UAB School of Nursing Dean's Nursing Scholars

The Dean’s Nursing Scholar program is designed for academically talented high school seniors who are strongly considering a career in nursing. Scholars receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Opportunities to visit the School of Nursing to attend special events designed for the Scholars to learn about nursing and the BSN program
  • Priority admission to the highly ranked and competitive BSN nursing program as long as the Scholar:
      • Enrolls at UAB directly from high school
      • Successfully completes the required undergraduate pre-requisite foundation and core classes
      • Achieves and maintains a 3.2 or higher GPA in the required nursing pre-requisite courses
      • Maintains a minimum overall 3.0 GPA

    Criteria for Selection

        Individuals selected for the Dean’s Nursing Scholars must:

        • Be a high school senior
        • Achieve a composite ACT score of 25 or above or an equivalent composite SAT score
        • Possess a minimum high school grade point average of 3.2
        • Be admitted to UAB through the UAB Office of Undergraduate Admissions

    Application Process

        All applications must be submitted by the posted deadline. All applicants must:

        • Complete the admission application through the UAB Office of Undergraduate Admissions

    Applicants with an ACT score of 25 or higher should and a High School GPA of 3.2 or higher will be select as School of Nursing- Dean’s Nursing Scholar as part of your admission’s offer. All application materials are reviewed in the process of selection of Dean’s Nursing Scholars.


    Application deadline is December 1 for priority consideration, and applications will be accepted through May 1 of a student’s senior year of high school, on a space available basis.


About the Jonas Scholars


The Jonas Nurse Scholar program supports doctoral nursing students pursing both PhD and DNP degrees. The goal of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Program is to increase the number of doctorally-prepared faculty available to teach in nursing schools nationwide, as well as the number of advanced practice nurses providing direct patient care. The Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program is a component of the Nurse Scholar Program that aims to increase the number of advanced practice nurses and faculty who are trained specifically in the unique needs of our veteran population.

Supported by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, both programs provide financial assistance, leadership development and networking support to expand the pipeline of future nurse faculty and advanced practice nurses. As part of their scholarship experience, all Jonas Scholar attend the Jonas Nurse Scholar Conference, a three-day event in Washington, DC, designed to convene the current Jonas Scholars for networking, mentoring and educational opportunities with prominent nurse educators, executives and policy experts in the field.

2015 Jonas Scholars


Nolan Timya 2Jonas IV Nurse Leader Scholar
Timiya Nolan, CRNP, ANP-BC
PhD Student

Timiya S. Nolan is a two-time graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing (BSN-2008; MSN-2011). She holds certification as an adult nurse practitioner and teacher of nursing. Timiya's nursing background is in hematology/oncology and primary care. In these settings, she has been an active team member who effectively communicates, treats, collaborates, and establishes rapport. As a former full-time instructor of adult health at UAB, she has become skilled in the design of challenging, enriching, and innovative learning activities. She volunteers as nurse practitioner in the medical ministry of The Worship Center Christian Church and the PATH Clinic of Birmingham, Alabama. She is the Membership Chairperson within the Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association. Academically, Timiya is a full-time pre-doctoral fellow enrolled in UAB's Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program. Her research interest involves reduction of health-related disparities within breast cancer survivorship. Particularly, she is interested in understanding and bettering the survivorship of young African American breast cancer survivors with dissemination and implementation of age-specific and culturally-sensitive interventions. As a Jonas Scholar, she will use her research and teaching expertise to assist with the development and implementation of the Alabama Oncology Nursing Society’s semi-annual conference.


student photoJonas IV Veterans DNP Healthcare Scholar
Karen Thombley, C-NPT, NNP-BC, RNC-NIC
DNP Student

Karen Thombley's nursing career began in 1986 when she pursued an LPN degree. She graduated in 1988 and briefly worked as a charge nurse in a nursing home. She knew there was more and desired to continue her education. She moved to Oklahoma and returned to school to complete her BSN in 1991, after which she began working in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Ms. Thombley had incredible medical and nursing mentors and soon learned that neonatal nursing was her passion. In 1995 she joined the US Air Force. Her 19-year career has all been spent in the neonatal specialty between three military treatment facilities: Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX-7.



