Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Karen Gorton, PhD, RN, MS

Assistant Professor

Karen Gorton

Karen Gorton joined the University of Colorado College of Nursing in 2013 after having been at the University of Northern Colorado School of Nursing for five years. During her time there, she not only held the title of Assistant Professor, but also spent time as the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Programs. Prior to her work at the University of Northern Colorado, Gorton was at Carroll College (now Carroll University). There, she served for five years as an assistant professor, also taking on the positions of Interim Director of the Nursing Program and Director of the Nursing Program. Gorton earned her bachelor's degree in physical education from Wheaton College, her master's degree in athletic training from Indiana University, her bachelor's degree in nursing from Carroll College/Columbia College of Nursing, her master's degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and finally, her PhD from the University of Northern Colorado. Gorton has clinical practice experience in emergency nursing at one of the busiest emergency departments in the state of Wisconsin. Prior to entering nursing, Gorton worked as a certified athletic trainer in a variety of settings.  

Gorton’s funded and non-funded studies have focused on the academic professional development of nursing students and nurses. In both clinical and classroom settings, Gorton’s undergraduate/ graduate-level teaching foci include acute care nursing, nursing informatics, nursing leadership, foundations of nursing, health assessment, medical/surgical nursing, pathophysiology, and community-health nursing.
Degree Awarding Institution Field of Study Graduation Date
PhD University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO
Nursing 2010
MSN University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI
Nursing 2003
BSN Caroll College/Columbia College of Nursing
Waukesha, WI
Nursing 1998
MS Indiana University
Bloomington, IN​
Athletic Training​ ​1988
BS ​Wheaton College
Wheaton, IL
Physical Education​ ​1986
  1. Gorton, K.L., Hayes, J.S. Challenges of Assessing Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgment in Nurse Practitioner Students, Journal of Nursing Education.
  2. Gorton, K. (2011). An investigation into the relationship between critical thinking skills and clinical judgment in the nurse practitioner students. Dissertation Publication, ProQuest.
Title Organization Year
FRB Award University of Northern Colorado 2010
Policy Fellow American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Washington, DC
Fellow Sigma Theta Tau International 2008
Fall. Nominee and Member Pi Lambda Theta 2007
Leadership in Academic Nursing Program (LANP) Fellow American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2006
President, founding member Tau Mu Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International 2006

​ Education Projects:

  • 2012-present, Vermont Nurses in Partnership, Inc. Grant Project.
  • 2010, Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Nurse Faculty Loan Program. Designated as Co-PI, 28,082.
  • 2010, University of Northern Colorado, Faculty Research & Publication Board, Grant award. Poster presentation at STTI 21st International Nursing Research Congress, $1,516.
  • 2010, University of Northern Colorado, OSP Funding. Travel to STTI 21st International Nursing Research Congress, $800.
  • 2009, Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources, and Services Administration (HRSA). Nurse Faculty Loan Program, funding to assist nursing faculty with tuition costs as they seek higher degrees, $21,300.
  • 2009, Colorado Community College System. Co-investigator. Collaborative grant to facilitate, advise, and plan for master's degree education for CCCS nursing faculty, $40,000.
  • 2008, Office of Extended Studies, University of Northern Colorado. Development grant to expand the number of master's level nurses in the region, $34,300.
  • 2007-2010, Carroll College Grants Office, Carroll College Nursing Workforce Diversity Program Grant. Notified of PD role January 2008, took role of acting PD in September 2007, $1,000,000.
    ​Karen Gorton's research areas/interests include critical thinking/clinical decision making, clinical judgment, simulation, collaborative community partnerships, student success, professional academic development and technology in nursing.