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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

Onboarding nurses and inter-professional teams to understand concepts around the multitude of value-added activities ongoing in your hospital to improve patient care, outcomes, and collaborative practice can be a daunting task. Nurses report that it is difficult to have so many competing activities and varying requirements to fully understand and participate. Take Magnet®, for example, and the lingo used by those familiar. (One nurse called it “Magnet speak,” a language she did not know.)

So, how do you best speak “Magnet” to facilitate development, implementation, and enculturation of Magnet in your hospital? Start with the basic premise of the Magnet Model components: transformational leaders structurally empower nurses to provide exemplary nursing practice that results in new knowledge, innovation, and improvements, as demonstrated through empirical outcomes (EOs). This premise includes the following four Magnet Model components, all grounded by data—the EO:

Magnet Model Component Subcomponents Sources of Evidence (# of Required Examples)

Transformational Leadership (TL)    

Strategic planning; advocacy and influence; and visibility, accessibility, and communication

9 (13)

Structural Empowerment (SE)

Professional development; commitment to professional development; teaching and role development; commitment to community involvement; and recognition of nursing

11 (18)

Exemplary Professional Practice (EP)

Professional practice model (PPM); care delivery system; staffing, scheduling, and budgeting processes; interprofessional care; accountability, competence, and autonomy; ethics, privacy, security and confidentiality; culture of safety; and quality care monitoring and improvement

23 (32)

New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements (NK)

Research; evidence-based practice; and innovation

6 (10)


Each of the components has subcomponents. For example, within the EP component, you will find the PPM, which is how nursing excellence is operationalized within your hospital. Magnet is the model around nursing excellence and a professional nursing practice culture. Magnet provides the voice for nurses. Magnet requires nursing-sensitive indicators and patient satisfaction to be above the benchmark for the majority of units, the majority of time. Magnet also requires nursing satisfaction to be above the benchmark for the majority of units.

When asked, “Why is Magnet important?”, try responding by asking the individual to think about needing hospital care herself, or a loved one needing hospital care. Would you want to be in a Magnet or non-Magnet hospital? The answer is usually wanting to be in a hospital where outcomes are better and above the benchmark, and evidence of those outcomes exist. This is a Magnet hospital!

When on your Magnet journey, you will be writing to the sources of evidence (SOEs) that reflect Magnet-related work. The SOEs that are EOs are written according to the EO format in the Magnet Manual. SOEs that are not EOs (i.e., non-EOs) do not follow the EO format but rather a template that is created around the key concepts in the SOE.

Once your Magnet documents have been submitted, including the documents required in the Organizational Overview, they will be scored. A passing score results in a site visit at which time the focus will be verification, clarification, and amplification of the Magnet-related work occurring in your hospital. Proactive provision of information to the Magnet appraisers by your nurses and health care professionals is expected.

Also, be sure to draw parallels regarding the commonalities between the various activities in your hospital, whether related to Magnet, The Joint Commission, the Malcolm Baldridge Performance Excellence Program, or other work.

In the Magnet document submission, during the site visit, and every day in a Magnet hospital, you will see transformational leaders who structurally empower nurses at all levels, as well as health care teams, to provide exemplary nursing practice and inter-professional care, generating new knowledge, innovation, and improvements, as demonstrated through the data—the EOs!

Happy Magnet speak!

*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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