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Columbia Nursing Student Spotlight Series: Allison A. Norful


This is 4 of 4 in Columbia Nursing’s 2017 Graduate Spotlight series.


Allison Norful PhD(c), MSN, ANP-BC is graduating with a PhD following a predoctoral fellowship in Columbia Nursing’s Center for Health Policy.  Her training was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research with a T32 grant, Comparative and Cost Effectiveness Research Training for Nursing Scientists (CER2)


Over the past 15 years, Allison has held numerous clinical, administrative, and academic positions. She is currently practicing as an adult nurse practitioner at North Coast Medical Group in Sea Cliff, NY and is also on the medical staff at NBC Universal’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. During her time at Columbia Nursing, she served as the President of the Doctoral Student Organization, the PhD student representative, and was the first Columbia student to be named a Hermann Biggs Health Policy Society scholar. 


This past year, she received the prestigious honor of being inducted into the New York Academy of Medicine.  Allison was the first in her family to go to college and received a BSN from La Salle University and a MSN from New York University.  She currently lives on Long Island with her husband and two sons.


Why did you choose Columbia Nursing?


When selecting a school to pursue a PhD in nursing, it was important for me to choose a school that had exceptional faculty expertise. I wanted to work closely with faculty that have demonstrated expertise in nursing science, research methodology, and nursing advocacy. Columbia Nursing was the clear choice for me and has far surpassed my expectations.


As a 2017 graduate, how does it feel?


It is an amazing feeling to look back and reflect on what I have accomplished while pursuing my PhD. It was challenging and exciting and I feel confident that I can pursue my careers goals following graduation. 


What did you gain from your education at Columbia Nursing?


Columbia Nursing presented me with so many opportunities, both in and out of the classroom, to build my career and help me reach my professional goals. In addition to the traditional coursework, Columbia faculty aligned me with colleagues and organizations from across the nation that I will continue to collaborate with following graduation. I also feel like I gained a second family. I never expected how close I would become with my PhD cohort and the PhD faculty and staff at Columbia Nursing. I am graduating but also taking with me such strong friendships and collaborations for years to come.


What’s the next step in your career?


I have been awarded a two-year NIH funded postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University’s Irving Institute for Clinical and Translation Research. I will be working with colleagues in both the school of nursing and the College of Physicians and Surgeons as I continue to build a strong research program with the long-term goal of obtaining a tenure track faculty position at a research-intensive university.


Do you have a favorite memory of your time at Columbia Nursing?


There have been so many milestones along this journey. I remember sitting with my cohort the first week of school and being so amazed at the diversity of our group and the excitement to start the PhD program. Now three years later, we have been through it all together, from passing qualifying exams and defending dissertation proposals, to cheering each other on at regional and national conferences. I have so many special memories with both my fellow students and the faculty.


I also cherish the time I spent while serving as the President of the Doctoral Student Organization. We held some memorable events, especially our outreach programs in the community. The ability to bring together both DNP and PhD students and give back to local schools and organizations was so heartfelt.


Finally, the pinnacle of my time at CUSON was my induction into the New York Academy of Medicine. It has been such an honor to represent the nursing profession and gain recognition for such hard work and dedication. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my peers and my amazing faculty mentors. 


How did Columbia Nursing make you a better nurse?


Columbia Nursing has given me a strong foundation of skills and expertise to build a successful research program and continue to be a nursing leader. As a nurse practitioner and now a nurse scientist, I am ready to build evidence that can translate into reaching a high quality of care and optimal patient outcomes.