PHOTO: Abigail Neff

Abigail Neff

Abigail Neff, BSN, RN, OCN is the recipient of the 2023 Isabel McIssac Scholarship, an award designated for master’s degree candidates in honor of Isabel McIssac, the first chairperson of the original memorial fund of Isabel Hampton Robb, the beginning of Nurses Educational Funds. This scholarship recognizes the student with the highest evaluation score in the master’s applicant group.

Abigail received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Villanova University. She was also a four-year member and captain of the varsity field hockey team. In her senior year, she walked on to the varsity track and field team and threw the javelin, helping the team with the Big East Outdoor Championship.

Prior to enrolling in an accelerated nursing program at Gwynedd Mercy University, Abigail worked for her family’s funeral business. Through her experiences caring for grieving families and having recently completed a collegiate athletic career, she decided to pursue a career in nursing, as she was craving the same type of team-oriented environment in the professional workforce.

Abigail began her nursing career at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia working as a staff nurse on the oncology unit. After two years with the pediatric population, she transitioned to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the radiation oncology department as a primary nurse on the thoracic team. In this role, she was responsible for caring for patients with thoracic malignancies undergoing radiation therapy. She coordinated with other interdisciplinary teams to provide advocacy, patient education and symptom management. In 2021, Abigail received the Radiation Oncology Medical Resident Teaching Award, given by the residents to recognize a member of the nursing team who displays excellence in patient care, radiation oncology teaching, and collaborative work with residents. She is an active member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society. She is also a member of “Oncolink”, a Penn Medicine Cancer database, helping to educate the oncology population.

In September 2022, she accepted a position within the department as Clinical Practice Lead Registered Nurse for the network sites. In her current role, Abigail supports the eight network practices and their nurses through onboarding, continued education, and best practice identification and implementation. Her interest in collaboration, teamwork, and process improvement drives her mission to support staff in adapting and adhering to new technologies and policies. In this role, she maintains an active presence in all the practices and works harmoniously with the clinical nurses, radiation therapists, and practices with other medical staff and representatives from other healthcare disciplines.

Abigail is a current Master of Nursing Health Leadership student at the University of Pennsylvania. She chose to pursue a career in heath leadership to feed her passion for learning and teamwork. Through this program, she intends to advance as a nurse leader. She plans to continue inspiring, empowering, and motivating fellow nurses to practice at the highest possible level. Through collaboration, teamwork, and mentoring colleagues in a supportive way she feels she makes a difference at a higher level and ultimately improves the care patients will receive.



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