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UR Nursing Scholars Program  

Joshua Billings

A former case manager who helped survivors of human trafficking, Joshua is pursuing his bachelor's as the first step toward a career in psychiatric and mental health nursing.

Joshua Billings, APNN Student

Even before Joshua Billings thought about becoming a nurse, he always had a passion for taking care of others. 

Before his journey into health care brought him from Salt Lake City, Utah to Rochester, Joshua worked as a case manager at a nonprofit that provided counseling to survivors of sex trafficking. 

There, he noticed that many of his clients were struggling to access physical and mental health care. Joshua had been applying to master’s programs in social work so he could better help survivors, but a conversation with a nurse practitioner opened his eyes to another path to addressing this vulnerable population’s needs: psychiatric and mental health nursing. 

Joshua’s bachelor of science degree marks the start of a career where he can offer quality health care and healing to marginalized populations while addressing the health disparities he witnessed firsthand in his past career. After gaining more clinical experience as a registered nurse, he hopes to continue his education by pursuing a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner master’s degree. 

As a new father to a baby girl, Joshua also valued that UR Nursing creates a welcoming environment for students from a variety of backgrounds, and saw the Finger Lakes region as a great spot for starting his family.


Why UR Nursing? 

"I applied to UR Nursing because I appreciated the emphasis that the program put on still being present for one’s family. At the time, I had just found out my wife was pregnant, and I saw a quote from the program director saying that he would rather a student get a B and still be a present partner and parent. That was a huge part of choosing the program for me."

What have you enjoyed most about the bachelor’s program? 

“I have loved my clinical experiences. I have had some fantastic clinical instructors that really encouraged learning and curiosity. They made the experiences amazing, and that has been critical in helping me find where I want to be in nursing moving forward.”

How has UR Nursing’s relationship with the UR Medical Center helped you as a nursing student?

“The chance to learn and observe in such a well-established medical center is really special. The URMC network has some amazing strengths. To be able to learn in that environment is a really unique opportunity.”

Why Rochester? 

"I love how green and beautiful Rochester is. There are so many beautiful parks and trails to explore in Rochester and the surrounding cities and towns. I would specifically recommend Oatka Creek Park in Scottsville. It is a stunning place to fish and birdwatch."

Connect With Us

Interested in becoming a nurse? Connect with us to learn more about the UR Nursing Scholars program or Accelerated Nursing Programs from the University of Rochester.

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