Dr. Wendy Darby is a Professor of Nursing at the University of North Alabama Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions and the PI for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program at UNA. She earned her baccalaureate in nursing degree from the University of North Alabama (1984) and master’s in nursing degree from the University of Alabama Huntsville (1996). Upon graduation and certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner she had the privilege of working in a pediatric clinic where she provided holistic care to infants, children, and adolescents. In 2001, she began working full time at the University of North Alabama as a pediatric instructor. Dr. Darby worked collaboratively with Dr. David Colvard, Children’s Hospital and Intervention and Prevention Services (CHIPS), and the Cramer Children’s Advocacy Center to create the first nurse practitioner managed non-acute child abuse clinic in North Alabama. Since that time over 500 children have been evaluated by Dr. Darby and the health care providers at the clinic. Wendy is a member of the Alabama Child Abuse Provider network and is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). Dr. Darby has presented regionally and nationally on child abuse topics. She is a facilitator for the Darkness to Light Child Abuse Prevention Program. Dr. Darby received her PhD from Capella University in 2005. While in graduate school, she authored an E-Monograph titled Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) and School Age Children: History and Outcomes (2005). Her dissertation titled, The Experiences of School Nurses Caring for Students Receiving Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Therapy was published in The Journal of School Nursing (2006). Her current research interests are in the field of serious gaming and teaching-learning experiences in the simulation lab. In 2009, Dr. Darby contributed case studies to the Maternal-Child Nursing Care: Optimizing Outcomes for Mothers, Children and Families textbook by F.A. Davis (2009). She is a Certified Nurse Educator and a recipient of the University of North Alabama Outstanding Service Award (2009). Dr. Darby was recognized with a Teacher of the Year award by the AEW Committee (2009). She serves on the Career Technical Education advisory board for Sheffield City Schools and the Give-A-Kid-A-Chance advisory board which provides back to school supplies, clothes, and assistance to families in need. Dr. Darby created the first online nursing course that received Quality Matters (QM) certification in 2016. Since that time she has received QM certification for two additional courses and has three courses awaiting QM review. Dr. Darby served as the Graduate Programs Director from 2012-2014. During that time she developed an effective system of academic recruitment, advisement, and matriculation for graduate students. She ensured that evaluation and assessment data points for the Graduate programs were collected and analyzed and shared with the appropriate committee, the Dean, and the faculty. Dr. Darby provided leadership in the implementation of the ACONHP Program Evaluation Plan. As an undergraduate student nurse at UNA Wendy was a recipient of federal financial aid. Without financial assistance a college degree would not have been possible. She is a first generation college graduate.

Research Interests

  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Health and Child Abuse


  •   Human Services, Health Care Administration (PhD)
    Capella University
  •   Nursing (MSN)
    The University of Alabama in Huntsville
  •   Nursing (BSN)
    University of North Alabama

Selected Intellectual Contributions

  • Wendy A. Darby, Melissa G. DeFoor, Neysa L. Brown, and Tera R. Kirkman. 2021. Evaluating Leadership Behaviors and Patient Safety Competencies During a Timed Multiple Patient Simulation. Nursing Education Perspectives
  • Melissa G. DeFoor, Wendy A. Darby, and Vicki G. Pierce. 2020. "Get Connected" Integrating Telehealth Triage in a Pre-licensure Clinical Simulation. Journal of Nursing Education
  • Margaret H. Bergeron, Wendy A. Darby, Melissa G. DeFoor, and Neysa L. Brown. 2020. Escape Room Relay Race: "Go for the Gold" in Formative Assessment. Journal of Nursing Education
  • Melissa G. DeFoor and Wendy A. Darby. 2020. “Motivate to Lactate” Utilizing Motivational Interviewing to Improve Breastfeeding Rates. The Journal of Perinatal Education
  • Neysa L. Brown, Wendy A. Darby, and Coronel. 2019. An Escape Room as a Simulation Teaching Strategy (2019). Clinical Simulation in Nursing
  • Wendy A. Darby. 2006. The Experiences of School Nurses Caring for Students Receiving Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Therapy. The Journal of School Nursing