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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Karen E. Wickersham, PhD, RN

Title: Assistant Professor
College of Nursing
Phone: 803-777-2684
Office: College of Nursing 
University of South Carolina 
1601 Greene Street, Room 624
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States


Dr. Wickersham is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, College of Nursing. She received her BSN in 1991 from the University of Virginia, her MSN with a specialty in Nursing Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, and her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Dr. Wickersham completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing where she conducted her fellowship study, “Genetic, Clinical, and Biomarker Correlates of EGFR Inhibitor-related Rash” (NINR F32NR014753; American Nurses Foundation). Prior to joining the College of Nursing faculty in 2018, Dr. Wickersham was a junior faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing.

Research Interests

Dr. Wickersham’s primary research interest concerns issues related to cancer survivorship, particularly for individuals living with “chronic” advanced cancer. Her research expertise includes:

  • Symptoms related to oral targeted therapy
  • Adherence to oral cancer therapy
  • Aging and cancer
  • Oncology clinical trials 


Dr. Wickersham has experience teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing courses, including undergraduate health assessment skills laboratory, undergraduate nursing research, and graduate professional writing.

Professional Service

Dr. Wickersham is an ad hoc reviewer for OncoTargets and Therapy, Patient Preference and Adherence, Cancer Nursing, Lung, Geriatric Nursing, and Nursing Research.  She has been a long-time, active member of the Oncology Nursing Society and is a member of the International Society for Nurses in Genetics, Sigma Theta Tau International, Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer, Southern Nursing Research Society, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Professional Practice

Dr. Wickersham practiced primarily in the intensive care setting, including trauma, solid organ transplant, medical-surgical, and neurosurgical specialties. 

Peer-reviewed Publications

* = Data-based; ___ = Senior author

*Heiney, S. P., Truman, S., Babatunde, O. A., Felder, T. M., Erbeth, J. M., Crouch, E., Wickersham, K. E., & Adams, S. A. Racial and geographic disparities in endocrine therapy adherence among younger breast cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO.18.01493, under review). 

*Wickersham, K. E., Hodges, T. K., Edelman, M. J., Song, Y., Nan, M., & Dorsey, S. G. Differential gene expression in erlotinib-treated fibroblasts. Nursing Research (NRES-S-18-00245, accepted). 

*Wickersham, K. E., Powell, K., Soybelman, I., O’Malley, C., & Nahm, E.-S. Innovative use of patient portals during cancer survivorship: A first step. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (accepted). 

*Gilbertson-White, S., Yeung, C.W., & Wickersham, K. E. ** “Just living with them”: Rural residents’ experiences with cancer, cancer symptoms, and symptom management. Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF-2018-0071, under review) 

*Wickersham, K. E., Crothers, M., Puth, D., Powell, K., & Resnick, B. (2019). Targeted therapy use in adults with cancer ≥ 85 years of age. Geriatric Nursing. In press. 

*Wickersham, K. E., Crothers, M., Puth, D., Powell, K., & Resnick, B. Targeted therapy use in adults with cancer ≥ 85 years of age. Accepted, Geriatric Nursing.

*Wickersham, K. E., Powell, K., Soybelman, I., O’Malley, C., & Nahm, E.-S. Innovative use of patient portals during cancer survivorship: A first step. Under review, Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship.

*Gilbertson-White, S., Yeung, C.W., & Wickersham, K. E. “Comparing notes”:  rural residents’ experiences with cancer symptoms, symptom management, and technology. Under review, Oncology Nursing Forum.

*Wickersham, K. E., Sereika, S. M., Kang, H.-J., Tamres, L. K., & Erlen, J. A. (2018). Use of a self-report medication adherence scale for measuring adherence to antiretroviral therapy in patients with HIV/AIDS.  Journal of Nursing Measurement, 26(2). In press.

Gilbertson-White, S., Bohr, N., & Wickersham, K. E. (2017). Conducting biobehavioral research for patients with advanced cancer: recruitment challenges and solutions. Biological Research Nursing, 19(5), 481-490. DOI: 10.1177/1099800417709529. PMC5771405.

*Wickersham, K. E., Happ, M. B., Bender, C. M., Engberg, S. J., Tarhini, A., & Erlen, J. A. (2014). Surviving with lung cancer:  medication-taking and oral targeted therapy. Geriatric Nursing, 35(2), S49-S56. DOI: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2014.02.020. PMC3988629.

*Wickersham, K., Sereika, S. M., & Bender, C. M. (2013). Pretreatment predictors of short-term nonadherence to oral hormonal therapy for women with breast cancer. Nursing Research, 62(4), 243-251. DOI: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e318298fd70. PMC3723138.

Geynisman, D. M. & Wickersham, K. E. (2013). Adherence to targeted oral anticancer medications. Discovery Medicine, 15(83), 231-241. 

*Wickersham, K., Happ, M. B., & Bender, C. M. (2012). “Keeping the boogie man away”:  Medication self-management among women receiving anastrozole therapy. Nursing Research and Practice, 2012, 462121. DOI: 10.1155/2012/462121. PMC3543807.

*Wickersham, K., Colbert, A., Caruthers, D., Tamres, L., Martino, A., & Erlen, J. A. (2011). Assessing fidelity to an intervention in a randomized controlled trial to improve medication adherence. Nursing Research, 60(4), 264-269.  DOI: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e318221b6e6. PMC3138209.

*DiPaola, R.S., Rinehart, J., Nemunaitis, J., Ebbinghause, S., Rubin, E., Capanna, T., Ciardella, M., Doyle-Lindrud, S., Goodwin, S., Fontaine, M., Adams, N., Williams, A., Schwartz, M., Winchell, G., Wickersham, K., Deutsch, P., & Yao, S. -L. (2002). Characterization of a novel prostate-specific antigen-activated peptide-doxorubicin conjugate in patients with prostate cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 20, 1874-1879.  DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2002.07.001

Invited Book Chapter

Wickersham, K. E., & Dorsey, S. G. (2017). Chapter 9: Integration of genomics in nursing research: an example. In Using Nursing Research to Shape Health Policy, Grady, P. A., & Hinshaw, A. S., eds.  Springer Publishing Company, September 2016.

Poster Presentations

* = data-based; & = student presentation

*Wickersham, K. E., Crothers, M., Puth, D., Weiss, M., Powell, K., & Resnick, B. (2018, November). Targeted therapy (TT) use in patients with cancer ≥ 85 years of age. Presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, Boston, MA.

*&Wagner, M. A., Wickersham, K. E., Holden, J. E., & Dorsey, S. G. (2018, October). Transcriptomic profile of the lateral hypothalamus in the development of painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy before and after cisplatin treatment in mice. Presented at the International Society of Nurses in Genetics Annual World Congress, Orlando, FL. 

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