University of Nebraska Medical Center

Shirley Wiggins, PhD, RN

Associate Professor, UNMC College of Nursing


Dr. Wiggins received her BSN degree and her MSN degree from UNMC College of Nursing in Omaha, NE. She completed her PhD. in Nursing from the University of Colorado Health Science Center, School of Nursing in Denver, CO. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Nursing at UNMC College of Nursing. Her clinical background includes pediatric acute, ambulatory, and child and adolescent mental/behavioral health nursing. Her research is focused on pain and symptom management in both pediatric acute and chronic conditions. At the CON she teaches graduate course work in systems improvement and innovation. In addition, she mentors graduate students in the DNP program. In her practice role she serves as a Nurse Scientist at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Omaha, NE. The Nurse Scientist role continues her opportunities to mentor pediatric nurses in research and publications related to clinical pediatric nursing care. She developed and teaches the clinical research nursing fellowship at Children’s. Her commitment to pediatric nursing continues in her service role. Currently she serves on the Clinical Practice and Research Committee and a recently formed research task force of the Society of Pediatric Nurses. This task force includes pediatric nurse scientists, researchers, clinicians, and faculty from pediatric hospitals and academic medical centers across the U.S. The research focus of this task force includes the mental and behavioral nursing care of children admitted for care in pediatric acute care hospitals and emergency departments across the U.S.
  • 1974, BSN, UNMC
  • 1978, MSN, UNMC
  • 2002, PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences
Research Interests
  • Acute and chronic pediatric pain and symptom management
  • Quality of life in children diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta and their families
  • Quality and safety of pediatric clinical nursing care
  • *Vacek, A., Wiggins, S., & Struwe, L. (2021). Nurse and provider pain management education priorities and barriers. Pain Management Nursing, XXX (XXX). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2021.06.007
  • Wiggins, S., Kreikemeier, R., & Struwe, L., (2020).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Parents’ Perceptions of health-related quality of life of children diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 55, 75-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/jpedn.2020.06.009
  • *Hawkins, M.J., Wiggins, S. A., & Struwe, L., (2018). A retrospective, quantitative review of patient Outcomes in the HEROES program. Applied Nursing Research, 43, 18-23. https://doi.org/10.1013/jpnr.2018.06.017
  • *Colyer, E., Sorenson, M., Wiggins, S., & Struwe, L., (2018). The effect of team configuration on the Incidence of adverse events in pediatric critical care transport. Air Medical Journal,37(3), 186-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amj.2018.02.006
  • Mott, S., Fogg, N., Foote, H., Hillier, M., Lewis, D.A., McDowell, B.M., Saunders, K., Taylor, J.T., Wiggins, S., Ivey, J.B., Benedetto, C.O., Beam, P.H., McKnight, K.B., Taha, A.A., Vann-Patterson, A. (2018). Society of pediatric nurses’ core competencies for the pediatric nurse. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 38, 142-144. https://doi.org110.1016/j.pedn.2017.11.006.
  • Wiggins, S. & Kreikemeier, R. (2017). Bisphosphonate therapy and osteogenesis imperfecta: The lived experience of children and their mothers. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 22 (4), 1-7. https://doi.10.1111/jspn.121912
  • *Beedle, S.E., Phillips, A., Wiggins, S., & Struwe, L., (2017). Preventing unplanned perioperative hypothermia in children. Association of peri-Operating Room Nurses Journal, 105 (2). 170-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2016.12.002
  • Wiggins, S. (2016). Charting the future of SPN: The strategic plan. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 31 (4), 459-462. https://doi.10.1016/j.pedn.2016.04.006
  • Wiggins, S. (2015). Updates from the SPN president. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 30(2), 421-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2014.12.009
  • Wiggins, S.A. & Freeman, J.L. (2014). Understanding sleep during adolescence. Pediatric Nursing, 40 (2), 91-98.
  • Wiggins, S.A. (2009). Family exemplars during implementation of a home pain management interventions. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 32 (4), 160-179. https://doi.10.3109/01460860903281341
  • Wiggins, S.A. (2008). Pain following tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy: What do we know about home pain management? Pediatric Pain Letter, 10(1), 1-6. www.pediaric-pain.ca/ppl.
  • Wiggins, S.A. & Foster, R.L. (2007). Pain following tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy: “Ouch it did hurt bad”. Pain Management Nursing, 8(4), 156-165. https//:doi.10.1016/j.pmn.2007.07.002
  • Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN)- Research Task force chair 2020-present.
  • Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN)-Clinical Practice and Research Committee member 2018-present.
  • Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN)-Nominations Committee Chair 2016-2018.
  • President of the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) 2014-2016.
  • National Pediatric Nurse Scientist Collaborative-Member 2016-present.
  • 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.