Nicholson Chance 1Jonas IV Veterans PhD Healthcare Scholar
Chance Nicholson, MSN, BS, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, RN-BC
PhD Student

Chance Nicholson, MSN, BS, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, RN-BC, is a first year academic faculty member in the university setting who is also seeking his PhD at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) after receiving his MSN in 2013. Currently, he is investigating the role of the vagus nerve in HIV neurocognitive disorders. Furthermore, he is exploring the relationship between the vagus nerve and PTSD. His current faculty practice is through the Veterans Administration as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at an outpatient clinic in Bessemer, Alabama. The faculty practice was developed through a partnership with UAB where he has served as a clinical preceptor and instructor in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program. The partnership is one of only four in the country. He is a recent recipient of the Sigma Theta Tau Rising Research Star award. Formerly, he worked as an RN in the psychiatric intensive care unit at UAB. In this role, he served as the president of the psychiatric nursing congress and it was in this this role where he developed a nutritional model at UAB hospital. For this work, he received an innovation award along with an award of clinical excellence. Furthermore, he served as the primary committee member of the psychiatric patient satisfaction team where the hospital improved its overall scores from the 20th percentile to the 90th percentile. Additionally, he has published in the arenas of addiction, game theory and healthcare, and personality disorders. Prior to nursing, he received a bachelor's degree in psychology where he researched in the field of clinical psychology and worked as an addiction counselor associate at Pine Grove Mental Health in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


UAB School of Nursing Honors Program

The UAB School of Nursing Honors Program provides unique experiential learning opportunities in research where students are introduced to basic research concepts and provided the opportunity to complete defined research activities as part of a faculty research team. Students will have the opportunity to explore the role and career path of a nurse scientist. All undergraduate nursing students are eligible to apply for admission to the Nursing Honors Program, including BSN and RN-BSN Mobility students.


Students must meet the following criteria to be considered for acceptance into the Nursing Honors Program:
  • A minimum 3.40 GPA in BSN Foundation courses
  • A minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA for courses completed at UAB and at other Universities


To apply for admission to the UAB School of Nursing Honors Program, interested students must:
  • Complete and submit the Honors Program Application Form
  • Write a one-page essay on how the Honors Program will contribute to the achievement of your future professional goals
  • Complete an interview with an Honors Program Selection Committee

All application materials are reviewed in the process of selection of Nursing Honors Program participants.


Honors Program participants must:
    • Maintain a minimum overall UAB GPA of 3.00, and a minimum 3.25 GPA in completed nursing coursework
    • Complete the required six credit hours of Nursing Honors Program Courses (NUR 450, NUR 451, and NUR 452)

Special Recognition


Students who successfully complete the Nursing Honors Program will receive a certificate of acknowledgement at the UAB Honors Convocation and will graduate “With Honors in Nursing.” Students who participate in both the UAB Honors Program and the School of Nursing Honors program will graduate “With University Honors in Nursing.”

For More Information:

 morrison Shannon Morrison, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC
Honors Program Director
      We acknowledge the Endowed Fund that provides support to the Nursing Honors Program that was established by Celia A. Wallace on February 4, 2005 to honor Kristen Celia and Gerald Leon Wallace, Jr.

About the RWJF Scholars


The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a leadership program, spearheaded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), that is increasing the number of nurses holding PhDs around the country. More PhD-prepared nurses are needed to increase the number of nurse leaders, conduct nurse-led science and discovery, and educate the next generation of nurses, the Institute of Medicine has said. The Future of Nursing Scholars program provides grants to schools of nursing, so that they can provide scholarships to PhD candidates who will commit to completing the program in three years. Less than 1 percent of the nation’s more than 3 million nurses have PhDs in nursing or a related field. In addition, the average age at which nurses get their PhDs in the United States is 46—13 years older than PhD earners in other fields. This program provides an incentive for nurses to start PhD programs earlier, so that they can have long leadership careers after earning their PhDs.

2015 RWJF Scholars


PhD June4 2015 47Jacqueline Bui, BSN, RN

Jacqueline Bui, BSN, RN, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in researching the cardiovascular effects of toxicities related to breast cancer treatment. There is a lack of knowledge about this area and Bui, she wants to ensure that breast cancer survivors receive the information they need to be aware of cardiovascular problems that may result from chemotherapy or radiation. Early diagnoses tend to lead to better prognoses.

Bui earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She works as a staff nurse in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit at UAB Hospital, where she has developed a passion for supporting long term ICU patients. She hopes to one day develop a group that helps these patients and their families cope with the emotional aspects of long-term stays in an ICU. She is particularly interested in working with the families of patients using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and ECMO patients during their bridge to heart and/or lung transplant recovery.

PhD June4 2015 62Anna Hoenig, BSN, RN

Anna Hoenig, BSN, RN, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in improving neurocognitive functioning, particularly in traumatic brain injury patients with pre-existing conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a staff nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, AL.