Abigail Wilpers, MSN, WHNP-BC is the 2018 recipient of the Edith M. Pritchard Scholarship. Abigail is a doctoral candidate at Yale University with 10 years of experience working with families whose pregnancies have become complicated by a fetal anomaly.
Abigail received her BA in psychology from Barnard College in 2010. She then worked in research with the Carmen & John Thain Center for Prenatal Pediatrics before returning to school to become a nurse. Abigail received her MSN from the Yale School of Nursing in 2016 and completed a master’s thesis on Maternal Anxiety Related to Prenatal Diagnoses of Fetal Anomalies That Require Surgery. This was a pilot study at the Yale Fetal Care Center, the results of which were published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing in 2017.
With the support of the Edith M. Pritchard Scholarship, Abigail is conducting her dissertation research designed to generate a model of nursing practice and identify research priorities in the emerging field of fetal care. Fetal care is comprehensive perinatal care provided by a multidisciplinary team following the prenatal diagnosis of a fetal anomaly. This includes evidence-based and experimental fetal therapies. This study will serve as a primary step in developing a nursing specialty in fetal care and studying nursing’s impact on clinical outcomes. The findings will significantly contribute to building, defining and enhancing fetal care.
Abigail is currently working at the Yale Fetal Care Center developing a Perinatal Palliative Care and Bereavement Program. Her long-term goal is to become a nurse scientist and develop a program of research focused on the needs of families facing severe fetal complications.