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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Kathleen Scharer, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

College of Nursing

Phone: 803-777-8466
Fax: 803-777-5561

College of Nursing
University of South Carolina 
1601 Greene Street, Room 310 
Columbia, SC 29208-4001
United States



Dr. Scharer received a PhD in Nursing Sciences at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1996, an MS in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at Boston University in Boston, MA in 1969, and an AS, BS in Nursing in 1967 from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ. She has been certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing since 1982.


Dr. Scharer has been teaching primarily in the graduate programs in the past few years but has also taught undergraduate psychiatric mental health nursing in the past. Most recently Dr. Scharer has taught Qualitative Nursing and  Scientific Knowledge in Nursing which is the final integration course for the PhD students, She has also taught the DNP students Nursing J819 which is Evidence and Nursing Practice. In this course students learn the mechanisms for Research Utilization and Evidence-Based Practice.  In addition, Dr. Scharer has been actively involved in research mentorship with doctoral students in independent studies, research mentorship courses, PhD dissertation committees in Nursing and in Psychology, DNP Nursing Leadership Residency and DNP Utilization/ Evidence-Based Practice Projects. 

Research (Concept Areas)

Parent stress and coping
Parent training
Lifestyle concerns in middle school youth
LGBT hate crimes
Dr. Scharer’s research is focused on primary and tertiary prevention of mental health problems in Children, Adolescents and their families. She is also interested in using technology to deliver services to families who have limited access to care. Dr. Scharer completed a R01 funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research testing two tele-health methods of delivering social support to mothers of seriously mentally ill children. Currently she is working with Dr. Brad Smith form the School of Psychology examining the effectiveness of The Primary Care Triple P Parenting Program in helping overweight children. She is also co-investigator on Dr. Laura Hein’s grant to examine preferences of the LGBT population for engaging in support groups. Dr. Scharer has been conducting funded research since 1989.


Dr. Scharer’s dissemination activities have included book chapters, journal articles, poster presentations, paper presentations and seminars at local, regional, national and international events. In 2012 she presented a paper at the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses’ Annual Meeting. Dr. Scharer is most interested in ensuring that practicing nurses read her work and as a result has focused her writings in psychiatric nursing journals. 

Professional Service

2011-2012       Past President, International Society of Psychiatric Nurses Foundation 
2008-2011       President, International Society of Psychiatric Nurses Foundation
2007-2008       Secretary, International Society of Psychiatric Nurses Foundation 
2005-2006       Vice President, Sigma Theta Tau, Alpha Xi Chapter 
2004-2007       Member, Executive Committee,  International Society of Psychiatric Nurses 
2004-2007       Chair, Research Council, International Society of Psychiatric Nurses 
2004-2005       Second Vice-President, Sigma Theta Tau, Alpha Xi Chapter 
2002-2004       Member, Research Council, International Society of Psychiatric Nurses
1999-2003       Member, Research Committee, Sigma Theta Tau, Alpha Xi Chapter 
1999-2000       Representative, Task Force on Updating the Statement and Standards of Psychiatric Nursing, International
                        Society of Psychiatric Nurses 
1998                Member, Structure and Governance Task Force for the development of the Psychiatric Nursing Alliance, 
                        Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses [formerly Advocates for Child & Psychiatric Nursing, 
1998                Chair, Assembly on Practice, Illinois Nurses' Association 
1997 - 1998     Vice President, Chicago Nurses' Association 
1997 - 1998     President, University of Illinois College of Nursing Alumni 

Professional Practice

Dr. Scharer spent 29 years in clinical practice before becoming a full time academician. She served as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Rush Presbyterian St, Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, Worked as a staff nurse and Nurse manager for the Chicago Visiting Nurse Association, Worked as a Clinical nurse Specialist in Child Psychiatry at the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago,  and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatry and Care Manager at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Il. 

Research Studies (Selected)

2011    USC Provost’s Office Clinical Incentive Award. Hein, L. (PI), Scharer, (Co-I).Support Groups and the Sexual      
            Orientations - Together or Separate? The Consumer Perspective. Funded $14, 750.

 2010   University of South Carolina Research Consortium on Children and Families:.  Scharer,  K. (P.I.), Smith, B.H. (P.I.)
            Comparing the Effectiveness of Level 3 versus Level 4 Teen Triple P Positive Parenting Program for Family Weight
            Reduction. Submitted $19,998;  Funded.

