Karen Stefaniak PhD, RN, NE-BC
Assistant Professor

Karen Stefaniak received a diploma from Lakeview Memorial Hospital in Danville, Ill., in 1965, followed by a BSN from Southern Illinois University in 1967, MSN from the University of Kentucky in 1982, and PhD in Education Policy Studies and Evaluation from UK in 1998. Dr. Stefaniak retired from UK's Albert B. Chandler Hospital following 23 years of nursing leadership positions, including seven years as chief nursing officer/associate hospital director. In that role, she was responsible for nursing practice throughout the inpatient areas and hospital-based outpatient areas. Under her leadership, University of Kentucky nursing was designated Magnet by ANCC in 2001 and redesignated in 2005. Dr. Stefaniak completed the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship in 2006. She is certified as a nurse administrator by ANCC and certified in appreciative inquiry by the Corporation for Positive Change. Her primary leadership interests lie in collaboration, appreciative inquiry, positive deviancy and complexity science. Her clinical focus has been obstetrics, primarily in labor and delivery in the hospital and as a childbirth educator in the community.

Contact Information

Phone: (859) 323-2951

Fax: (859) 323-1057

Email: karen.stefaniak@uky.edu



PhD, University Of Kentucky, 1998
MSN, University Of Kentucky, 1982
BSN, Southern Illinois University, 1967
Diploma, Southern Illinois University, 1965


Collaboration, appreciative inquiry, positive deviancy and complexity science


Dr. Karen Stefaniak's CV


Warshawsky, N. E. Rayens, M. K. Rahman, R. Stefaniak, K. A. The effect of nurse manager turnover on patient fall and pressure ulcer rates. (2013), Journal of Nursing Management 21 (6), 725-732.

Hustedde, C. G. Lohr, K. M. Rudy, D. W. Erlandson, E. Disselkamp, M. Joyce, J. Jensen, L. A. Stefaniak, K. A. Positive organizational change through guided reflection. (2009), Proceedings of the 1st Engaging Reflection in Health Professional Education and Practice Conference 83.

Stefaniak, K. A. Wood, S. Nursing excellence the UK way. (2008), Appreciative inquiry handbook, Crown Custom Publishing, Inc. 83-98.

Stefaniak, K. A. Discovering nursing excellence through appreciative inquiry. (2007), Nurse leader 5 (2), 42-46.

Stefaniak, K. A. Collaboration among nurses: When all else fails. (1998), University of Kentucky College of Education


Stefaniak, K. A. 2016, March. Nurse Executive Competencies . Continuing Education, University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Lexington, KY .

Stefaniak, K. A. 2016, June. Clinical Leadership Projects and Examples: Integrating DNP Essentials . .

Thompson, S. A., Stefaniak, K. A., Scott, W. M. 2015, November. The Doctor of Nursing Practice: Current Issues and Clarifying Recommendations. American Association Critical-Care Nurses Webinar Presentation, AACN, .

Burkhart, P. V., Stefaniak, K. A., Dent, J. L. 2015, May. Internships: Developing the Next Generation of Nurse Researchers, Practitioners, and Educators. 11th Annual Faculty Development Workshop, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY .

Stefaniak, K. A. 2014, May. How to Develop Interactive Group Work for Both Online and Face-to-Face Classes. 10th Annual Faculty Development Workshop, University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Lexington, KY .