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Karen Distelhorst

Contributing Faculty

College of Nursing

Degree Program Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Dr. Karen Distelhorst began her nursing career as a graduate of Akron City Hospital School of Nursing in 1985. She later obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Akron and has practiced as a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist for over 25 years. Dr. Distelhorst earned her PhD in Nursing Science at Kent State University in 2020. She has served as an assistant professor and adjunct faculty for both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs in Ohio, and co-led a cross cultural nursing student exchange program, traveling to Odense, Denmark in 2012. Dr. Distelhorst joined Walden University in 2020 as contributing faculty in the MSN program of the College of Nursing.
As a nurse researcher, Dr. Distelhorst’s area of interest is population health, specifically regarding the impact of nursing care coordination and transitional management (CCTM), social determinants of health, and neighborhood disadvantage on population health outcomes. Dr. Distelhorst’s publications have included peer reviewed nursing journals, a book chapter, nursing simulation scenarios for a national publication company, and community newsletters. She has numerous poster and podium presentations at local, national, and international venues on topics related to heart failure follow-up care, cross-cultural nursing, and nursing shared governance.


PhD, Kent State University - Kent, OH United States

MSN, University of Akron - Akron, OH United States

Subbaccalaureate Certificate, Akron City Hospital School of Nursing - Akron, OH United States

Awards / Honors

Nancy M. Albert Excellence in Nursing Research Award, Cleveland Clinic, 2017


Distelhorst, K. S., Bena, J. F., Morrison, S. L., Albert, N. M. (2020). Factors Associated With Predischarge Versus Postdischarge Scheduling for Early Follow-up Appointments.. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing.

Distelhorst, K. S., Claussen, R., Dion, K., Bena, J. F., Morrison, S. L., Walker, D., Tai, H. L., Albert, N. M. (2018). Factors Associated With Adherence to 14-Day Office Appointments After Heart Failure Discharge.. Journal of cardiac failure.

Simon, J., Vanderbilt, A., Distelhorst, K. S. (2017). Geriatrics.

Distelhorst, K. S., Wyss, L. L. (2013). Simulation in community health nursing: A conceptual approach. Clinical Simulation in Nursing.


Distelhorst, K. S. (2019). Effect of earplugs on quality of sleep in hospitalized patients. Cleveland Clinic.

Tai, H., Distelhorst, K. S. (2019). Keeping No-Show and Admission Rates Low.

Wyss, L. L., Distelhorst, K. S. (2018). Putting Theory to the Test in Culturally Diverse Clinical Settings.

Distelhorst, K. S. (2017). Factors Associated with Adherence and Scheduling of Early Follow-up Appointments in Heart Failure.

Albert, N. M., Distelhorst, K. S. (2017). Association of Early Post-Discharge Visit after Heart Failure Admission and 30-day Post-Discharge Outcomes.

Distelhorst, K. S., Sheila, M. (2015). Creating a Positive Practice Environment through Peer Review.