Kathleen J.H. Sparbel, PhD, FNP-BC

  • Clinical Associate Professor
  • Director, Quad Cities Regional Campus

Dr. Sparbel’s teaching and administrative focus is to facilitate graduate education of advanced practice nurses. As Quad Cities Regional Program Director, she leads the UIC College of Nursing QC faculty to promote the professional education goals of Quad Cities area nurses across advanced practice specialties and the RN to BSN Program. Dr. Sparbel teaches core courses in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice curriculum as well as FNP management courses to graduate students across the UIC CON campuses. Her experience as past FNP Program Director and teaching interests are directed at curriculum development and educating highly competent Family Nurse Practitioners prepared to deliver excellent primary care services. Research interests specific to advanced practice education involve development of technology, simulation experiences, and interprofessional education to enhance management of chronic disease.

Dr. Sparbel's research background includes an NINR fellowship at the 2003 Summer Genetics Institute, a focus area in clinical genetics in her PhD program and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical genetics at the University of Iowa. Her genomics related research interests include decision-making regarding genetic testing, impact of genetic information on individuals and families, and application of genetic technologies in the primary care clinical setting. She also has research interests in qualitative methods, cultural implications of care, continuity of patient care, and public health applications.

Current Area of Teaching

Dr. Sparbel has teaching experience in graduate and undergraduate nursing programs at UIC. She has taught core courses in nursing research, evidence based practice, and advanced practice nursing issues. As past Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and FNP faculty since 1988, her expertise focuses on curriculum development and teaching in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty management and practicum courses.

Selected Honors & Awards
  • 2015 CARE (Community, Achievements, Respect, Excellence) Award for Distinguished Service, Quad Cities Area Advanced Practice Nurse and Physician Alliance
  • 2014 Daisy Faculty Award, The Daisy Foundation
  • 2013 Founder’s Award for Service, International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG)
  • 2011 President, International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG)
  • 2010 Nursing Recognition Award, Alpha Lambda Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau.
  • 2010 Nursing Pinnacle Leader, UIC College of Nursing Power of Nursing Leadership Event (PNLE)
  • 2008 Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA) 2008 Outstanding Poster Award. 34th Annual National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Conference, Louisville, KY, April 2008.
  • 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award, UIC, Quad Cities Regional Program
  • 2003 National Institute of Health Fellow, NINR Summer Genetics Institute
  • 2000-2001 President, Quad Cities Area Advance Practice Nurse/Physician Assistant Alliance


Selected Publications
  • Williams, J.K., Hamilton, R., Nehl, C., McGonigal-Kenney, M., Schutte, D.L., Sparbel, K., Birrer,E., Tripp-Reimer, T., Friedrich, R., Penziner, E., Jarmon, L., & Paulsen, J. (2007). “No one else sees the difference”: Family members’ perceptions of changes in persons with preclinical Huntington Disease., American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B, 144B, 636-641. 
  • Sparbel, K., Driessnack, M., Williams, J.K., et al. (2008). The experiences of teens living in the shadow of Huntington Disease. Journal of Genetic Counseling,17(4), 327-335.
  • Sparbel, K.J.H., & Williams, J.K. (2009). Pregnancy as foreground in cystic fibrosis carrier testing decisions in primary care. Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, 13(1), 133-142. 
  • Williams, J.K., Ayres, L., Specht, J., Sparbel, K., & Klimek, M.L (2009, August). Caregiving by Teens for Family Members with Huntington Disease. Journal of Family Nursing, 15(3), 273-294.
  • Kozlov, M., Anderson, M.A., & Sparbel, K.J.H. (2011). Opiod-induced neurotoxicity in the hospice patient. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 13(5), 334-339.
  • Driessnack, M., Williams, J.K., Barnette, J.J., Sparbel, K.J., & Paulsen, J.S. (2012, May). Development of the HD-Teen Inventory (HD-TI). Clinical Nursing Research, 21 (2), 213-23.


Current Research
  • Sparbel, K.J.H., Co-I (assumed PI April 2015). Advanced Nursing Education Grant Advancing Interprofessional Education and Clinical Expertise using Technology Initiatives in Advanced Practice Nursing, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), D09 HP250, Jean Berry PI 2012-2015; No cost extension through June 2016, $951,596