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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

Planning Required For Establishing Your Nursing Research Council Goals

Inevitably, with each new year comes goal setting, which gives us an opportunity to identify what we would like to accomplish and establish a process to increase measurable success. The latter requires coordination through shared governance. Nurses must understand the important connection between coordinated goal setting that is aligned with the goals of unit councils and shared governance councils and the nursing division's strategic plan, all of which ideally align with the organizational strategic plan. For example, the following could be done annually to facilitate successful completion of the nursing research studies. In Q3, a council would discuss and vote to move forward their specific proposed goals for the upcoming year (annual or fiscal). In Q4, the coordinating council/governance council reviews the council's proposed goals in light of how they align with the nursing division and organizational strategic plans, and then approves those goals once it's certain the necessary resources will be available. Ideally, goals are reviewed and approved in Q4 by the coordinating council, allowing the specific shared governance council to initiate its goals in the subsequent Q1.

Here are some possible goals for the Nursing Research Council's consideration to support the infrastructure for nursing research study completion:

  • Initiate two* nursing research studies in the coming year that support the nursing strategic plan—whether related to nurse-sensitive indicators, satisfaction, core measures, community outreach, or some other component specific to the organization. Research findings that can be evaluated to improve processes likely will garner more of the resources needed for various phases of the study.
  • Hold quarterly journal clubs that support overall goals that align with the strategic plans. For example, if falls and pressure ulcer prevention are problematic, hold journal clubs on these issues. Include a literature review tool to help nurses review related journal articles.
  • Host a nurse research intern (NRI) program mentored by an experienced nursing researcher. Nurses can apply to conduct a nursing research study, with specific, designated hours of protected time provided by the NRI program. Again, topics for study would align with the overall plans.
  • Support evidence-based practice (EBP) projects on every nursing unit. Align topics with unit council goals, which will be aligned with overall plans.
  • Hold an annual nursing research/EBP conference.
  • Submit two* studies for national presentation.
  • Submit two* study manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals.

*This number will vary based on the scope of your research program and the support available for nurse researchers.

Transformational leaders can best support nursing shared governance when goals among the various councils and groups align. When that happens, more resources are available for the work associated with the identified goals, and all nurses in the organization will be empowered to provide exemplary professional practice and improve empirical outcomes


This article was originally published in March 2016.

*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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