Allen College

Abby Nieman
Allen College Class of 2019 - Doctor of Nursing Practice

Employment History

I am currently an Associate Professor in the BSN and MSN Programs at Allen College. I am passionate about ensuring the students I come into contact with will receive quality instruction from me but in a fun, interactive, and inclusive environment.

I have worked in a variety of positions in my nearly 20-year nursing career. I spent nearly 14 years at Allen Hospital in the areas of ICU, NICU, Home Health, and Mental Health. I also spent time as a Director of Nursing at a small nursing home and currently work PRN on a med-surg unit at a local critical access hospital.

My passion is volunteering. I am active on our town’s EMS service, on the board of the music program for our local school and serve at various places around the Cedar Valley.

What led you to pursue your education at Allen College?

I took a very long road to achieve the degree I have. I was not an Allen grad for any of my previous degrees (ADN, BSN, or MSN) and initially started my doctorate at a different school as well. For many reasons, I transferred my studies in my second semester of the DNP to Allen College. I wanted to become part of the niche family that is Allen College, in addition to working here. Allen College is pretty special!

Any accomplishments, awards, or proud moments?

The biggest accomplishment for me is finishing my DNP in May of 2019. It was, by far, one of the hardest things I have ever done. Going to school, working full time, and being a full-time parent is challenging. Apart from my ADN degree, all my other degrees were completed while I worked full time and grew my family. The road was long to get here, but looking back, it has made me into the nurse and educator I am today. I am proud to say I finished with Allen College.

What led you to your exact career path?

When I started nursing school 20 years ago, I had examples of both bad and good teachers. I swore I would never make students feel inadequate the way some of my teachers made me feel. I was usually the nurse that took on new orientees or took on student nurses. I just love teaching and I love to see that moment when it all “clicks.”

Hobbies or interests?

My hobbies involve traveling – we have been to Las Vegas and Colorado numerous times, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, Florida, Black Hills and more all in the last 10 years.

I also love to be outside. My husband and I typically spend our weekends outdoors hiking, kayaking, fishing, or walking our dogs. Otherwise we can be found cheering on our kids in their many activities! I also spend my free time playing Xbox. I even have my own gaming corner in my basement!

What piece of advice would you give to current Allen students?

My advice is to enjoy the ride. This is only a short period of time in the grand scheme of your career. You will meet people who will become friends for life and will become your most trusted allies in school. While nursing school is rigorous, take the time to enjoy the mundane. Stay connected with yourself and give yourself LOTS of grace.