Allison Gilmer is a recipient of the Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Scholarship. Allison is pursuing a master’s degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner at Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing. She chose a career in nursing because of her compassion for underserved populations, and her desire to eliminate health and education disparities. Allison received her undergraduate education at Boston College, graduating in 2015 summa cum laude, where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and minored in Hispanic Studies. During her undergraduate career, Allison worked as a tutor for Anatomy and Physiology in the school’s Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing program, where she worked individually and in small groups with freshman nursing students to help them master the subject.
Allison worked as a research assistant to Dr. Callista Roy, and as part of her research, she presented at multiple Sigma Theta Tau International conferences. She studied abroad in Ecuador, where she worked in rural clinics to provide care and vaccinations for local populations, and collaborated with the medical school to conduct health histories for children. After graduation, Allison was accepted into the New Graduate Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in the emergency department, and was soon hired on as a staff nurse. In addition to her role as a nurse, Allison works as a preceptor and an Attending RN for the emergency department, and serves on multiple committees.
While working in the emergency department, Allison realized the overarching disparities in healthcare, and the wide gaps in health literacy. While her passion was initially limited to global communities, her experiences showed her the need for health promotion, education, and advocacy in her own backyard communities. As such, she returned to Boston College in September 2016, where she is currently pursuing an advanced practice degree in Family Practice, while continuing her work at MGH.
Between working full time and pursuing her degree, Allison works as a teaching assistant in the simulation lab, where she has helped create a nursing skills session for students to practice the basics while emphasizing the importance of holistic, compassionate care. Boston College recognized these efforts by awarding Allison the Donald J. White teaching award, the University’s highest recognition for excellence in graduate student teaching. As she begins her clinical placements, Allison will be part of a health promotion trip to Haiti in January of 2019.
Allison hopes to use her education to promote health throughout the lifespan in the primary care field. She seeks to provide equal care to people of all backgrounds, to discourage disparities. She plans to focus her practice on expanding health literacy and education, to emphasize patient autonomy and wellness. Additionally, she aims to participate in outreach programs, both at home and abroad, to encourage positive health practices and provide education and aid to populations. Allison is amazingly excited about these opportunities, and looks forward to the completion of her education and upcoming career.