Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Yale School of Nursing

Allison Shorten, PhD, RN, RM MSc, FACM

shortenAssociate Professor of Nursing

Division of Acute Care/Health Systems

Yale School of Nursing - Rm 20510
Yale University West Campus
P.O. Box 27399
West Haven, CT 06516


203.785.6455 fax


Allison Shorten is an Australian registered nurse and midwife. Dr. Shorten achieved a Diploma of Applied Science (nursing) with distinction in 1987 and holds BN and MSc (community health) degrees, all from the University of Wollongong (UOW). She graduated with a PhD from the University of Sydney in 2006.

Over more than two decades, Dr. Shorten's research has identified important determinants of birth outcomes through her examination of models of care, health insurance systems, and the cascade of intervention. Her trailblazing Birth Choices decision-aid research has contributed important evidence to inform international development of tools that support shared decision making in pregnancy, in particular, with women making choices about birth after previous caesarean. As a result of this work, Dr. Shorten won the UOW Trailblazer Award in 2008. Funded by AHRQ to adapt and translate her Birth Choices decision aid using health information technology, Dr. Shorten is currently leading a web-based decision aid implementation study at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Shorten has made significant contributions to issues affecting the development of midwifery in Australia, leading the design and launch of the first national best-practice Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for midwives. Named 'MidPLUS', the program reflects the value added to the profession when midwives are supported in lifelong learning to remain competent and contemporary. MidPLUS has been recognized for its role in supporting national safety and quality standards within the national regulatory framework for Australian midwives.

As Associate Editor for the journal Evidence-Based Nursing, Dr. Shorten contributes international expertise in evidence based midwifery and women's health. Allison has extensive experience in academic roles and is a passionate educator and mentor, who actively promotes student engagement in learning and research. Connecting her teaching and research through reflective and responsive course design, she integrates case-based learning strategies to engage students to explore current evidence, fostering development of skills in clinical decision making and facilitating opportunities to identify research questions for the future.

Research Interests and/or Clinical Practice

Development of patient decision aids; shared decision making in pregnancy care; evidence based practice in nursing and midwifery; promoting physiological birth.

Selected publications

Shorten, A., Fagerlin, A., Illuzzi, J., Kennedy H.P., Lakehomer, H., Pettker, C., Saran, A., Witteman, H., Whittemore R., (In Press) Developing an Internet-Based Decision Aid for Women Choosing Between Vaginal Birth After Cesarean and Repeat Cesarean Birth. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.

Shorten, A., Shorten, B. (2014) Timing the provision of a pregnancy decision-aid: Temporal patterns of preference for mode of birth during pregnancy. Patient Education and Counseling, 97(1), 103-13.

Goldberg, H., Shorten, A. (2014). Patient and Provider Perceptions of Decision Making About Use of Epidural Analgesia During Childbirth: A Thematic Analysis. Journal of Perinatal Education, 23(3), 1–9. 

Shorten, A., Shorten, B., Powell Kennedy, H. (2014) Complexities of Choice after Prior Cesarean: A Narrative Analysis. Birth, 41(2), 178-84.

Goldberg, H., Shorten, A. (2014). Differences between patient and provider perceptions of informed decision making about epidural analgesia use during childbirth. Journal of Perinatal Education, 23(2), 104-112.

Coffey K., Shorten A. (2014). The Challenge of Pre-Conception Counseling: Using reproductive life planning in primary care. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 26(5), 255-62.

Shorten A., Shorten B. (2014) Research Made Simple: Which Statistical Tests Should I Use? Evidence Based Nursing. Published on-line November 26th 2014. http://ebn.bmj.com/content/early/2014/11/26/eb-2014-102003.full.pdf+html 

Twycross A., Shorten, A. (2014) Research Made Simple: Service evaluation, audit and research: what is the difference? Evidence Based Nursing, 17, 65-66. 

Shorten A., Morley C. (2014). Research Made Simple: Selecting the Sample, Evidence Based Nursing, 17, 32-33. 

Shorten A., Shorten B. (2013). Research Made Simple: Hypothesis testing and p values: how to interpret results and reach the right conclusions, Evidence Based Nursing, 16, 36-37. 

Shorten A., Shorten B. (2013). Research Made Simple: What is meta-analysis? Evidence Based Nursing, 16, 3-4. 

Dugas M., Shorten A., Dubé E, Wassef M, Bujold E, Chaillet N. (2012). Decision Aid Tools For Obstetric Care: A Meta-analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 74(12), 1968-78.

Shorten A., Shorten B. (2012). Success, Satisfaction and Postnatal Health: The importance of mode of birth after previous cesarean. Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, 57(2), 126-132.

Shorten A. (2010). Bridging the gaps between mothers and medicine: “New Insights” from the NIH Consensus Conference on VBAC, Birth, 37(3), 181-183. (Guest Editorial). 

Shorten A., Shorten B., Keogh J., West S., Morris J. (2005). Making Choices for Childbirth: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Decision-aid for Informed Birth after Cesarean. Birth, 32(4), 253-262.

Shorten A., Chamberlain M., Shorten B., Kariminia A. (2004). Making choices for childbirth: development and testing of a decision-aid for women who have experienced previous caesarean. Patient Education and Counselling, 52(3), 307-13.