Karen Gralton, MS, RN, PCNS-BC 2016 Pediatric APN of the Year

WAPNAP APN of the Year Nomination Form

Present position: APN – Director of Advance Practice Nursing Clinical Practice and nursing Student education at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Contributions to nursing, pediatrics and/or health care at a local, state or national level

Karen has been a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin since 2001.  She obtained her Masters of Science of Nursing from UWM - Madison in 1978.  She also worked as a Clinical Instructor Pediatric Nursing for Marquette for 5 years from 1994- 1999, and was a staff nurse in the NICU and infant unit.  She also had numerous clinical and leadership positions when she was living in Texas.

Karen has been actively involved in the work group for the Advanced Practice registered nurses (APRN) Legislation.   This work group includes the WNA, Wisconsin Chapter of Clinical Nurse Specialist, Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetist, Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Nurse- Midwives, and the WNA Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Forum.  A main focus of this legislative effort is title Protection for Advanced Practice Nurses

 Contribution to the profession of Pediatric APN

Karen is a role model for evidence based nursing practice.  She has published 9 journal articles, and a Chapter in Pediatric Critical Care Nursing Book, and have presented at least 10 times in regards to evidence based practice to numerous groups.  She was instrumental also in getting nursing care plans that were evidence based built into the electronic medical record that was just implemented at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Karen works tirelessly to support the nursing dyad model to ensure our patients receive the best and safest care. She strongly supports growth and development of all APN’s at Children’s supporting work to the top of licensure and challenging current processes to strive for excellence.  She is an advocate for all APNs. Despite her many duties, she continues to mentor and develop APNs not only in clinical practice but also leadership skills. She facilitated the development and implementation of the Advanced Practice Nursing Council and subsequently the Advanced Practice Discipline to ensure Advanced Practice Nurses at our organization have formal avenues in place within the hospital and medical/dental staff structures to ensure they have a voice at the table and a formal avenue to positively impact our profession, our organization and most importantly our patients. Each and every APN at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 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 children in Wisconsin.

Karen has been on numerous Leadership Committees during her employment since 1989 when she started as a staff nurse on the infant unit. Her current committees and councils include:

Chair – Patient Care Manager/Advanced Practice Nurse Committee

Unit-Based APN

APN Advisory and Credentialing

Synergy workgroup


Member – EBP / Nursing Research Council

Clinical Education Operations Council

Joint Clinical Practice Council

Advanced Practice Nursing Council

Consortium for Pediatric Nursing Research

 Clinical Education Operations Council

Magnet Steering Committee 

Health Care Services Review

Just Culture 


Karen is also very active in research and has been Co-Investigator on several studies including Evidence based educational intervention and Nursing Research.  She is also involved in current studies including teach back and discharge teaching and parental retention.

Leadership and service in the Community (Volunteer services)

Karen is involved in the Marquette graduate curriculum committee which is working on revising the PNP program and courses for students enrolled in Advance Practice Nursing Program.

She also has participated in cancer walks and fund raising for the Leukemia Society.

She is actively pursuing her PHD degree and is enrolled at UWM.  She has special interest in African Americans and premature births.   This along with her dedicated hours working over full time has been the primary focus of her free time over the past several years.

Additional information to support nomination

Honors and memberships:


                              PROFESSIONAL HONORS AND AWARD

2005                      Society of Pediatric Nursing

                              Excellence in Advanced Practice Award

2006                      Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

                              Advanced Practice Nursing Excellence Award

2010                     Society of Pediatric Nursing – WI chapter

                             Evidence-based Practice/Nursing Research Award

2010                     Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

                             Julie Lathrop Nursing Research Award




 1973-present       American Nurses Association

1973-1978           Wisconsin Nurses Association

1978-1986           Texas Nurses Association

1986-present       Wisconsin Nurses Association

2002-present        National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

                                 Appointed to Membership Committee – 3yr term (2003-2006)

2003-present       Society of Pediatric Nurses

                                 Co-Chair, Program Development – 2yr term (2007-2009)

2010 – Present     Midwest Nurses Research Society

2010 - Present      National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

2011 – Present     Sigma Theta Tau International  



Nancy Rudd is the 2015 Wisconsin Chapter of NAPNAP APN of the Year

Nancy Rudd has been selected at the Advance practice nurse practitioner of the Year – 2015 for the Wisconsin Chapter of NAPNAP.  Nancy works as a Nurse Practitioner for the Herma Heart Center Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Medical College of Wisconsin.

Nancy was nominated by two of her peers who recognized her expertise and holistic approach to patient care.   She provides independent and collaborative care for adults with congenital heart disease both in the inpatient and outpatient setting.  She provides extensive and detailed patient and family education in order to improve the quality of life for these adults living with congenital heart disease.  She provided holistic approach to patient care and is a remarkable advocate for her patients throughout their lifespan.

Nancy is recognized for her role in the development of the nation’s first Interstage Home Monitoring Program for children with single ventricle physiology.  She developed family education materials as well as information/data collection binders for families.  This program is now used in more than 50 other pediatric institutions both nationally and internationally.  She is still committed to the home monitoring program even though her responsibilities have transitioned to adult congenital patients. She is the key contact for the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPCQIC) and often attends the Interstage Clinic to help new nurse practitioner and educate families.

Nancy is described as mentor and preceptor for younger APN’s.  She takes time out of her demanding schedule to teach and demonstrate the best care for these critically ill patients.

Nancy has also become involved in the transition program that aides patient and families in transitioning from pediatric to adult cardiac care.

Nancy has provided numerous lectures on congenital heart disease and Pediatric Cardiac Assessment and care of the cardiac patient at both the state local and national level.

Nancy is also involved in multiple research studies and publications in regards to the care of the cardiac patient.

The Board of Wisconsin Chapter of NAPNAP is proud to award the 2015 APN of the Year to Nancy who exemplifies the best attributes of advance nurse practice nursing and mentor for the next generation of APN”s in the state of Wisconsin.


 2014 Winner:

Terry Kollenbroich has been selected as Advance Practice Nurse Practitioner of the Year- 2014 for the Wisconsin Chapter of NAPNAP.  Terry works as a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with Aurora Health Care at the Aurora East Troy and the Aurora Waterford Pediatrics clinic.  

Terry was nominated by students who she’s precepted, who recognized her for her ability to educate, mentor and role model the APN role.   The student nominators described Terry as a professional PNP who holds herself to very high standards and who is passionate about the care she provides to pediatric patients and their families.  Terry was described as a preceptor with endless patience, incredible wealth of knowledge, and as a preceptor who takes the time to explain her thought process and the resources available when caring for patients.

Terry’s nomination materials were impressive for the passion by which the students described the experience of being precepted by Terry. Examples of comments received from students included: “She took her time to use every patient situation and every downtime moment to help me learn above and beyond just the surface of what I needed to know as a student.  She provided me with the confidence to know I have the knowledge to practice as an advanced nursing provider and she instilled in me the quality of resourcefulness when I did not know the answer.” “She’s dedicated to providing a great experience for her students.” “She is the most influential preceptor I have worked with.”

The Board of Wisconsin Chapter of NAPNAP is proud to award the 2014 APN of the Year to a Pediatric APN who exemplifies the best attributes of pediatric practice and of mentoring the next generation of APN’s in the state of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin chapter of NAPNAP ( previously known as WAPNAP) is the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners (NAPNAP). Membership of the Wisconsin chapter includes Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioners, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialists, Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, School Nurses and other Pediatric Nurses from Wisconsin.