Katherine Bernier Carney

Ph.D., RN

Assistant Professor


A pediatric nurse, Katherine Bernier Carney, Ph.D., RN, completed her doctorate as a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar, examining the role of psychological stress in the development of persistent pain. She then trained as a T32 Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Utah College of Nursing, focusing on cancer, caregiving, and end-of-life care research. Before pursuing her baccalaureate degree in nursing, she received a bachelor’s in public health sciences from the University of Massachusetts. Her nursing background is in pediatric acute care and hematology/oncology. 

The primary goal of Bernier Carney’s research is to improve the symptom care of children and adolescents receiving treatment for cancer. Her work is positioned at the intersection of symptom science, pediatric oncology, and family-centered care. She says she is particularly interested in using patient-centered clinical data to understand symptom care patterns and develop interventions to prepare family members in providing high quality supportive care for their children across the cancer treatment trajectory.  

As an educator, her overall goal is to help students to communicate more effectively, advance critical thinking skills, and develop an ethical awareness of how their choices impact patient care and public health. She enjoys mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research projects and serves as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals.

Research/Scholarship Interests

  • Care of Children and Families
  • Symptom Science
  • Pediatric Palliative Oncology
  • Translational Research


  • T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cancer, Caregiving, and End-of-Life Care, University of Utah, 2019-2021
  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut School of Nursing, 2019
  • Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health, University of Connecticut, 2019
  • MS, University of Connecticut, 2018
  • BS in Nursing, University of Rochester, 2011
  • BS in Public Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010

Honors & Awards

  • 2021: Awardee, Research Methods in Supportive Oncology, Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care, Live Online Workshop, Funded by NCI R25 CA181000
  • 2020: ICPSR Summer Fellow, University of Utah, Consortium for Families & Health Research
  • 2019: Eleanor Gill Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice, University of Connecticut, School of Nursing
  • 2016 – 2019: Future of Nursing Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, University of Connecticut
  • 2015 – 2016: Evidence Based Practice Fellow, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Institute of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Selected Publications

  • Bernier Carney, K. M., Jung, S. H., Iacob, E., Lewis, M., & Linder, L. A. (2021). Communication of pain by school-age children with cancer using a game-based symptom assessment app: A secondary analysis. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 52, 101949. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2021.101949
  • Bernier Carney, K. M., Guite, J. W., Young, E. E., & Starkweather, A. R. (2021). Investigating key predictors of persistent low back pain: A focus on psychological stress. Applied Nursing Research, 58, 151406. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2021.151406
  • Baumbauer, K. M., Ramesh, D., Perry, M., Carney, K. B., Julian, T., Glidden, N., Dorsey, S. G., Starkweather, A. R., & Young, E. E. (2020). Contribution of COMT and BDNF Genotype and Expression to the Risk of Transition from Acute to Chronic Low Back Pain. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 36(6), 430–439. https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000819
  • Bernier Carney, K., Young, E., Guite, J., & Starkweather, A. (2020). A Systematic Review of Biological Mechanisms and Chronic Pain Outcomes During Stress Reduction Interventions. Biological Research for Nursing, 22(2), 205–216. https://doi.org/10.1177/1099800420907964
  • Kim, K., Ramesh, D., Perry, M., Bernier, K. M., Young, E. E., Walsh, S., & Starkweather, A. (2020). Effects of Physical Activity on Neurophysiological and Gene Expression Profiles in Chronic Back Pain: Study Protocol. Nursing Research, 69(1), 74–81. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNR.0000000000000400
  • Carney, K. B., Guite, J. W., Young, E. E., & Starkweather, A. R. (2020). Forced Enlightenment: A Metasynthesis of Experiences During Childhood Cancer Survivorship. Cancer Nursing, 43(3), E159–E171. https://doi.org/10.1097/NCC.0000000000000775
  • Bernier Carney, K., Starkweather, A., Lucas, R., Ersig, A. L., Guite, J. W., & Young, E. (2019). Deconstructing Pain Disability through Concept Analysis. Pain Management Nursing, 20(5), 482–488. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2019.06.001
  • Lucas, R., Bernier, K., Perry, M., Evans, H., Ramesh, D., Young, E., Walsh, S., & Starkweather, A. (2019). Promoting self-management of breast and nipple pain in breastfeeding women: Protocol of a pilot randomized controlled trial. Research in Nursing & Health, 42(3), 176–188. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.21938
  • Bernier, K. M., Strobel, M., & Lucas, R. (2018). Assessing the Effect of an Educational Intervention on Nurses’ and Patient Care Assistants’ Comprehension and Documentation of Functional Ability in Pediatric Patients with Sickle Cell Disease. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 41, 117–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2018.04.001
  • Cong, X., Ramesh, D., Perry, M., Xu, W., Bernier, K. M., Young, E. E., Walsh, S., & Starkweather, A. (2018). Pain self-management plus nurse-led support in young adults with irritable bowel syndrome: Study protocol for a pilot randomized control trial. Research in Nursing & Health, 41(2), 121–130. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.21862
  • Casavant, S. G., Bernier, K., Andrews, S., & Bourgoin, A. (2017). Noise in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: What Does the Evidence Tell Us? Advances in Neonatal Care, 17(4), 265–273. https://doi.org/10.1097/ANC.0000000000000402
  • Cong, X., Perry, M., Bernier, K. M., Young, E. E., & Starkweather, A. (2018). Effects of Self-Management Interventions in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Systematic Review. Western Journal of Nursing Rsearch, 40(11), 1698–1720. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193945917727705
A portrait of assistant professor Katherine Bernier Carney.
Contact Information
Office LocationSH 113A