faculty profile

Sharon M. Karp   PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, FAANP

Director of Program Evaluations
Chair - Acute and Chronic Care Community


Dr. Sharon Karp is a Professor and Director of Program Evaluations. She completed her MSN and PhD in Nursing Science at VUSN, joining the faculty in 2008. She teaches within the MSN, DNP, and PhD programs and mentors doctoral students. In addition, she maintains an active clinical practice as a PNP within the Division of General Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, providing primary care and specialty care through the pediatric weight management services.


  • PhD, Vanderbilt University, Nursing Science
  • MSN, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • BSN, Xavier University School of Nursing, Ohio
  • ASN, Xavier University School of Nursing, Ohio

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • The prevention of childhood obesity through the identification and manipulation of factors contributing to the obesity process and cycle.
  • The relationship of maternal psychosocial factors (depressive symptoms, stress, self-esteem) and parenting practices.
  • Community and home-based interventions to prevent or reduce known risks associated with at-risk parenting.

Representative Publications


Graf, M. D., Karp, S. M., Lutenbacher, M., Wasser, H., Bushaw, A., & Dietrich, M.S. (2021). Clinical strategies for addressing obesity in infants and toddlers. The Nurse Practitioner, 46(2), 28-33.

Myers, L., Karp, S.M., Dietrich, M.S., Looman, W.S., Lutenbacher, M. (2021) Family-centered care: How close do we get when talking to parents of children undergoing diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51, 3073-3084. doi: 10.1007/s10803-020-04765-0. PMID: 33140145.

NAPNAP. (2021). NAPNAP position statement on the prevention and identification of overweight and obesity in the pediatric population. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 35(4):425-427. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.03.001

Bushaw, A., Lutenbacher, M., Karp, S.M., Dietrich, M.S, & Graf, M. (2020). Infant feeding beliefs and practices: Effects of maternal personal characteristics. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, e12294.

LeCroy, M. N., Truesdale, K. P., Matheson, D. M., Karp, S. M., Moore, S. M., Robinson, T. N., ... Thomas, A. J. (2019). Snacking characteristics and patterns and their associations with diet quality and BMI in the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research Consortium. Public Health Nutrition, 22(17), 3189-3199. doi:10.1017/S1368980019000958

Higginbotham, K., Crutcher, T. & Karp, S.M. (2019). Screening for social determinants of health at well-child appointments: A quality improvement project. Nursing Clinics of North America, 54, 141-148.

Yeager, L. J., Karp, S.M., & Leming-Lee, T. (2019). Barriers to the implementation of pediatric overweight and obesity guidelines in a school-based health center. Nursing Clinics of North America, 54. 159-168.

Squiers, A., Lutenbacher, M., Kaufman, M. R., & Karp, S. M. (2017). Transitioning to an adult healthcare system: Barriers and opportunities for youth with spina bifida. Pediatric Nursing, 43(6), 289-298.

Phillippi, J.C., Holley, S.L., Payne, K., Schorn, M.N., Karp, S.M. (2016). Facilitators of prenatal care in an exemplar urban clinic. Women and Birth.29 (2). 160-167. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2015.09.007.

Lutenbacher, M., Karp, S.M., & Moore, E. R. (2016). Reflections of black women who choose to breastfeed: Influences, challenges and supports. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 20(2): 231-239. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-015-1822-4

Arinze, N.V., Karp, S.M., & Gesell, S.B. (2016). Evaluating provider advice and women's beliefs on total weight gain during pregnancy. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 18, 282-286. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-015-0162-8

Karp, S.M., Lutenbacher, M., & Wallston, K.A. (2015). Evaluation of the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale in mothers of infants. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24 (11), 3474-3481 . Doi: 10.1007/s10826-015-0149-z

Karp, S.M. & Gesell, S. B. (2015). Obesity prevention and treatment in school-aged children, adolescents, and young adults-where do we go from here? Primary Prevention Insights, 5, 1-4. Doi: 10.4137/PPRI.S12291.

NAPNAP (2015). NAPNAP position statement on the prevention and identification of overweight and obesity in the pediatric population. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29(4), A13-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2015.04.014 

Professional Organizations

  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
  • The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • American Nurses Association & Tennessee Nurses Association
  • Obesity Society
  • Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • Southern Nursing Research Society