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Karen Gralton, MS, RN, PCNS-BC, named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year

Congratulations to Karen Gralton MS, RN, PCNS-BC winner of Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year - Wisconsin Chapter of National Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners

Karen is currently the director of Advanced Practice Nursing, Clinical Practice and Nursing Student education at Children’s Hospital. She dedicated her nursing career to the care of infants and children, starting as a staff RN in 1978. Karen works tirelessly to support the nursing dyad model to ensure our patients receive the best and safest care. She strongly supports the growth and development of all advanced practice nurses (APNs) at Children’s who support working to the top of licensure and who challenge current processes to strive for excellence. She is an advocate for all APNs.

Despite her many duties, Karen continues to mentor and develop APNs through both clinical practice and leadership skills. She facilitated the development and implementation of the Advanced Practice Nursing Council and subsequently, the Advanced Practice Discipline to ensure APNs at our organization have formal avenues in place within the hospital to voice their opinion and to positively impact our profession, our organization and most importantly, our patients. Each and every APN at Children’s has been positively impacted by Karen’s work. She has strategically built systems and modes of communication to ensure that all APNs are supported and are able to provide the best and safest care for the children of Wisconsin.

Karen has been actively involved in local and national organizations throughout her career, most recently focusing her efforts on the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Legislation. Karen is a role model for evidence-based nursing practice. She has published nine journal articles and a Chapter in Pediatric Critical Care Nursing Book, and has presented at least 10 times in regards to evidence-based practice. She was also instrumental in building evidence-based care plans into the electronic medical record.

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