Allison Dimsdale, RN


Duke Cardiology, South Durham and Southpoint
Associate Vice President
Private Diagnostic Clinic
Nurse Practitioner Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine,
Duke University School of Medicine
Clinical Associate Faculty Duke University School of Nursing

Nan & Hugh Cullman Heart Center Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice

About Allison

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This nominee chose nursing as a second career and in 23 years has progressed from a novice bedside nurse to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). She is a transformational leader skilled in driving change and transforming culture for Advanced Practice Providers (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants-APPs).

She promotes innovation with a focus on developing leaders, improving high-quality clinical care, and increasing access for patients. She is relentlessly enthusiastic, passionate and high-energy. She inspires shared vision, challenges existing processes, and enables and empowers others to act through creative nursing education and mentorship.

As a clinician, she is dedicated to providing medical care for cardiovascular patients, especially those struggling with heart failure. As a teacher and mentor, she expects and brings out the best in her students, both in the classroom and in the clinical setting.

Quote from one of her APPs: (Example of integrity)

“She has been incredibly transparent and honest with APPs regarding the upcoming transition of existing university employees to the PDC slated for July 2021. Her honesty is reassuring during a time of change and many unknowns. This has helped alleviate concerns of multiple team members and this is greatly valued.”

This candidate personifies excellence in nursing. She began her career at Duke in the Cardiothoracic Stepdown unit, and soon after, moved into critical care in the CCU. She earned her CCRN, was a preceptor and charge nurse in the CCU; she helped co-write the Magnet Certification application and staff looked up to her as a mentor. She left the CCU and took a position in cardiology research and entered the Duke School of Nursing RN to MSN program. Upon graduation, she became a board certified Nurse Practitioner in cardiology.

Some quotes from her patients’ state:

  • “She is a practitioner of the highest caliber, combining her expertise of cardiology with a warm caring personality. She is very thorough in explaining her treatment strategies and options. She also listens to my questions with respect and her answers are extremely thorough and complete. She is also willing to answer any further questions that arise from her answers. I always enjoy my follow up visits.”
  • “I feel she really cares about me, and what is best to maintain good heart health.”
  • “Exceptionally courteous, knowledgeable and patient, answered any and all questions.”

In addition to providing care within the clinic, she has volunteered with Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA), the State Medical Assistance Team, and Samaritan Health Center.

She is an accomplished and engaging speaker, having presented to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2019 & 2017), the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (2019), the American College of Cardiology (2018 & 2016), the North Carolina Nurses Association (2018 & 2017), the Institute of Medicine (2014), National League for Nursing (2011) and other nursing, medicine, and advanced practice groups. She has lectured at the Duke University School of Nursing, the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and been a guest speaker at the University of Alabama, West Virginia University and Georgia Regents University. She is highly relatable; she tailors her lectures and speaking style to her audience, making concepts easily understandable.

Her nursing credentials are highly impressive. She has published in several journals, including Circulation, Advance for Nurse Practitioners, Nursing, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology. She has also been an Expert Peer Reviewer, an exam item writer for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) exam review committee, a member of the AACN self-assessment exam development committee, website testing group and a member of the AACN Advisory Board. Within the Duke community, she has served on the CCU Clinical Practice Committee, the CCU Ethics Committee, and as a member of Duke AHEAD (Academy for Health Professions Education and Academic Development). She is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP), an Associate in the American College of Cardiology (AACC), a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Leadership Program, and was an inaugural member of the North Carolina Advance Practice Leaders Consortium. She is highly respected among her peers for her strong grasp of cardiology.

As a key opinion leader for advanced practitioners (APPs), this candidate has driven change and transformed culture. She strives to ensure APPs work to the height of their scope and licensure and designed and implemented metrics for evaluating productivity of inter-professional teams. 

She has also developed and implemented programs for APPs that include: workforce optimization, retention strategies, team-based care models, and compensation. She has presented her work to various groups, including: participation in a think tank strategizing novel ideas for lipid management; working with medical and administrative leadership to brainstorm a new structure for utilizing APPs; consulting and advising inter-professional care delivery teams.

This candidate, prior to becoming a nurse, spent many years performing as a professional musician and teaching music students. She successfully transferred her skills of working one-on-one and with a coordinated group to health care. She now works with a team of physicians, advanced practice providers and other health care staff to improve patient outcomes. She truly enjoys working with patients to help them fully understand their disease processes and how to manage their care. She also manages and advocates for other nurse practitioners and physician assistants, mentors novice nurse practitioners and teaches at the Duke School of Nursing. She has been an inspiration to her 2 daughters, both of whom have become exemplary nurses.

Quote from one of her APPs: (Example of Collaboration)
“It is not in Allison’s nature to break a promise. She is an honorable, dependable, and decent character. In her role as APP Director for the PDC, she is responsible for the onboarding of new APPs in a variety of practice settings. When it came to her attention that one Duke Physician Assistant (PA) in a more remote community location had been hired with no formal Orientation plan, she quickly created an orientation committee and reached out for resources. She created an Orientation timeline, advocated for the PAs education, and even arranged multiple shadowing experiences. She collaborated with the PA’s leadership to ensure these experiences were supported. The PA’s experience was ‘phenomenal’. This is the responsibility that she demonstrates for every APP that she leads. Education and mentorship are at the core of who she is as a professional and she will follow through with her endeavors.”

This candidate exemplifies the Caring Theory as evidenced by her personal quest for knowledge-first pursuing her RN to MSN degree, then her DNP. She continues to educate herself and others in current practice. Whether seeing patients in clinic or mentoring new nurses, she is present with that person and her attention is 100% focused on helping and making sure the patient, family, or mentee fully understands the situation.

If a patient is unable to fully participate in their care, she makes sure there is family to help, or provides referrals for assistance. She is mindful of others’ beliefs and tailors her care to respect them. She has personal and family experience with cardiac care at Duke, which gives her extraordinary insight. Her empathy and caring go above and beyond.

Florence Nightingale had this candidate in mind when describing the qualities of an excellent nurse; she embodies the Nightingale spirit, strength and character in the care and empathy that she provides for her patients and their families, as well as the advocacy and mentoring she displays for her peers.





Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021