Dr. Harshaw-Ellis earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She completed a MSN as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Post-Masters as an Adult Nurse Practitioner as well as a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Duke School of Nursing in Durham, NC. She was recognized in 2013 as the first African American student to graduate from Duke University with a DNP. Currently, she works as a nurse practitioner in the Duke Advanced Heart Failure Program in the Same Day Access Clinic for which she also serves as the Director of Outreach. She is a Consulting Associate to the Duke School of Nursing.
She is an ANCC certified Adult and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Over the years, she has been instrumental in developing different models of care involving advanced practice nurses in both inpatient and outpatient settings focusing on vulnerable populations. She has served on numerous advisory boards, editorial boards and participated in many clinical trials in heart failure.
She has been an invited speaker both locally and nationally. In 2013-2014, she was an inaugural fellow in the Duke Johnson and Johnson Nurse Leadership Program. In 2014, Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) awarded her the Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award and 2016 selected as a Fellow (inaugural). Karol is a founding member of 2020 Sisters of Vision which is an African American giving circle in Durham NC.