Faculty/Staff Profile

Shirley Wiggins, PhD, RN
Associate Professor

Contact Information
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
College of Nursing - Lincoln Division
550 N 19th Street
Lincoln, NE 68588-0620
tel: (402) 472-7367
E-Mail: swiggins@unmc.edu

Dr. Wiggins received her BSN degree and her MSN degree in Maternal Child Nursing from UNMC College of Nursing in Omaha, NE. She received her PhD. in Nursing from the University of Colorado Health Science Center, School of Nursing in Denver, CO. Her clinical background includes acute and ambulatory pediatric nursing and child and adolescent mental health nursing.

Faculty Practice

Dr Wiggins has a faculty practice at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in the Department of Nursing Education and Research as a Nurse Scientist. In this role she has developed a clinical research fellowship program for clinical pediatric nurses in which she teaches and mentors clinical nurses in research methods and processes in order to support research that impacts clinical nursing care, interventions, and policies. Upon completion of their research projects nurse fellows disseminate their research through publication and implementation into practice. In this role she also supports all nurses throughout CHMC who are engaged in nursing research. In addition she serves as a member on the shared governance council on research and evidence based outcomes (CORE). This council supports Evidenced-based and Nursing research throughout CHMC.


Dr. Wiggins has taught nursing in both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She currently is the course coordinator in the graduate level course entitled Health Systems Innovations and Improvement. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level pediatric nursing courses. She works with students in the graduate programs (DNP & PhD) focusing on research and evidence based projects. She has served as the Chair of the College of Nursing General Faculty Organization, and Faculty Coordinating Council. She is currently a member of the CON’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. She was the CO-PI of an educational research initiative grant of $350,000. funded by the Teagle Foundation for a distance LPN to RN-BSN education program.

Dr. Wiggins research focus is in the area of pediatric pain and symptom management. Her research focus includes mixed methods designs (qualitative and qualitative research). Her work with symptom management includes the use of wrist actigraphy to assess the impact of pain on the sleep of children and adolescents. Research funding and grant applications include:

  • UNMC College of Nursing Niedfeldt Nursing Research Center Boost grant. Sleep actigraphy in a group of children and adolescents. $500.00.
  • Edna Ittner Research Grant. An intervention for managing pediatric pain. $15,000

Professional Service/Recognition

  • Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN)-Nominations Committee Chair 2016-2018
  • Past President of the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) 2014-2016
  • Nebraska Society of Pediatric Nurses-member
  • Sigma Theta Tau- Gamma Pi Chapter-member
  • Manuscript Reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Journal of Pain Management, Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, & Pediatric Nursing
  • Kathryn Sandahl Philp Award for creativity & innovation in teaching 2011
  • Excellence in Nursing: Selected for the top 25 nurses by the March of Dimes Omaha, NE 2010
  • Distinguished Teaching Award UNMC 1995