A photo of Karen Burkett.

Karen W. Burkett, PhD, APRN, PPCNP

  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Core Faculty, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND)
  • Assistant Professor, UC College of Nursing



I began working with children with disabilities early in my career. My clinical specialty is developmental and behavioral pediatrics.

My research focuses on removing barriers to early treatment for children at-risk for or having developmental delays (DD) or disabilities. I’m also working to reduce health disparities in youth at-risk for DD or disabilities.

I became interested in this research during my clinical work as a pediatric nurse practitioner working with children with DDs. I identified health disparities in their care and outcomes and systematically studied how we could reduce or eliminate those disparities and improve outcomes.

My goals are to obtain early treatments for children in poverty and at-risk for DD that can improve outcomes and address the inequities in services and treatments for children with DD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

I am honored to have received the following awards and appointments:

  • Selected as a Bridge Builder Awardee from Community Action Agency/Cincinnati Hamilton County for collaborating with Community Action Agency Head Start to aid in the fulfillment of their mission, Cincinnati, OH
  • Awarded the Journal of Pediatric Health Care’s Leah Harrison Excellence in Clinical Writing Award for Translating Research to Practice for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Part I: Definition, Associated Behaviors, Prevalence, Diagnostic Process, and Interventions (2016)
  • Inducted as a Transcultural Nursing Scholar in the Transcultural Nursing Society at the International Transcultural Nursing Society Annual Meeting
  • Selected for the First Place Research Award at Patient Services Inquiry Poster Day: Faith and Respect: Parenting the Urban African American Child with ASD

My research has been published in respected journals, such as Journal of Transcultural Nursing, Journal of Pediatric Health Care and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

BSN: College of Mount Saint Joseph, Cincinnati, OH, 1977.

MS/PNP: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1982.

PhD: Nursing Research, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2013.


Neurodevelopmental disorders

Services and Specialties

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Apraxia


Autism spectrum disorders; health care disparities in developmental disabilities

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Disparities Affect Developmental Risk for Head Start Preschoolers. Burkett, K; Pickler, R; Bowers, K; Folker, AE. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 2020; 54:86-92.

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