that influence practice and policy.”

Students accepted into the Nursing Innovation program will embark on an integrated plan of study that will take them from undergraduate to PhD in seven years or less. The program’s diverse and demanding educational experience, which incorporates interdisciplinary course work, strong faculty mentorship, collaboration with established research teams, and ongoing exposure to clinical practice, is intended to equip young scholars with the knowledge and know-how necessary to solve complex health problems, and to translate those solutions into real world results.

“The Hillman Foundation grant [program] sets a new stage for the PhD in nursing,” says Dean Kathleen Potempa, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Michigan School of Nursing. “It fosters our goal of improving the health and well-being of society through the impact of our research and by educating nurses for leadership in academic and practice roles. By starting the research path during the undergraduate years, students will attain a PhD early in their careers and have the opportunity to participate in and lead research in a longer career trajectory that can have a greater impact on caring for patients.”

The first Hillman Program in Nursing Innovation was launched at the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall of 2011. Two new programs are slated to begin in 2012-2013 at the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In addition to the impact we expect our scholars to have on the future of health care, we would like to see this initiative help to redefine the image of nursing doctoral education and inspire other institutions to rethink the status quo. Our hope is that the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation will model a new kind of nurse identity—one that transcends the divisions of researcher vs. clinician and that links scientific inquiry with an imperative for real-world improvements in health and the delivery of care.

For more information, please contact:

Linda H. Aiken, Ph.D.
National Program Director, Hillman Program in Nursing Innovation
The Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor of Nursing
Director, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research
University of Pennsylvania
418 Curie Blvd.
Claire M. Fagin Hall, 387R
Philadelphia, PA  19104-4217
Phone: 215-898-9759

Hillman Scholars
A Proud Tradition of improving Bedside Care in New York City

For over twenty years the Hillman Scholars Program – an innovative loan-forgiveness strategy that provides scholarship support to students in exchange for a two-year work commitment at a NY hospital – has helped to introduce talented young bedside clinicians into the NY workforce. Initially established at the University of Pennsylvania and then replicated at New York University and the Philips Beth Israel School of Nursing, the program evolved in response to the demand for quality nursing in New York as well as the ever-present need for scholarship support amongst eminently qualified students. Terry Fulmer, former dean of the NYU College of Nursing, has called the program’s contributions “particularly important in a time of severe nursing shortages. Anyone visiting a New York City hospital will most likely have a chance to be cared for by a Hillman nurse.”

Following the creation of the Hillman Scholars Program, the Hillman Foundation formed a partnership with Lenox Hill Hospital to begin the Partners In Practice program. Partners In Practice is an eight-week externship that enables recent graduates and qualified undergraduates to hone their clinical bedside skills under the supervision of a seasoned nurse mentor. This initiative has given valuable real-world experience to hundreds of young New York-based nurses, easing their transition from academia into the workplace.

After two decades, the Hillman Scholars Programs and Partners in Practice have graduated more than 1,500 Scholars.  With the new Nursing Innovation Scholars initiative, we look forward to building on this important legacy.

Meet the Hillman Innovation Scholars

The admissions process for the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation is highly competitive. We have assembled a select cadre of elite students who combine high academic achievement with the passion and tenacity necessary to make a difference in the world. These Scholars, we believe, are future change-makers and we invite you to learn more about them here.