Kimberly Hartson, PhD, RN

Kimerley Hartson, PhD, RN

Kimberly Rapp Hartson, PhD, MS, RN

Assistant Professor


Dr. Hartson's research focuses on health behaviors (physical activity, diet, sleep, and mindfulness meditation) throughout the lifespan, particularly during childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. Her clinical background in neurosciences and stroke fueled her desire to promote health through lifestyle modification and investigate connections between the body and mind. Two areas of emphasis include (1) testing the theoretical underpinnings of health behavior change (e.g., gap between intention and behavior) and (2) developing interventions to promote healthy behaviors for the improvement of physical and mental well-being. Her recent research included: (1) testing the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict physical activity behaviors among minority youth and exploring the potential role of mindfulness as a moderator of the intention - behavior relationship; (2) a program evaluation for a local non-profit that provides farm-based education to Louisville youth; (3) a secondary analysis examining the relationships among stress, resilience, and well-being among college students; and (4) adapting and testing a web-based physical activity intervention for college students. Current research includes: (1) exploring the relationships among psychological health, health behaviors, and physiological outcomes (blood pressure and markers of stress and inflammation) among young adults. She teaches Community Health Nursing, Nursing Research for Evidence-based Practice, and Koru Mindfulness for nursing students. She completed her doctoral work in 2018 at the University of Colorado, College of Nursing, with a focus in Biobehavioral Sciences.


  • PhD, University of Colorado 2018
  • MS, University of Colorado 2014
  • BSN, University of Louisville 2009
  • BS, Carnegie Mellon University 2005

View Curriculum Vitae [PDF]