Faculty & Staff Profile

Faculty/Staff Profile

Karen A. Grigsby, RN, PhD

Associate Professor & Coordinator, Nursing Administration Specialty

Nurse Researcher
CPM Resource Center.
Grand Rapids, MI

Contact Information
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
College of Nursing - Omaha Division
Room 5041
985330 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5330
tel: (402) 559-6622
E-Mail: kgrigsby@unmc.edu


  • Dr. Grigsby received her BSN from the University of Cincinnati in 1969. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 1973 with a Master of Science degree in nursing and received her PhD in nursing at the University of Texas at Austin in 1988.
  • Nursing positions included staff nurse and assistant head nurse in pediatric inpatient settings. She has held nursing faculty positions at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Mount St. Joseph, OH, the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, and the University of Missouri-Columbia, in Columbia, MO. Dr. Grigsby joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in 1989.
  • Dr. Grigsby spends her spare time gardening, experimenting with new recipes, reading, and listening to music (especially jazz and piano). She enjoys traveling, camping, biking, walking, yoga, and playing with her cats (Jesse, Jasmine and Tommy) and dogs (Rudy and Rosie).


  • Dr. Grigsby has held teaching positions in both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. Since joining the UNMC College of Nursing she has been a member or chair of task forces and committees engaged in undergraduate and graduate curriculum review, revision, and course development.
  • Dr. Grigsby understands nursing science, health care environment, & issues faced by health care professionals/organizations. She is a leader in curriculum development and revision and identifies essential skills and curricular content needed by the professional nurse who works in management, administration, or executive leadership positions. Demonstration of this expertise includes:
    • shared leadership in revising the master’s level Nursing Administration program to prepare graduates for leadership in creating & maintaining health care delivery systems & infrastructures.
    • development of & teaching the first qualitative research course offered at UNMC with Dr. Donna Westmoreland.
    • introduction of the discipline of dialogue, with Dr. Donna Westmoreland, in master’s level courses; its applicability in developing nursing science; and its usefulness to nursing administrators.
  • Dr. Grigsby makes classroom content and assignments relevant to students from a variety of disciplines. Her research focus, professional background, and areas of continuing education contribute to innovative classroom teaching strategies that promote intellectual and personal development of graduate/undergraduate students. Students evaluate her positively for creating an environment that facilitates discussion, respecting diverse opinions, and promoting independent thinking.
  • Dr. Grigsby teaches &/or co-teaches the following courses in the master’s program:
    • NRSG 842 - Community and Organizational Development
    • NRSG 873 - Developing Systems & Infrastructures in Health Care Organizations
    • NRSG 874 - Practicum in Managing & Evaluating Health Care Organizations
    • NRSG 872 - Health Care Economics & Financial Management
  • Dr. Grigsby is a leader in the Health Systems Nurse Specialist master's specialty in the College of Nursing.  She participated in developing and implementing program grants for this specialty.  The program received 10 years of funding from DHHS.


  • Dr. Grigsby's research focus is the study of nursing (thinking skills and practice) and work environments (health care delivery systems) that promote health and professional practice.

Since July 1995, Dr. Grigsby has been a researcher with Clinical Practice Model Resource Center (CPMRC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, whose mission is to assist health care organizations develop healthy, healing work environments that support professional practice.

  • Dr. Grigsby was PI for a retrospective study identifying organizational benefits associated with using the CPM framework. Outcomes provide a foundation in how to link organizational initiatives together to achieve organizational goals.
  • She conducted a theory description, analysis, and critique of the CPM for the purpose of creating a foundation for research conceptualization that will guide research studies and further development of the model.
  • She participated in the development of a pilot project to implement outcome engineering as a professional development and evaluation tool for partnership councils and health care providers.

Dr. Grigsby was co-investigator in a qualitative evaluation study for the North Central Project Ladder in Nursing Careers and Allied Health Occupation Coalition (LINC), under contract with the IA Hospital Education & Research Foundation, (1995-1997).

She initiated a broad program of research on "Nurses and Our Work" with Dr. Westomoreland, in 1990. She has been primary investigator or co-investigator in:

  • "Nurses’ Ways of Knowing: A Preliminary Investigation of the Personal Knowledge of Hospital Staff Nurses." (Funded by UNMC seed grant).
  • "Patterns of Personal Knowledge of Hospital Staff Nurses." (Funded by the American Nurses’ Foundation).
  • "Changes in Nursing Practice After Implementation of an Automated Clinical Documentation System".  (Funded by Sigma Theta Tau). 
  • "Nurses’ Care Planning and Documentation Practices and the Development of Patient Complications: A Descriptive Study".  Dean’s Award Grant, UNMC CON

Consultations that Dr. Grigsby has provided include:

  • Data analysis for phenomenological study of nurses' working environments in pediatric intensive care;
  • Curriculum evaluation and curriculum revision in baccalaureate education;
  • Development of Health Systems Nurse Specialist curriculum: System supports, distance methodologies for integrated curriculum.
  • Development of a master's program in Nursing Service Administration
  • Use of Gilligan's Theory of Morality in a research study
  • At the River: Making Bridges One Conversation at a Time: A Leadership Retreat

Selected publications and presentations include:

*Grigsby, K. & Tidikis-Menck, P. (2007). Do nurses’ documentation practices change after implementation of an automated clinical documentation system? Paper presentation at 39th Sigma Theta Tau International Conference, Baltimore, MD

Schwartz, C. & Grigsby, K. (2006). What are outcomes that reveal evidence of sustainability for things that matter most? Paper presentation at 16th Annual CPM Resource Center International Conference, Irvine, CA .

