Tonya  Shanahan
Associate Professor and Department Chair, Nurse Practitioner Program
Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing
1536 CHS Building 1

Dr. Tonya Shanahan joined Samford as full time faculty in 2017.  She has served as faculty at The University of Alabama and Mississippi University for Women.  In addition to her faculty role, she is the Health Education Specialist for the Nurse Practitioner Residency (NPR) grant at Samford University (2019-2023). She is nationally certified as a FNP by the ANCC and is prepared as a D.N.P.  She has been a nurse educator since 2007 and has a variety of experiences with program, curriculum, and course development.  Her D.N.P. project provided service to Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service on a heart failure curriculum development program for paramedics.  During her 12-year clinical practice at a federal qualified health center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, she provided health care while adhering to the federal regulations.  Dr. Shanahan now serves in her community practicing in a family medicine clinic. She is completing a Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine. This additional training will provide extensive knowledge of evidence-based obesity treatment approaches and show her patients an ongoing commitment to health.

Dr. Shanahan serves as co-chair on the Academic Practice Partnership and Community and Global Engagement allowing her to continue ongoing professional relationships in the clinical area.  She works with the medical facilities to place and supervise NP students with preceptors.  She serves on the Alabama State Nursing Association Legislative committee focused on policy reform to ensure excellence in NP education and NP scope of practice. She receives support from her husband and family. She is an active member in her church and serves as a women’s group leader.

Degrees and Certifications

  • DNP, Samford University
  • FNP-BC, American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • MSN, Mississippi University for Women
  • BSN, University of Alabama
  • COI, (certified online instructor), Quality Matters

Awards and Honors

  • Travel Award, Samford University Student Representative AACN Student Policy Summit, 2016
  • Sigma Theta Tau, 2007

Involvement/Professional Societies

  • Obesity Medicine Association
  • West Alabama Nurse Practitioners Association
  • Sigma Theta Tau
  • Alabama State Nursing Association (ASNA)
  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • National League of Nursing (NLN)
  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • ASNA Legislative Committee
  • Nurse Practitioner Alliance Association (NPAA)
  • National Organiation of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF)


  • Health care for the homeless
  • Public Health
  • Health care mobile unit delivery system

Recent Publications

  • Shanahan, T. & Cunningham, J.  (2019). Courage to trust. Journal of Christian Nursing. (Accepted- pending publication)

Recent Presentations

  • Shanahan, T. (2020). AANP CE 1.25 hours. Diabetes mellitus: Focusing on the pharmacologic management. Retrieved from
  • Chatman, S., Shanahan, T. & Wynn, S. (2019, November 15).  Nurse Practitioner Students Becoming Culturally Competent: Using Transcultural Nursing Theory. Podium presentation at King’s International Nursing Group Conference. George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • Scott, L., Dunn, L., & Shanahan, T. (2019, February 16). A Quality Improvement Project to Improve the Usage of Universal Lipid Screening Guidelines at a Federally Qualified Health Center in the Southern United States. Poster session presented at CANPA Annual Conference: The Impact of Cardiometabolic Risk Across the Lifespan, Birmingham, AL.
  • Shanahan, T. & Hess, A. (09/27/2018). Diabetes Management: Old and New Medications. 2018 Andy Chaffin Diabetes and Renal Disease Summit, AHEC. Gadsden, AL.
  • Shanahan, T. (08/18/2018). New Medications for Diabetes Management. Advanced Practice Nursing Pharmacology Update 2018 Conference. UAB Hospital, Birmingham, AL.
  • Shanahan, T. (06/20/2018). Presentation to Governor's School Students. Governor's School Visit to Samford University, Birmingham, AL.