Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FAAN

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  • 1999 Alumni
    Karen Cox

Executive Vice President, Co-Chief Operating Officer

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Kansas City, MO

Karen Cox brings over 20 years of nursing experience in clinical and executive practice. She currently serves as Executive Vice President, Co-Chief Operating Officer at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, a 314 bed academic pediatric medical center in Kansas City, Missouri. Cox led the organization to receive Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, becoming the first hospital in Kansas and Missouri, and only the third children's hospital. Dr. Cox also serves as Assistant Dean for Clinical Partnerships at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC).

Dr. Cox started her nursing career as a licensed practical nurse. Subsequent degrees include an Associates degree in Nursing from Excelsior College, a BSN from the University of Kansas, and a MSN from UMKC. In 2002 she completed a PhD in Nursing with a minor in business from UMKC. Her dissertation studied the needs of inpatient Registered Nurses in the work environment.

Dr. Cox has contributed articles to publications including the American Journal of Nursing, Nursing Economics, Seminars for Nurse Managers, Journal of Nursing Administration and Nursing Leadership Forum. She has presented her work nationally at conferences including American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), American Nurses Association (ANA), Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and Sigma Theta Tau (STT).

Dr. Cox was named a Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Executive Nurse Fellowship Program 1999-2002. Her leadership project was to conduct a community-wide nursing assessment. Dr. Cox coordinated the nursing focus group section of the report "Health Care's Human Crisis: The American Nursing Shortage" from the RWJ Foundation in April 2002. She has developed an instrument, the Individual Workload Perception scale, which measures nurses' perception of their workload. She was awarded the Midwest Nursing Research Society's Pediatric Research Section Clinical Practice Award, the School of Nursing Alumni Achievement Award, University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Ingram's Magazine "Heroes of Healthcare" in Administration Award and the Carrie B. Lenburg Alumnae Award, Excelsior College, Albany, New York.  Cox holds memberships in ANA, AONE, Society of Pediatric Nurses, and STT International and and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.