Emory School of Nursing faculty member named distinguished alumna by UNC School of Nursing

By Andy Goodell | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | May 2, 2019

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Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Associate Professor Jill Hamilton, PhD, RN, FAAN, was named a Distinguished Alumna from her alma mater, the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hamilton received the award on April 6 during Carolina Nursing’s Alumni Award & Donor Recognition Ceremony in Chapel Hill, N.C. She earned her BSN, MSN and PhD in nursing from the School of Nursing at UNC.

Hamilton has been instrumental in advancing nursing evidence on cancer disparities for older African Americans. She has developed measures of coping related to spirituality and has conducted research to examine the ways sociocultural factors influence how older African Americans use social support and spirituality when faced with cancer. She has gained national and international recognition for her groundbreaking research on the persistent challenges related to stigmatizing attitudes toward cancer.

She has cultivated community partnerships with African American leaders, including religious and lay persons to develop a leading program of research that is intrinsically related to her scholarship to reduce cancer disparities. Through her program of research, she has successfully mentored and collaborated with undergraduate and graduate students and interdisciplinary colleagues in the dissemination of research findings through publications and presentation at national conferences. 

She is published in scholarly journals on topics related to social support, religiosity, spirituality and quality of life among African Americans with life-threatening illnesses. Hamilton has done original research on the effects of religious songs and verses from Scripture on coping with stress among older and younger African Americans, which is published in the Journal of Religion and Health, the Gerontologist and Nursing Research. Her research on the use of religious songs to alleviate psychological distress when diagnosed with cancer is published in Cancer Nursing. Her work on religious songs was featured in the November 2012 Thanksgiving edition of Good Housekeeping

Hamilton was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar from 2003-2007 and a member of the 2014 Class of the UNC Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a faculty scholar of the Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Duke University.