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Dr. Karen Moriarty

(940) 397 4911
Associate Professor
Centennial Hall


I have been a registered nurse for over 44 years and a family nurse practitioner for over 26 years. My experience as a registered nurse is broad with a focus on critical care and psychiatric nursing. As a family nurse practitioner, I worked for the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) of Texas in a psychiatric facility, providing medical care to patients of all ages 4 years old and up. I also served as the interim nurse executive at North Texas State Hospital shortly after the merger of the Vernon and Wichita Falls facilities.

I found my way to academia in 2001, first as an adjunct professor, then as a full-time assistant professor in 2005. After earning my doctorate in nursing practice, I pursued and was granted tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2012. I continued to maintain a part time clinical practice in a busy family practice clinic. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer my nurse practitioner skills during times of disasters, ie. in Sri Lanka after the tsunami in 2005, in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010, and in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak of 2014.

My scholarship focus is applied research: (1) translating current evidence into real-time clinical practice change to affect patient outcomes, and (2) the development of clinical practice guidelines to address urgent and emergent clinical issues.

Institution Degree Graduation Date
Rush University Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) 2007
West Texas A & M University Master's in Nursing (MSN) 1997
University of Texas at Arlington Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 1993
Fairmont College Associate of Science in Nursing
Employer Position Start Date End Date
Midwestern State University Associate Professor, Wilson School of Nursing 09/01/2016
Midwestern State University Associate Professor and Interim Coordinator of PMHNP Program, Wilson School of Nursing 09/01/2013 09/01/2016
Midwestern State University Chair, Wilson School of Nursing 07/08/2011 09/01/2013
Midwestern State University Interim Chair, Wilson School of Nursing 06/01/2010 07/08/2011
Midwestern State University Graduate Coordinator, Wilson School of Nursing 09/01/2007 05/31/2010
Midwestern State University Assistant Professor, Wilson School of Nursing 01/01/2005 09/01/2013
Midwestern State University Adjunct Faculty, Wilson School of Nursing 09/01/2001 12/31/2004
North Texas State Hospital Interim Chief Nurse Executive 11/01/1997 05/01/1998
North Texas State Hospital Family Nurse Practitioner 08/01/1997 12/31/2004
North Texas State Hospital Nurse Manager 01/01/1990 08/01/1997

Applied Research

Applied Research

Clinical Guidelines for Treatment of COVID-19 in Nursing Home Patients, Park Clinic, Iowa Park, TX. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care residents with symptomatic COVID-19 infection had to be managed within the long-term care facilities. This presented a challenge because the first evidence-based research published on the treatment of COVID-19 infection did not address how to treat this special population within their facilities, but rather how to treat all adults in an acute care facility. An analysis was done on evidence-based literature to date and a clinical guideline was established for treatment of COVID-19 positive patients at three local nursing homes and one post-acute skilled nursing facility in Wichita Falls, TX. The clinical guideline addressed symptom presentation nuances in the geriatric population, isolation/quarantine of patients including those with dementia, and medical management of symptoms. Medical management included testing method and frequency; medications recommended to enhance the immune system; and medication recommendations to treat circulatory, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms. October, 2020 – January, 2021.

Standardizing Detection of Peripheral Neuropathy in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, Park Clinic, Iowa Park, TX. Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus are at risk of developing peripheral neuropathy in their feet. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often unrecognized by patients; however, can be detected by a healthcare provider. The literature supports that a comprehensive foot exam be done every 3 months on this patient population. Additional factors that can lead to the development of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include poorly-controlled blood sugars, hypertension, obesity, and tobacco use. Unrecognized and undetected peripheral neuropathy can result in serious consequences for the patient include infected foot ulcers, amputation, and death. Park Clinic uses an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for documenting patient encounters. The current EMR did not include an area in which to document a comprehensive foot examination. As a result, a comprehensive template was developed and added to the EMR. May-November, 2018. 

Review, Update, and Implementation of Ebola Treatment Protocols, Sierra Leone, Africa

The emergence of Ebola Virus Disease in an underdeveloped country (Sierra Leone) presented many challenges in treatment. There were three Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in the Port Loko District of Sierra Leone and treatments were often based on best real-time outcomes, available resources, and dependent on effective communication between clinicians at the ETUs. As a clinician, I was responsible for evaluating the best evidence (real-time and via limited internet access) to determine the best treatment for our patients with Ebola. For example, patients in the ETU at Maforki (one of the chiefdoms in Port Loko) did not sleep under mosquito nets as nets were not available. Investigation revealed that the incidence of malaria in this population could be reduced if artesunate was given as a malaria prophylaxis; therefore, artesunate was added to the Ebola treatment protocol. March-April, 2015

