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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 nursing excellence journey, including Magnet®.

Dr. Karen Gabel Speroni helps hospitals and hospital systems through all phases of their nursing excellence journey, including Magnet®.

She is a research infrastructure and process expert who uniquely integrates organizational missions with research goals to facilitate evidence-informed practice of nursing, ultimately to advance the practice of nursing, including patient outcomes and work environment.

She has over 30 years of experience in biomedical research and hospital consultation, including hospital-based research, nursing excellence and evidence-based practice, as well serving on Institutional Review Boards, and university teaching.

Currently, Dr. Speroni:

  • Serves as a consultant and educator with the American Nurses Association, for hospitals on their Magnet® and Pathway to Excellence® journey; Certificate Holder, Fundamentals of Magnet;
  • Is adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins School of nursing, serving as a Principal Investigator in multi-center, international research;
  • Provides inquiry methods and research consultation to develop and sustain research programs for Magnet recognition for multiple health care systems and hospital, including Johns Hopkins;
  • Presents research processes and research findings nationally and internationally, and
  • Authors research / healthcare related publications.

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.
  • Utilizes iQuERY (Innovation, QUality improvement, Evidence-based practice, Research & You) to facilitate inquiry method best practices, a model which she innovated.


  • 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 Recent Publications

1) Speroni, K.G., Antol, S., Lisle, L., Aroom, W. (2023). Differences by Nurse Type in Professional Quality of Life Perceptions from Pre-COVID-19 to Intra-COVID-19. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 28, No. 3. DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol28No03PPT75

2) Speroni, K.G. Remote Work in Nursing: Facilitators and Barriers. (2023). OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 28, No. 2, Manuscript 1, DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol28No02Man01

3) Speroni, K.G. Letter to the Editor by Karen G. Speroni to OJIN topic: Professional Pathways in Nursing: Options to Seek, Start, and Sustain a Career. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. March 20, 2023. Retrieved from: Letter to the Editor by Karen G. Speroni to OJIN topic: “Professional Pathways in Nursing: Options to Seek, Start, and Sustain a Career” | OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (

4) Speroni, K.G., Budhathoki, C, Walters, C., Dutton, S., Mackay, P., Oguariri, R.M. (2022). Survey Research: Do all RN types have the same perceptions regarding professional nursing governance? Journal of Nursing Administration, 52(5) 258-265. 10.1097/NNA.0000000000001014

5) May, V, Knitting, J, Speroni, KG, Adil, M. Utilization of Emergent MRI in the Diagnosis of Acute Ischemic Stroke. (2022). Journal of Radiology Nursing.1-7.

6) Hess, R., & Speroni, K.G. (2021). Onboarding best practices for professional nursing governance. Voice of Nursing Leadership, November: 4-6.

7) Speroni, K.G., & Hess, R. (2021). Pandemics challenges. Keeping nursing research alive. Journal of Nursing Administration, 51(7/8): 364-365.

8) Speroni, K.G., Wisner, K., Ober, M., Haines, F., Walters, C., & Budhathoki, C. (2021). Effect of Shared Governance on Nurse Sensitive Indicator and Satisfaction Outcomes by Magnet Recognition Status. Journal of Nursing Administration, 51 (7/8): 379-388. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000001033

9) Speroni, K.G., Wisner, K., Stafford, A., Haines, F., AL-Ruzzieh, M.A., Walters, C., & Budhathoki, C. (2021). Effect of Shared Governance on Nurse Sensitive Indicator and Satisfaction Outcomes: An International Comparison. Journal of Nursing Administration, 51(5): 287-296. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000001014

10) Lindauer, C., Speroni, K.G., Godinez, K., Lurz, T., Oakley, R., & Zakes, A. (2021). Effect of A Nurse-Led, Patient-Centered, Gratitude Intervention on Patient Hospitalization Experience. Journal of Nursing Administration. 51(4): 192-199.

11) Cusanza, S., Speroni, K., Curran, C., & Azizi, D. (2020). Effect of Individualized Learning Plans on Nurse Learning Outcomes and Risk Mitigation. Journal of Healthcare Risk Management. 40(4): 17-29. DOI: 10.1002/jhrm.21442

12) Hess, B., Weaver, S., & Speroni, K.G. (2020). Shared Governance During A Pandemic. Nurse Leader. doi: 10.1016/j.mnl.2020.05.008

13) Lisle, L., Speroni, K.G., Aroom, W., Crouch, L., & Honigsberg, H. (2020). Differences in Compassion Satisfaction, Compassion Fatigue and Work Environment Factors by Hospital Registered Nurse Types. Online Journal for Issues in Nursing; 25(3). DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol25No03PPT44

14) Speroni, K.G. (2020). Call to Action for a US Nurse General: From Ebola to Corona. Journal of Nursing Administration, 50(5): E1-E2.

15) Speroni, K.G., McLaughlin, M., Friesen, M.A. (2020). Use of Evidence-based Practice Models and Research Findings in Magnet®-Designated Hospitals Across the United States: National Survey Results. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing; 17(2): 98-10.

16) Baker, A., Speroni, K.G., Ruby, D., & Honigsberg, H. (2020). Health Care Professionals' Perceptions of Life-Sustaining Treatment Orders. Nursing2020; 50(2): 64-69.

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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