Courtney D. Spells
Assistant Professor
Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing
Undergraduate Nursing
1503 CHS Building 1

Dr. Courtney Spells entered the nursing profession as a second-degree nurse. After working for several years as a senior lab technician at Biolife Plasma Services and prayer, she decided to apply for University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway (AMNP) program. Not only was she accepted into the second cohort of the program, but she was also selected as a Robert Wood Johnson scholarship recipient. Dr. Spells completed the program in August of 2011 with her Master of Science in Nursing and certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).

She secured her first position on UAB Hospital’s Acute Trauma Care Unit, where she worked as a staff nurse and as an Assistant Nurse Manager for several years. Dr. Spells later became the CNL at Shelby Baptist Medical Center where she helped educate staff and patients, provided overall support, and performed process improvement projects. However, because of her passion for education and desire to give back, Dr. Spells became an adjunct clinical instructor and then faculty at UAB School of Nursing. She took time away from the rigorous teaching load to focus on family and her personal goals, thus completing her Doctor of Nursing Practice in April 2019. Dr. Spells believes that her ability to achieve this goal during such a difficult time with the loss of her father was due to God’s Grace! Now, Dr. Spells is ready to demonstrate God’s goodness through mentoring future nurses.

Degrees and Certifications

  • DNP, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • MSN, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • BSN, Biology, Tuskegee University
  • CLN Certification, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Awards and Honors

  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, 2017
  • Robert Wood Johnson Scholarship recipient, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2008

Involvement/Professional Societies

  • American Nurses Association
  • Alabama State Nurses Association
  • Clinical Nurse Leader Association—Alabama Chapter, Secretary
  • Alabama Health Literacy Initiative Advisory Board


  • Trauma Nursing
  • Burn Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Process Improvement

Recent Publications

  • Edwards, C., Bolling-Walker, K., & Deupree, J. “Actionability and Usability of a Fever Management Tool for Pediatric Caregivers.” Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 51(7). 338-344

Recent Presentations

  • Weaver, A.; Smith, T.; Edwards, C. (2020 September). Turn Up The H.E.A.T: Implementation of a Health Education Curriculum for Teenage Girls, Alabama State Nurses Association Annual Virtual Convention
  • Edwards, C. (2016 November). Ring the Alarm! A Bed Alarm Pilot to Reduce Patient Risks for Falls, CNLA Regional Conference, UAB Hospital

Research Areas

  • Health Literacy
  • Patient Education