Infection Prevention and Control: A Risk Assessment of Port Loko Government Hospital, Sierra Leone, Africa

As a clinician in Port Loko, I was tasked with performing a risk assessment at the local government hospital. The one and only physician at the hospital was quarantined after an exposure to a person with Ebola. Performing a risk assessment included evaluating current infection control procedures/processes at the hospital, reviewing current literature for infection control protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, and making recommendations for change. This applied research project revealed a major risk for exposure due to a number of issues including a lack of a secure perimeter of the hospital, inadequate triage, poor waste management, lack of adequate supplies, and inadequate hand-washing stations. This applied research project resulted in the appointment of an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) officer for the hospital who was responsible for developing infection control policies/procedures, securing resources from the local government, and educating the hospital staff. March-April, 2015

Assessment of Post-Ebola Sequela in Pediatric and Adult Ebola Survivors, Sierra Leone, Africa

The Ebola Outbreak of 2014 produced more survivors of Ebola Virus Disease than in all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The support provided by various government and non-governmental agencies (international response) in the country of Sierra Leone provided an opportunity to establish a clinic for Ebola survivors. As an Ebola Response Clinician, I participated in a multidisciplinary and multi-organizational effort to set up a clinic in Lunsar, a district in Sierra Leone, which bordered the district of Port Loko. I reviewed and modified the physical assessment form and referral procedure/form to meet the needs of the patients. For example, we discovered that many Ebola survivors were having issues with vision due to complicating uveitis (a sequela of Ebola), so we set up the clinic next door to an ophthalmologist who agreed to perform comprehensive eye examinations on the survivors based on a referral from the clinician. March-April, 2015

A Clinical Guideline for Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Developed an evidence-based clinical guideline for treatment of men with low testosterone. The guideline included appropriate testosterone dosages based on laboratory results and individual variables, frequency of monitoring, and how to detect adverse effects. The guideline was implemented at a local clinic that specializes in men’s health.

October 2013

Statewide At-Risk Tracking and Intervention for Nurses (SATIN)

Grant Funded – Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,  $87,080

June 2011 to May 2013

The Use of a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) to Increase Student Enrollment

Co-Principal Investigator

Grant Funded – Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, $292,728

Fall 2010 to August 2012

Student Success Program for WSON

Funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Nursing Shortage 

Reduction – Under 70 Program, $194,491

Fall 2009 to August 2011

The Practice Doctorate of Nursing: Are We Ready?

Principal Investigator

A qualitative study to identify the perceived barriers and facilitators to the integration of Advance Practice Nurses with a DNP in the Wichita Falls area

Grant Funded – MSU Faculty Grant, $4,586

Academic Year 2007-08

A Community Approach to Weight Loss

Principal Investigator

A descriptive study of participants in the North Texas State Hospital “Biggest Loser” competition

July 2007


Presentations: Local and Regional

Moriarty, K. J. (2020, July). HIV/AIDS, STDs, and TB. Presented at the North Texas Regional Training Conference, Wichita Falls, TX. (web-conference)

Moriarty, K. J. (2019, May). Addiction: A Family Affair. Presented at the Behavioral Health: It’s Academic at MSU.

Moriarty, K. J. (2019, March). Primary Care in the Mental Health Setting. Presented at the MSU Wilson School of Nursing, Graduate Student Immersion Day.

Polvado, K. J. (2016, November). Presentation and Management of the Patient with Zika. Presented at The Zika Challenge, a continuing education offering to the MSU and Wichita Falls, TX communities.

Polvado, K., Jun, N., Miller, S., Scales, J., Simpson, R., & Whitehouse, P. (2016, October). The Human Genome Project: A Panel Discussion of the Impact on Health, Technology, and Society. I wrote and submitted the proposal and participated as a panel member and moderator.

Polvado, K. J. (2015, November). The Heart Beat of Science. Presented at the 2015 Math, Science & U Girls Conference at MSU.

Polvado, K. (2015, October). EBOLA. Presented at the Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services Brown Bag Luncheon, MSU.

Polvado, K. J. (2015, February). Ebola Virus Disease. Presented to nursing faculty and preceptors as a continuing nursing education opportunity (1.5 hours)

Polvado, K. (2014, September). Nurses in Charge: Using Evidence to Create Change in the Workplace. Presented at the 2014 Texas Forensic Conference, Vernon, TX.

Walker, D., & Polvado, K. (2013, September). Utilizing Social Media in Evidence-Based Projects. Presented at the Texas Society of Allied Health Professions Annual Conference, San Marcus, TX.

Polvado, K. (2013, August). Evidence-Based Projects in a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program. Presented at the Department of State Health Services conference entitled Trauma-Informed Care: A Change in Perspective, Wichita Falls, TX.

