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Karen Gabel Speroni


Magnet®, Pathway to Excellence®

Dr. Karen Gabel Speroni helps hospitals and hospital systems through all phases of their Magnet® journey. She is also an acknowledged research process expert who facilitates research and evidence based practice infrastructures for Magnet designation and redesignation.

Dr. Karen Gabel Speroni helps hospitals and hospital systems through all phases of their Magnet® journey. She is also an acknowledged research process expert who facilitates research and evidence-based practice infrastructures for Magnet designation and redesignation.

Dr. Speroni has nearly 30 years' experience in biomedical and evidence-based practice research, including consulting work with academic medical centers, Institutional Review Boards, and community hospitals. She currently chairs the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Nursing Research Council, serves as a clinical scientist on two Institutional Review Boards, and provides research consultation for other hospitals.

She is a prolific author and presents her research findings and processes nationally and internationally. An active mentor, she guides nurses in research and evidence-based practice.

Her childhood obesity research project, Kids Living Fit™, and her Nurses Living Fit™ project were profiled as innovations of excellence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In 2012, she received the Virginia Magnet Consortium Nursing Excellence Award for leadership.

Summary of Services

  • Conducts organizational assessments.
  • Reviews application documents for Magnet.
  • Reviews ANCC requests for supplemental information and assists with responses.
  • Prepares organizations for successful ANCC site visits working with hospital groups, shared governance councils, and clinical nurses.
  • Assists with strategic planning for nursing excellence.
  • Mentors and works with teams to successfully achieve strategic outcomes.
  • Helps organizations develop effective shared leadership and decision-making structures, processes and outcomes, shared governance models and professional practice models.
  • Research process expert.
  • QuERY (Quality improvement, Evidence-based practice, Research, and You) process expert: facilitates incorporation of quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and research at the unit level.


  • PhD, Business Administration-Health Care Management, Eastern University
  • MHSA, Policy, Planning and Marketing, The George Washington University
  • BSN, Research College of Nursing-Rockhurst University


  • American Nurses Credentialing Center–Certificate Holder in Fundamentals of Magnet®

Professional Memberships

  • American Nurses Association
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • Virginia Nurses Association

Selected Publications

Groton, M., Fisher, M., Stranahan, K., Higley, M., Speroni, K.G., & Daniel, M. (2015). A prospective, randomized, single-blind study evaluating the effectiveness, tolerability and cost of colonoscopy bowel preparations. Gastroenterology Nursing. 38(1):31-41. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000087

Van Dyke, D., Singley, B., Speroni, K.G., & Daniel, M. (2014). Comparative study evaluation of fall risk assessment tools for psychiatric patient fall prevention: A comparative study. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 52(12):30-5. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20141022-01. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Speroni, K.G. (2014). Designing exercise and nutrition programs to promote normal weight maintenance for nurses. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 19(3). doi:10.1177/1942602X14527322. [Podcast:]

Wilson, J., Speroni, KG, Jones, RA & Daniel, M.G. (2014). Exploring how nurses and managers perceive shared governance. Nursing 2014, 22: 19-22. DOI-10.1097/01.NURSE.0000450791.18473.52

Duffy, M.T., Friesen, M.A., Speroni, K.G., Swengros, D.A., Shanks, L., Waiter, P. & Sheridan, M.J. (2014). Bachelor of science in nursing degree completion barriers, challenges, incentives and strategies. Journal of Nursing Administration. 44(4), 232-236.

Speroni K.G., Fitch T., Dawson E., Dugan L., & Atherton M. (2013). Incidence and cost of workplace violence perpetrated by hospital patients or hospital visitors. J Emerg Nurs. 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.jen.2013.05.014.

Friesen, M.A., Herbst, A., Turner, J.W., Speroni, K.G. & Robinson, J. (2013). Developing a patient-centered ISHAPED handoff With patient/family and parent advisory councils. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, (28)3, 208-216.

Speroni, K.G., Fisher, J., Dennis, M., & Daniel, M. (2013). What causes near-misses and how are they mitigated? Nursing 2013, 43(4), 19-24.

