Seeing Double: Twin Graduates Share a Passion for Nursing

Allison and Graison Davis are identical twins both graduating from the University of Florida College of Nursing in May.

Allison and Graison Davis started life sharing an amniotic sac and placenta. Ever since, the identical twins have mostly shared everything else, including a love of nursing.

This week, both will graduate from the University of Florida College of Nursing and embark on their careers – together.

“We have signed a lease for an apartment here in Gainesville. We’ll both be working at Shands,” said Allison.

They would not have it any other way.

“There has been hardly a difference between the girls. Personality, friends and grades are all similar. They like the same things and have shared everything,” said their mother, Carla Davis.

There are differences. Allison is a bit more outgoing, and Graison has just a few more freckles across her cheeks, but otherwise, they are identical, even down to their mannerisms. They embrace their similarities, as well as the special bond they share. Even more unique, the sisters have a fraternal triplet, a brother named Ellis, who studies political science at Valdosta State University.

“We are all close, probably more than normal siblings, but (us two) have always been super close. You never have to go through anything alone,” Allison said.

“Built-in best friends,” Graison finished.

Known as monochorionic-monoamniotic or “mo-mo” twins, they make up less than 1% of U.S. twin pregnancies.

Sometimes, the sisters don’t have to speak to be on the same page.

They never discussed careers. As children, they both wanted to be veterinarians. Then, in high school, they decided, almost as one, to go into nursing. Now, they both want to be operating room nurses. 

“We never really talk about it. We like the same things,” Graison said.

Carla said growing up, the girls even wanted the same gifts.

“We had people tell us to separate them more, but there wasn’t any harm being done. If one was controlling the other or if it was harming them in some way, then sure, but that was never a problem. They would fight like regular siblings, but they never wanted to be apart,” she said.

The twins settled on OR nursing thanks to the opportunities they had during their education.

“We did an honors rotation in the OR at Shands and loved it. We were able to see how nurses help patients just before and after surgery,” Allison said.

Graison recalls one case where a surgery team – focused on the procedure – was unaware of the patient’s emotional state. It was the OR nurse offering comfort and support.

“You could tell he was really scared. His eyes kept darting back to the nurse, and the nurse kept telling him everything was going to be OK,” she said.

Growing up in St. Marys, Georgia, just north of Jacksonville, most of the Davis family were Gator fans. Dad, Michael is a UF mechanical engineering graduate. Carla, who graduated from Florida State University, long ago ceded the family loyalty, though she cheers for FSU during rivalry games.

Allison and Graison Davis pose with Albert and Alberta statues.
Allison and Graison Davis pose with Albert and Alberta statues. The identical twins are both graduating from the UF College of Nursing. Their type of twinning is one of the rarest forms making up less than 1% of U.S. twin pregnancies.

“We grew up going to Gator games our whole lives. So, for us, this was college. That was always the dream to come here,” Allison said.

While they applied and were accepted at other universities, they held out until they heard back from UF.

“We wanted to be nurses that graduated from UF. We love the college. It’s the best nursing school in the state, so how can you give up on the dream of going here,” she said.

Carla’s biggest fear was for one twin to get in and not the other.

“Their grades were so close, but you never know. I know it’s hard to get into UF. We were so blessed that not only did they get into UF, but they also both got into the nursing school,” she said.

College was the first time the twins did not share a room, though they did live together. They always looked out for one another.

When Allison made friends early on in college, her biggest worry was that they also liked Graison. They did. They are so much alike that they cannot help but get along.

They even got along in the womb. One of the complications of “mo-mo” twins is twin transfusion syndrome, where one twin gets the majority of the nutrients from the shared placenta. But Allison and Graison never had an issue, though they were delivered early at 32 weeks.

“One weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and the other was 4 pounds, 8 ounces,” said Carla, who even fought to have the babies placed in the same incubator while in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Twenty-one years later, they have no interest in being apart for the foreseeable future.

“Probably until one of us gets married. That will probably be the great divide,” Allison said, though they agree their romantic interests need to get along with the other twin.

One thing they never did, however, was try to trick their teachers.

“We’ve been super rule followers. We’ve been more afraid of getting caught than tricking our teachers,” Allison said.

“It would have worked, though,” Graison added.

“They have enough trouble telling us apart without us trying to trick them,” Allison finished.