Polvado, K. (2012, August). The Use of a Dedicated Education Unit to Increase Student Enrollment. Presented at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Austin, TX.

Polvado, K. (2011, March). Engaging Graduate Nursing Students in Service-Learning Activities: A Win-Win Strategy. Presented at Sigma Theta Tau Best Practices in Nursing Day, Wichita Falls, TX.

Polvado, K. (2010, March). Post-Disaster Nursing: Using Evidence to Treat Victims of the Haiti Earthquake. Presented at Sigma Theta Tau Research Day 2010, Wichita Falls, TX.

Polvado, K. (2007, April). Osteoporosis: Diagnosis and Management. Presented at the Linda J. Hawley Memorial Health Fair, Wichita Falls, TX.

Polvado, K. (2005, Fall). Advanced Practice Roles in Disaster Nursing. Presented at the Texas Nurses Association District 11 Meeting, Wichita Falls, TX.

Polvado, K., & Baty, L. (2002, April). Psychiatric Nursing Roles: Perceptions of and Barriers to Role Achievement and Performance in an Inpatient Psychiatric Facility. Presented at the Sixth Biennial Research Conference, Norman, OK.

Presentations: National and International

Bowles, B., Gibson, M., Jansen, L., Polvado, K., & Lockhart, R. (2017, July). Motivation to Ride in the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred Bicycling Event. Presented at the Athens Institute for Education and Research, 13th Annual International Conference on Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences, Athens, Greece.

Polvado, K. J., Bowles, B., Jansen, L., Gibson, M., & Lockhart, R. (2017, March). Motivation to Ride in the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred Bicycling Event. Presented at the International Conference on Cycling and Bicycling, Paris, France.

Walker, D., & Polvado, K. (2012, August). Health and Human Services Students’ Perceptions of Academic Integrity. Presented at Nuts and Bolts Nurse Educator Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Leach, J., & Polvado, K. (2011, November). Designated Education Unit: Effective Strategy to Provide Quality Outcomes While Growing Two Programs. American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2011 Baccalaureate Education Conference, St. Louis, MO.

Polvado, K. (2010, October). The Formulary Proposal: Moving Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics to Practice. Presented at the National League for Nursing National Education Summit, Las Vegas, NV.

Polvado, K. (2010, October). Engaging Graduate Nursing Students in Service Learning: A Win-Win Strategy. Presented at the National League for Nursing National Education Summit, Las Vegas, NV.

Polvado, K. (2010, October). From Paper to Practice: A Curriculum Change to Reflect Current Trends. Presented at the National League for Nursing National Education Summit, Las Vegas, NV.

Polvado, K. (2010, April). The Development of an Evidence-Based Project Series: A Non-Thesis Option for Nurse Practitioner Students. Presented at the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Washington, DC.

Polvado, K. (2010, January). The Formulary Proposal: An Innovative Learning Activity for Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics Students. Presented at Mosby’s Faculty Development Institute, San Diego, CA.

Polvado, K. (2007, June). The Practice Doctorate: Are We Ready? Presented at the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Polvado, K. (2007, April). Barriers to the Integration of the Practice Doctorate of Nursing. Presented at the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Denver, CO.

Polvado, K. (2007, March). A Community Approach to Health Promotion. Presented at the Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference, San Francisco, CA.


Publications: Book Chapter

Polvado, K. J. (2014). Preparing MSN students for entry into a DNP program. In L. Caputi (Ed.), Innovations in nursing education: Building the future of nursing (pp. 175-180), Philadelphia: Lippincott.


Publications: Refereed Journals 

Polvado, K. J., Bowles, B., Jansen, M., Gibson, M., & Lockhart, R. (2017). Motivation to Ride in 

the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred Bicycling Event. International Scholarly & Scientific Research & Innovation, 4(3).

Polvado, K. J., Sportsman, S., & Bradshaw, P. (2015). Pilot study of a dedicated education unit: Lessons learned. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 5(12),122-130. 

Cuevas, M., & Polvado, K. (April 27, 2009). Issues in organ donation. Advance for Nurse Practitioners. Retrieved from 

Cox, D., & Polvado, K. (2008). Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Advance for Nurse Practitioners, 16 (11), 43-46.


Publications: White Paper       

Polvado, K. (2013). Strategies for retention: Using a Retention specialist to increase retention of undergraduate nursing students. Retrieved from


Publications: Other 

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. (2016). Academic practice partnerships: Sharing the vision for advanced practice nursing education. Retrieved from (I was a faculty contributor to this position paper.)

Polvado, K. (2015, October). Preparing for disaster relief nursing. Texas Board of Nursing Bulletin, 46(4), 4-5.