Dr. Hickman began her nursing career in New York—in community mental health and public health. She has taught nursing since 1974—in a diploma program in the Chicago area, at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Neumann College in Aston, PA, Penn State, Delaware County, Eastern College. St. Davids, PA and WCU. While at Eastern, she served as the Dept. Chair of Nursing and as the Associate Dean for Health Sciences. She has been on the faculty at WCU since 1992, when she was hired to implement the MSN Program. Dr. Hickman holds the academic rank of full professor. She is currently serving as the Special Assistant to the Graduate Dean.
Dr. Hickman's book, Faith Community Nursing (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) was published in 2006. Other recent publications include book chapters on nursing theory in J. B. George's Nursing Theories and H. Harkreader's Fundamentals of Nursing. Dr. Hickman is secretary of the Board of Directors of the Neighborhood Health Agencies, Inc., and she holds memberships in Sigma Theta Tau and the Association of the Community Health Nurse Educators.
Dr. Hickman lives in West Chester with her husband Ken. Their son, Kennedy is the Executive Director of the All-Sports Museum at the Pennsylvania State University.