Jill  Cunningham
Professor and Chair, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Ida Moffett School of Nursing
Office: 1541 CHS Building 1
Email: jlcunni1@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-2733
Jill Cunningham's life has shaped her experiences as a nurse practitioner. After providing full-time patient care in hospitals and clinics for seven years, Cunningham became the full-time care provider for her daughter who was born with multiple special health-care needs. When she decided to return to the workforce, Cunningham realized she wanted to teach others how to properly care for patients with life-altering conditions and disabilities. "I realized by teaching others, I could have a much greater and far-reaching impact on patients and families. I not only wanted to impart knowledge and skills, but also teach the compassion and spiritual aspects of proper nursing care. Samford was the perfect fit for me to reach not only my career goals, but many personal and spiritual goals. My work at Samford is not a job or a career. It is my vocation—a divine calling to teach and serve others. It is an incredible blessing to serve and fulfill my God-given purpose through my work and life at Samford University," she said.

Degrees and Certifications

  • D.N.P., University of Tennessee
  • M.S.N., University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • B.S.N., University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Family Nurse Practitioner, American Nurses Credentialing Center


  • Advanced practice nursing across the lifespan
  • Children and adults with developmental disabilities
  • Caregiver respite
  • Disability ministry
  • Interprofessional education and collaboration

Awards and Honors

  • Samford University Academic Initiative Grant recipient, 2013
  • Samford University tenure, 2012
  • Excellence in Nursing Award, B-Metro magazine, 2010
  • Professional Leadership Award, University of Alabama, 1998
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, 1995–present


  • United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • The Abridge Foundation, board of directors, treasurer
  • National Health Service Corp ambassador
  • Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network
  • Jefferson County Sharing the Care Education Committee, co-chair
  • Church of the Highlands, member and small group leader