Faculty Spotlight: Tanya Tanner PhD, MBA, RN, CNM, FACNM

At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.


When Dr. Tanya Tanner decided she wanted to be a nurse at the age of 19, she didn’t have a clear reason why. While many young people envision their futures in the medical field from a young age, Dr. Tanner never did, but is certainly glad she “fell into it” as nurse-midwifery quickly became her passion.


The call to nurse-midwifery began after Dr. Tanner witnessed an unfortunate delivery process as an OB/Gyn nursing student. Watching the mother have little choice in the experience and in extreme pain, she was stirred for a long time after and eventually knew she not only wanted to pursue nurse-midwifery but needed to.


She landed her first job as a nurse-midwife at Denver Health, the safety net hospital in Denver, Colorado soon after receiving her  Masters in Nursing from the University of Utah in 1996. After transferring to a full-scope practice, Dr. Tanner eventually ended up joining the nurse-midwives at Aurora Nurse-Midwives in Aurora, CO where she has been in clinical practice since 2002.


During her time in Denver, Dr. Tanner taught many years as adjunct clinical and didactic faculty in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She is now an assistant professor at FNU teaching in the nurse-midwifery (CNEP) program and specializes in antepartum care. She is involved on many FNU committees including the curriculum committee, IRB, admissions committee, civility committee, and the remote proctor committee She currently chairs FNU’s Research Committee. Dr. Tanner enjoys teaching aspiring nurse-midwives and believes that we should “midwife” midwifery students into kind, competent, caring practitioners through our example as professors.

Dr. Tanner is an active participant in several national midwifery organizations. She is a past two-term national treasurer of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and currently chairs ACNM’s Healthy Birth Initiative.  She is the current Secretary of the American Midwifery Certification Board and serves on the Board of Trustees of the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc.  She is a CNM representative to US-MERA (US Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association), a group of diverse midwives from professional organizations across the United States. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. where she chairs the Scholarship Committee. Dr. Tanner currently serves as the secretary of the American Midwifery Certification Board. Dr. Tanner was awarded the prestigious Nightingale Award in the state of Colorado in 2011.


Since 1996, Dr. Tanner has worked clinically as a nurse-midwife serving primarily underserved women. Her passion is promoting physiologic birth as the optimal birth experience for women, and she has presented about promoting physiologic birth both nationally and internationally. She speaks Spanish and cares for many Spanish-speaking women as well as women of other ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. She has practiced in group and solo practices and in rural and urban environments during her nursing and midwifery career.


She has also been active in local educational events to promote normal birth and quality care for women. She is active in her local community and is a member of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and enjoys being in the leadership of her local women's group at church. She is the mother of six children, and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.