*Grigsby, K. & Tidikis-Menck, P. (2005). Changes in Nurses’ Documentation Practices after Implementation of an Automated Clinical Documentation System. Paper presentation at 38th Sigma Theta Tau International Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

*Grigsby, K & Wesorick, B. (2004). The Impact of Using Clinical Practice Guidelines on Nursing Practice Patterns and Patient Outcomes. Poster presentation at the Evidence Based Nursing: Strategies for Improving Practice, Sigma Theta Tau International, Dublin, .

*Grigsby, K. & Westmoreland, D. (2003). Journey mapping: Capturing student's transformative learning experiences & promoting growth into an advanced practice role. Paper presentation at the 37th Biennial Convention, Sigma Theta Tau International, Toronto, CA.

Troseth, M.; Kelly, C.; Grigsby, K.; & McAllister, C. (2002). Novice to expert: Intentional facilitation using evidence based tools and technology.  Paper presentation at the 13th Clinical Practice Model Resource Center International Conference, Grand Rapids, MI .

*Grigsby, K. & Hays, B. (2001). The challenge of enhancing cultural competency. Paper presentation for the 36th Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Convention, Indianapolis, IN.

*Westmoreland, D.; Grigsby, K.; & Shiparski, L. (2001). Outcome engineering: Innovative tools to inspire, cultivate, & sustain visionary leadership by partnership/shared leadership councils. Paper presentation for the 36th Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Convention, Indianapolis, IN.

*Grigsby, K.; Westmoreland, D.; & Shiparski, L. (2002). Capacity building of leaders in health care organizations: Monitoring organization-wide implementation of the Clinical Practice Model. Journal of Nursing Administration, 32(7/8), 398-404.

Grigsby, K. & Westmoreland, D. (October 1999). "The Journey to the Selection of a Method for Evaluating CPM" Poster, 10th Annual Clinical Practice Model (CPM), International Conference, Fort Worth, TX.

*Grigsby, K., Mazzuca, K., & Westmoreland, D. (July 1999). "Developing and implementing courses for distance delivery within a health systems nurse specialist". Workshop, The new nursing: Converging conversations of education, research and practice, Madison, WI.

*Westmoreland, D.; Grigsby, K.; Brown, L.; Latessa, P.; & Huber, D. (1998). Replicating Project LINC in two midwestern states.Nursing and Health Care Perspectives, 19(4), 166-174.

Grigsby, K. & Westmoreland, D. (October 16, 1998). Reflective Practice & Action Research: Strategies to Promote Continuous Learning in Partnership Councils. Invited presentation for the Ninth Annual Clinical Practice Model International Conference, Grand Rapids, MI.

*Grigsby, K., Shiparski, L., & Westmoreland, D. (April 1998). Capturing organizational learning after implementation of a professional practice framework. Paper, First International Research Utilization Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

*Grigsby, K., Shiparski, L., & Westmoreland, D. (March, 1998). Assessing organizational change after implementation of a professional practice model. Poster, 22nd annual research conference, Midwest nursing research society, Columbus, OH.  

*Grigsby, K. & Megel, M. (1995). Caring experiences of nurse educators. Journal of Nursing Education, 34(9), 411-418.

*Grigsby, K. & Becker, H. (1992). Managerial issues associated with program evaluation in schools of nursing. Journal of Nursing Education, 31(9), 415-417.

*Grigsby, K. (1991). Perceptions of the Organization's climate: Influenced by the organization's structure?Journal of Nursing Education, 30(2), 81-88.

Professional Service/Recognition

 Honors and Awards

  • 2007 Distinguished Alumnae Award, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati

Selected Professional Organizations and Activities

  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing
    • Director, STTI Board of Directors, 2005-2009
    • Elected STTI Region 3 Coordinator, 2001-2003
    • Elected STTI Region 2 Coordinator, 1999-2001
    • International Bylaws Committee, 1995-1999
    • Gamma Pi Chapter: President, 1997-1999; President-Elect 1996-97; Eligibility Committee,Chairperson 1995-96
  • Midwest Nursing Research Society
    • Qualitative Research Section, Chair, 1997-1998
      Co-chair, 1996-1997
  • National League for Nursing
    • Council for Society for Research in Nursing Education, Member, 1988-95
  • Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing
    • By-laws Committee, 1997-2001
    • 2001 Conference Planning Committee, 1999-2001
  • Reviewer
    • Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) Iowa Intervention Project
    • Seed grant research program, UNMC 
    • Nursing Administration Research Conference
  • Chancellor's Commission for Gender Related Issues
    • Chair 1995 - 1997; Member 1992 - present