McLaughlin, M., Speroni, K.G., Kelly, K.P, Guzzetta, C., & Desale, S. (2013). National Survey of Hospital Nursing Research, Part 1. Research requirements and outcomes. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(1), 10-17. Reprinted 2013, 43(10), S28-S35.

Kelly, K.P., Turner, A., Speroni, K. G., McLaughlin, M., and Guzzetta, G. (2013). National Survey of Hospital Nursing Research, Part 2. Facilitators and hindrances. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(1), 18-23. Reprinted 2013, 43(10), S36-S41.

Speroni, K.G., Earley, C., Seibert, D., Kassem, M., Shorter, G., Ware, C., Kosak, E. & Atherton, M. (2012). Effect of Nurses Living Fit™ exercise and nutrition intervention on body mass index in nurses. Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(4), 231-238.

Westerfield, H.V., Stafford A.B., Speroni, K.G., & Daniel, M.G. (2012) Survey research of patients' perceptions of patient care providers with tattoos and/or body piercings. Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(3), 160-164.

Stagg, S., Sheridan, D., Jones, R. A., & Speroni, K. G. (2011). Evaluation of a workplace bullying cognitive rehearsal program in a hospital setting. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42(9), 395-403.

Speroni, K.G., Lucas, J., Dugan, L., O'Meara-Lett, M., Putman, M., Daniel, M. & Atherton, M. (2011). Comparative effectiveness of standard endotracheal tubes versus endotracheal tubes with continuous subglottic suctioning on ventilator-associated pneumonia rates. Journal of Nursing Economics, 29(1), 15-21.

Speroni K.G., Earley, C., & Atherton, M. (2007). Evaluating the effectiveness of the Kids Living Fit™ program: A comparative study. Journal of School Nursing, 23(6), 329-336.

For a listing of publications, click here

Registered nurses working in Magnet® organizations are required to advance the body of knowledge of nursing science through nursing research, translation of evidence-based findings into practice, and dissemination of nursing research findings. All too often institutional barriers limit the ability of nurses to move their best-practice question forward from study idea inception to dissemination of research findings. Understanding needed structures and processes to overcome the barriers is a key step to support ideas through dissemination. Needed also is a spirit of inquiry within the organization that empowers nurses to strive for an evidence-informed practice.

In his TEDMED talk, "Exploring the Arc of Innovation," Thomas Goetz addressed the importance of having a rule base and a process. He noted that science is first about the rules and processes that we use to explore ideas, and then it is about the rules and the processes that we use to disseminate those ideas. This applicability of a process to explore ideas and to disseminate those ideas is equally important in nursing.

A helpful tip to build the spirit of inquiry and to move research forward in your organization is to hold a best-practice question contest. Be sure to document what you’ve done. For example:

  • Track the top five ideas generated by nurses on the nursing research council agenda. These ideas can be listed on the monthly nursing research council agenda as "Studies Under Consideration."
  • Facilitate literature review for each of the ideas until it is determined that research is warranted. If so, develop the research study protocol and supporting study documents. Then, once submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), track the study on the research council agenda under "Ongoing Studies". Be sure to include a timeline for each step of the process from IRB submission through dissemination of findings.
  • Support the team of nurses conducting the research by evaluating monthly what resources are needed to meet the study timeline.

Once the study is completed, track outcomes on a research outcomes tracking table, similar to the table required in the 2014 Magnet® Application Manual (Chapter 4, Organizational Overview section, number 20). Add additional columns on the table to track these outcomes for each study

  • Nursing or hospital policy/procedure in place prior to initiating research;
  • Change to policy/procedure as a result of the research;
  • Change to nursing practice or work environment; and
  • Dissemination of findings: MAP it out with manuscripts, abstracts/posters and podium presentations.
    • Be sure to include a full listing of each finding (e.g., full citation for manuscripts; for abstracts/poster and podium presentations, cite authors, title, conference, date presented, and location presented).

Consultation is available to support the development of your research infrastructure. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Happy researching!


This article was originally published in June 2015.

*Use of ANA Consultation Services does not guarantee you will achieve an ANCC credential. ANA consultants and staff cannot influence the actions of ANCC program staff nor decisions of the Commission on Magnet® Recognition, Commission on Pathway to Excellence®, or Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs and the Commission for Nursing Continuing Professional Development..

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