Newswise — Nancy A. Hodgson, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Anthony Buividas Term Chair in Gerontology and Associate Professor of Nursing, will assume the role of Director of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation on July 1, 2017. The Hillman Scholars Program, funded by the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation (RAHF) and launched in 2011, was established to educate a new cadre of nurse scientists and leaders to develop innovative solutions in health care. This unique program, takes students from the BSN to PhD simultaneously.

After successfully leading the Hillman Program into its next funding cycle, Connie M. Ulrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Lillian S. Brunner Chair in Medical and Surgical Nursing and Professor of Nursing, will return to her National Institutes of Health-funded research and is completing her book on medical ethics. As Director, Ulrich led important curricular changes and innovations that enable highly qualified undergraduate nursing students to co-matriculate in PhD study.  She fostered the expansion of partnerships with the University of Pennsylvania’s health system to provide clinical immersion experiences to inform Scholars’ programs of research, and forged opportunities for Scholars within the Penn Center for Healthcare Innovation She has been a phenomenal mentor and supporter to Hillman scholars who have benefitted from her expertise as an extraordinary researcher, scholar, and teacher.

“In addition to Connie’s considerable intellectual contributions, it is her generous spirit as a mentor that truly defines her tenure as Hillman Director. Our Foundation is deeply grateful for the myriad ways she has graced the program,” said Ahrin Mishan, Executive Director of the RAHF. “We are also excited to have Dr. Nancy Hodgson, a nationally-recognized nurse researcher, as the program’s next leader. Her academic experience and breadth of research make her an excellent choice for the position."

Hodgson has more than 20 years of experience in geriatric nursing education and aging research, and a long-term commitment to designing and testing intervention strategies to improve the quality of life for chronically ill older adults and their caregivers. She has a strong funding and publication record in the field of gerontology, nursing, palliative care, and dementia caregiving. Hodgson is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America.