Cynthia S. Darling-Fisher

Dr. Cynthia Darling-Fisher, Clinical Associate Professor

Cynthia S. Darling-Fisher, PhD, FNP-BC

Clinical Associate Professor
Lead NP/Graduate faculty Division HPRR; Co-coordinator, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 3176 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 647-0328
Fax: (734) 763-0681

Scholarly Expertise / Activity


  • Adolescent risk assessment and risk reduction
  • Improving adolescent-provider communication
  • Oral health issues in primary care
  • Relationship between maternal employment and paternal involvement in child care
  • Measurement of psychosocial development in children and adults

Dr. Darling-Fisher is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with clinical experience in pediatric, internal medicine, and family practice settings. The focus of her scholarship and practice has been on working with families to promote strengths and positive development. Her research ranges from examining issues related to adaptation to parenthood for employed parents (both mothers and fathers) to ways for providers to better communicate and intervene with adolescents around risk-taking behaviors. Her current clinical practice at the Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) School-Based Centers has a primary focus on health promotion and risk reduction as well as on management of acute and common chronic illnesses, allowing for integration of her scholarship and practice expertise in psychosocial and health-related issues with children and their families.

Current Research Grants and Programs:

  • Martyn, K. (PI), Villarruel, A. (Co-I), Darling-Fisher, C. , (Co-I), Pardee, M.(Co-I), & Ronis, D. (Co-I). (2009). Testing a Risk Event History Calendar Intervention with Adolescents. NIH/National Institute of Mental Health (R34).
  • Peters,M. (PI), Kanjirath, P(Co-I), Klausner, C. (Co-I), Valerio, M. (Co-I), Darling-Fisher, C.(Co-I) (2009). Bridging Understanding: Improving Health Communication Strategies and Oral Health Literacy. Delta Dental Foundation.


Dr. Darling-Fisher sees graduate education as one of the most essential components in the development of future colleagues both in research and clinical practice.  This viewpoint provides the foundation for her work and active engagement with her students, many of whom go on to precept or guest lecture for the FNP program and have been co-authors on papers, or colleagues in clinical practice. She has a long standing history as a nurse practitioner educator, having helped develop and currently teaching in both the Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs at the University of Michigan and having coordinated or co-coordinated the FNP program since its inception. In addition to being an expert teacher, she mentors both graduate students and graduates and has been the advisor or reader on numerous master’s student scholarly projects (over 100 N699s) as well as PhD committees/dissertations.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau, Rho Chapter, International Honor Society of Nursing, University of Michigan, 1980-present (numerous committees, most recent Faculty Advisor, 2009-2010)
  • Member, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (Program Director’s Special Interest Group. 2004-present)
  • Member, Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners
  • Member, National Assembly on School-Based Health Care
  • Member, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • Member, Numerous University of Michigan Committees: Member, UM Child Care Initiative Steering Committee, Elected Member, Faculty Practice Plan Advisory Committee, 1999- 2002; 2006-present; Chair, Faculty Practice Plan Advisory Committee, 2006-2008; plus several search committees and task forces
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Journal of Family Issues, 2010; Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2006; 2009; Sex Roles, 1996
  • Website Reviewer, University of Michigan Health System Webpage on Fathering Resources, 2010

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Excellence in Nursing Mentorship Award, Sigma Theta Tau, Rho Chapter, University of Michigan, 2005
  • Featured in Who's Who Among American College and University Students, 1986
  • Sigma Theta Tau, Rho Chapter, International Honor Society of Nursing, University of Michigan 1980


  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan ,1987
  • MS, University of Rochester School of Nursing, Rochester, New York, 1978
  • BSN, Cornell University ‑ New York Hospital School of Nursing, New York, New York, 1971

Publication Highlights

  • Darling-Fisher, C., Salerno, J., Yi, C.H., & Martyn, K.K. (2014). Clinical use of the rapid assessment for adolescent preventive services (RAAPS) questionnaire. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 28(3):217-226 {JCPH President’s Choice recipient}, (PMID:23623541)
  • Martyn, K.K., Munro, M.L., Darling-Fisher, C.S., Ronis, D.L., Villarruel, A.M., Pardee, M., Faleer, H.E., & Fava, N.M. (2013). Patient-centered communication with adolescents and young adults. [Abstract]. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 27(5), 320.
  • Martyn, K.K., Saftner, M.A., Darling-Fisher, C., & Schell, M.C. (2013). Sexual Risk Assessment Using Event History Calendars with Male and Female Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 27(6): 640-649 . (PMID: 22742823
  • Martyn, K.K., Munro, M.L., Darling-Fisher, C.S., Ronis, D.L., Villarruel, A.M., Pardee, M., Faleer, H.E., & Fava, N.M. (2013). Patient-centered communication and health assessment with youth. Nursing Research. 62(6), 383-393. (PMCID:24165214)
  • Salerno, J., Darling-Fisher, C., Hawkins, N., & Fraker, E. (2013). Identifying relationships between high risk sexual behaviors and screening positive for chlamydia and gonorrhea in school-wide screening events. Journal of School Health, 83: 99-104. (PMID:23331269)
  • Martyn KK, Darling-Fisher C, Pardee M, Ronis DL, Felicetti IL, Saftner MA. J Improving sexual risk communication with adolescents using event history calendars. Sch Nurs. 2012 Apr;28(2):108-15. doi: 10.1177/1059840511426577. Epub 2011 Nov 8 (PMID:22071717) {Sage Writing Award Recipient}
  • Darling-Fisher, C. & Pardee, M. (2011). Preceptors and Clinical Site Selection. In George, N; Kapustin, J., Thomas, A., & Savrin, C.(Eds.), Leading Quality NP Programs: A Guide for Program Directors. Washington, DC: National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF).
  • Yi, C.H., Martyn, K., Salerno, J., & Darling-Fisher, C.S. (2009). Implementation of the RAAPS Questionnaire for adolescent Risk Assessment. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 23 (1), 2-9.
  • Devries, B., Darling-Fisher, C., Thomas, A. & Belanger-Shugart, E. (2008). Implementation and outcomes of group medical visits in an outpatient specialty clinic. The Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 20 (3), 163 – 169.
  • Tiedje, L. B. & Darling-Fisher, C. S. (2003). Promoting Father Friendly Healthcare. MCN. 28(6):350-357.
  • Barkauskas, V., Stoltenberg-Allen, K, Baumann, L., & Darling-Fisher, C. (2002). Health and Physical Assessment 3rd ed. St. Louis: CV Mosby.
  • Tiedje, L. B. & Darling-Fisher, C. S. (1996). Fatherhood reconsidered: A critical review. Research in Nursing and Health, 19, 471-484.
  • Kline Leidy, N. W. & Darling-Fisher, C. S. (1995). A psychometric evaluation of the Modified Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory in diverse clinical samples. Western Journal Of Nursing Research. 17, 168-187.
  • Darling-Fisher, C. S. & Tiedje, L. B. (1990). "The impact of maternal employment characteristics on fathers participation in child care." Family Relations, 39, 20-26.
  • Darling-Fisher, C. S. & Kline, N. W. (1988). Measuring Eriksonian Developmental Theory in the Adult: The Modified Erikson's Psychosocial Stage Inventory (MEPSI). Psychological Reports. 62, 747-754.