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Karen Smith, MSN, RN, CEN, NE-BC

Karen has over 38 years of clinical and administrative experience in emergency departments. As a Certified Emergency Nurse and a board certified nurse executive, she maintains expertise in emergency care and nursing administration recognized by professional organizations.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Studer Group, Karen served in clinical staff roles for many years in both an academic Level I trauma center and community hospital settings. Her ten years of direct leadership experience were at a Magnet hospital within a major hospital system. During these years of leadership, Karen coached staff to improve patient experience, achieving patient satisfaction scores for nurse measures consistently in the 90th percentile or better. As an emergency department (ED) consultant, she completed several emergency department interim leadership positions where she implemented measures to improve the patient experience, reduce numbers of patients leaving without being seen, and reduce door-to-provider intervals among other throughput measures.

Karen is an active member of the Emergency Nurses Association, a past president of the Rhode Island State Council, and has served as chairperson of the New England Regional Symposium. She is also a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). She is certified in all levels of the FEMA Emergency Management curriculum and has successfully managed the emergency management chapter of the Joint Commission regulations for hospitals.

Signature Engagements

  • Over 38 years of clinical and administrative experience in a variety of emergency departments from community to academic Level I trauma settings
  • With an independent consulting firm, provided interim ED leadership services around the U.S., successfully implementing measures to improve key throughput metrics and increase the measures related to patient experience
  • With Studer Group, currently coach broad range of EDs from small rural hospitals to large academic medical centers in achieving individualized solutions that maximize ED throughput, create an exceptional patient experience and achieve financial results
  • Committed to maximizing the engagement of ED staff and providers with each other and the patients they serve

Education and Certifications

  • University of Rhode Island, Master of Science in Nursing Administration
  • University of Rhode Island, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing, Diploma in Nursing

Professional Associations

  • Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)

Publications/Speaking Engagements

  • A Small ED with a Big Heart: Holyoke Medical Center’s Journey to Excellence, presentation May 2017
  • Rethinking Emergency Department Results: Are You Treating Before Diagnosing, Studer Group Insights, 2016
  • Using Leader Rounding on Patients in the Emergency Department to Coach Staff, Studer Group Insights, 2014

Resources by this Leader

  • Karen Smith

    Karen Smith, MSN, RN, CEN, NE-BC

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