faculty profile


Assistant Professor


Dr. Sarah Gast joined VUSN full-time in 2019 as an associate professor. Prior to joining full-time she was a part-time faculty member with an appointment at VUMC. She teaches in the Master of Nursing, AGACNP specialty program. Her clinical background includes cardiothoracic, surgical and cardiac critical care.


  • DNP, Vanderbilt University
  • Post-Masters, Vanderbilt University
  • MSN, University of Kansas
  • BSN, University of Kansas


  • FNP-BC

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • APP practice in adult cardiac critical care
  • APP satisfaction, development, and retention
  • Learner engagement and innovative teaching strategies

Academic Interests

  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Adult Critical Care Management
  • Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) in acute care

Current Projects

  • APP Grand Rounds & M&M
  • Supporting APP clinicians' scholarship
  • APP Fellowship

Representative Publications


Gast, S., Barroso, J., Blanchard, F.A. Campbell, A.A., Carter, S.J., Clark, E.V., Hilton, R., Branson, R., Greenberg, S., & Kleinpell, R. (2022). Critical care nurses' experience of caring for COVID-19 patients: Results of a thematic analysis. American Journal of Critical Care. Doi: doi.org/10.4037/ajcc20227

Lancaster, B., Shifrin, M. & Gast, S. (2022) Implementation of a standardized rounding tool and reduce mechanical ventilation duration and medical intensive care unit length of stay. Critical Care Nurse 42(2):e1-e8. doi: 10.4037/ccn2022854

Smith, L.D. Gast, S., & Guy, D. (2021) Brugada syndrome for the critical-care professional: Fatal consequences of a must not miss diagnosis. Critical Care Nurse 41 (5): 15-22. DOI: 10.4037/ccn2021499

Brunhoeber, L.A., King, J., Davis, S.A., & Witherspoon, B. (2018). Nurse practitioner use of point-of-care ultrasound in critical care. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(5), 383-388. https://doi,org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2017.12.002

Bailey, BA, Davis, S, Witherspoon, B. (2016). Assessment of Volume Status Utilizing Ultrasonography. In J. Squiers (Ed.), Fluids and Electrolytes (pp. 269-279). Chicago, IL. Elsevier Publisher. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2017.01.004. 

Kahn, S.A., Davis, S.A., Banes, C.T., Dennis, B.A., May, A.K., & Gunter, O.D. (2015) Impact of advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistance) on surgical residents' critical care experience. Journal of Surgical Research. 199(1), 7-12. doi: /10.1016/j.jss.2015.05.036

Book Chapters

Bailey, BA, Davis, S, Witherspoon, B. (2016). Assessment of volume status utilizing ultrasonography. In J. Squiers (Ed.), Fluids and electrolytes (2nd ed., pp. 269-279). Elsevier Publisher. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnur.2017.01.004

Representative Presentations

Enstrom, C.E. & Gast, S.A., & Lancaster, B.K. (2023, May 22). Differentiation and Treatment of Shock States with Guideline Updates for the APRN [Podium presentation]. American Association of Critical Care Nurses 2023 National Teaching Institute Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Lancaster, B.K., Shifrin, M.S. & Gast, S.A. (2022, June 24) Implementation of a Standardized Rounding Tool to Improve the Incidence of Spontaneous Awakening and Breathing Trials in Mechanically Ventilated Patients. [Poster Presentation]. American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2022 National Conference, Orlando, FL.

Shifrin, M.S. & Gast, S.A. (2022, June 23) Did You Hear That? Using Podcasts as a Novel Content Delivery Platform in Graduate Level Nursing Education [Poster Presentation]. American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2022 National Conference, Orlando, FL.

Enstrom, C.E. & Gast, S.A. (2021, June 15-August 31). Adherence to low tidal
volume ventilation in acute respiratory distress syndrome [Poster presentation]. American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2021 National Conference, Virtual conference.

McNabb, K., Gast, S., & Wilbeck, J. (2020, April 22-24). Technology Speaks: Novel informatics applications to transform NP education [Podium Presentation]. Duke School of Nursing Institute for Educational Excellence?s 2020 National Conference, Durham, NC. (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

Gast, S. (2019, October 4). The Acute Abdomen [Podium Presentation]. GAPNA National Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Gast, S. (2020, October 3-5). The Acute Abdomen [Podium Presentation]. GAPNA National Conference, Las Vegas, NV. 

Davis, S. (2017, April 10). Delirium Prevention in Critical Care [Advanced Practice Grand Rounds]. University of Kansas Health Systems Department of Trauma and Surgical Services, Kansas City, KS. 

Davis, S. (2017, February 24). Case Studies in Ultrasound [Conference session]. American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners, Regional Meeting, Chattanooga, TN. 

Davis, S. (2016, May 5). Job Satisfaction Among Advanced Practice Providers in an Academic Medical Center [Podium Presentation]. Sigma Theta Tau Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN 

Davis, S. (2015, September 5). Current Guidelines and Topics in Critical Care [Podium Presentation]. Vanderbilt Medical Center Annual ACNP Bootcamp, Nashville, TN.  

Davis, S. (2008, April 18). Professionalism and Certification of the Clinical Nurse I, II, and III [Podium Presentation]. University of Kansas Hospital Nursing Symposium, Kansas City, KS. 

Davis, S. (2005, February 4-6). Breastfeeding in Adolescent Mothers [Poster Presentation] Midwest Research Society Annual Conference, Kansas City, Missouri.

Clinical Practice

  • Adult cardiac critical care


  • Reviewer for American Journal of Critical Care
  • Reviewer for Journal of Advanced Nursing

Professional Organizations

  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • National League for Nursing
  • American College of Chest Physicians
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Tennessee Nurses Association
  • American Nurses Association


Vanderbilt University, School of Nursing

  • Sara K. Archer Teaching Award August 2020
  • Sara K. Archer Teaching Award August 2022