2010    University of S.C. Social Sciences grant Program:  Smith, B.H. (PI), Scharer, K. (Co-I.) Necessary Preparation for
            Studies of the Triple-P Positive Parenting Program for Teens. Submitted $19,927. Funded.

2009    NINR: McKinnon, C.( PI) Scharer, K (Sponsor)  Measurement model of active participation among parents of mentally
            ill child.  F31  (not funded).

2009    NIMH: Intensive Outpatient Case Management For Children In Emotional Crisis. Cathy Robey Williams, PI, Kathleen
            Scharer, Co-PI (20%). R34. (not funded).

2009    Gerkensmeyer, J. (P.I.), K. Scharer (Consultant). Building Our Solutions and Connections (BOSC): A Problem Solving
            Intervention for Caregivers of Children with Mental Health Problems, (Scored but not funded; resubmitted in 
            November, 08). NIH: R21 NR0110593-01A2 Funded 2009.

2008    Duke Endowment:  Poole, D. (P.I.), K. Scharer, Co-PI. Improving Case management Services to Enhance Care. Sub-
            Contract through the Greenville Hospital System application. Funded, $177,000.00 over three years.

2006    Research Consortium on Children and Families: The Mental Health and Behavioral Consequences if Intimate
            Partner Violence for Women and Children. Kaukinen, C. (P.I.), Glover, A. Co-PI, Scharer, K, Co-Investigator. Funded
            $21,999.00 (intramural).

2005 -  Research Consortium on Children and Families: Dr. Mary Cox, P.I. Using Web-Based Technology to Improve Mother-
2006    Child Communication about Sex. (Kathleen Scharer, Co-Investigator—5%). Funded, $1650.00 (intramural funding).

2004 -  National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research; Social Support for Mothers of Mentally Ill
2008    Children.  Kathleen Scharer. Funded. $980,870.  R01 NR008580-01A1. 

Publications (Selected)

Scharer, K. (2012). Individual and Family Therapies. (E. Yearwood, G. Pearson, & J. Newland, Eds.) Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health: A Resource for Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Primary Care Practitioners in Nursing. (Peer reviewed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-BlackwellChapter 16.

Hein, L.C. & Scharer, K. (2012). Who Cares If It Is a Hate Crime? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Hate Crimes—Mental Health Implications and Interventions. Perspectives in Psychiatric Nursing. Article first published online: 12 Sep 2012. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2012.00354.x.

Berger, K & Scharer, K. (2012). Can anesthesia trigger delayed-onset PTSD in veterans? Perspectives in Psychiatric Nursing. 48: 170–175. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2011.00321.x.

Catledge, C. B., Scharer, K. & Fuller, S. (2012). Assessment and Identification of Deliberate Self-Harm in the Adolescents and Young Adults. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 8 (4): 299-305.

Tavakoli, A., Scharer, K., & Hussey, J. (2011). Comparison of Imputation Methods to Examine Mediator Effect for Social Support of Mothers of Mentally Ill Children. SAS ® Global Forum 2011 Conference Proceedings.

Register, M. E. & Scharer K. (2010). Connectedness in community dwelling older adults. Western Journal of Nursing Research.32, 462-479.

Cox, M. F., Scharer, K., Baliko, B. & Clark, A., (2010). Using focus groups to understand mother-child communication about sex.  Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 25, 187–193.

Scharer, K., Colon, E., Moneyham, L., Tavakoli, A., Hussey, J., & Shugart, M. (2009). Comparison of two types of social support for mothers of mentally ill children. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 22 (2), 86-98.

Boyd, M. R., Scharer, K., Baliko, B. (2009). Women’s Experiences As Survivors of Violence, Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, 9(1). Retrieved from:

Cox, M. F., Scharer, K., Baliko, B. & Clark, A., (Jan 2009). Development of a web-based program to Improve communication about sex. Computers, Informatics, Nursing. 27(1):18-25.

Flood, M., & Scharer, K. (2006). Creativity Enhancement: Possibilities for Successful Aging, Issues in Mental Health Nursing.27, 939-959.

Scharer, K. (2005). An Internet Discussion Board for Parents of Mentally Ill Young Children. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 18(1), 17-25.

Scharer, K. (2005). Internet Social Support for Parents: The State of Science. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 18(1), 26-35.

Bland, A., Williams, C. A., Scharer, K., & Manning, S. (2004). Emotion Processing in Borderline Personality Disorders, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 25, (7), 655-572.

Scharer, K., Jones, D.S. (2004). Child psychiatric hospitalization: The last resort. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 25, 79-101.