Dr. Brooks Carthon received her BSN from North Carolina A & T State University in 1995. She earned her MSN in Psychiatric and Adult Health from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, and her PhD in Nursing in 2008, from the University of Pennsylvania. Immediately after earning her PhD, she entered a joint Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Penn in the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of History and the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, which she completed in June 2010. Dr. Brooks Carthon joined the standing faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in July 2010 and is a core faculty member in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research.
Dr. Brooks Carthon’s scholarship includes work on nursing outcomes research focused on the relationship between the organization of nursing services and health disparities among vulnerable patient populations. She is among the first to provide evidence that racial disparities in hospital-based outcomes are associated with poor nursing quality. This path breaking work shows that targeted investments in nursing in minority-serving hospitals have the potential to reduce what have been intractable health disparities in the areas of hospital readmissions, patient satisfaction and post-surgical mortality. Dr. Brooks Carthon is equally regarded as a thought leader in the area of nursing workforce diversity. Leveraging years of work locally and nationally in the areas of recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities, Dr. Brooks Carthon has been instrumental in the creation of national policies to address diversity and inclusion in nursing education. Her study findings may be found in interdisciplinary journals including JAMA, BMJ Quality & Safety, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and Medical Care. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar, and a board member of the Diversity Strategic Action Group for the National League of Nursing.