Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN
As president of Chamberlain University since July 2018, Karen Cox provides leadership and support for all facets of the organization, which serves more than 38,000 students across 23 campuses as well as online programs. She co-authored the Social Determinants of Learning ™, Chamberlain’s research-based framework to inform and advance nationwide efforts to create a pipeline of more diverse students entering the nursing profession. Previously, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Children’s Mercy - Kansas City, an independent academic medical center. During her more than 30 years with that organization, she also served as senior vice president for patient care services and as chief nursing officer. Additionally, she led the organization to its Magnet designation — a credential signaling excellence in nursing — in 2003. Children’s Mercy was the first hospital in its region to receive such recognition.
Dr. Cox began her healthcare career as a licensed practical nurse and has distinguished herself in the fields of nursing leadership and nursing education. A Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow (1999-2002), she was later appointed to a term on the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, U.S. Health and Human Services (2006-2011). Cox also served as board chair of the National Initiative for Children’s Health Quality, as board member and chair of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City Board of Directors (2009-2015), and was an inaugural member of the National League for Nursing Foundation Advisory Council (2016-present). She was elected to the American Hospital Association, Section on Maternal and Child Health Governing Council (2013-2016) and was appointed to the Children’s Hospital Association, Child Health Committee (2013-2017). An innovator in practice, she received a 2015 American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner award for her work promoting leadership among staff nurses.
Dr. Cox is a fellow and past president of the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Kansas and master’s and PhD degrees in nursing from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Cox, K. with Sanderson, C., & Hollinger-Smith, L. (2021). Developing a Social Determinants of Learning ™ Framework: A Case Study. Nursing Education Perspectives, 42(4), 205-211 https://journals.lww.com/neponline/Fulltext/2021/07000/Developing_a_Social_Determinants_of_Learning_.3.aspx
Cox, K. with Sanderson, C., & Disch, J. (2020). Virtual nursing, virtual learning. Nurse Leader, 18(2), 134–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2019.12.005
Cox, K. Commentary: Making vaccine education a critical part of the patient conversation. (2019, July 15). Modern Healthcare. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/opinion-editorial/commentary-making-vaccine-education-critical-part-patient-conversation
Cox K, Rising maternal morbidity, mortality rates in the US. (2018). NBNA News (Fall), 18–19. https://www.nbna.org/files/NBNA_FALL_2019_FINAL.pdf
Cox, K. Global maternal mortality rate declines—except in America. (2018). Nursing Outlook, 66(5), 428–429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.08.001
Cox, K. with Sullivan C., Olshansky E., Czubaruk K., Lacey B., Scott L., Willems Van Dijk J. (2018). Critical conversation: Toxic stress in children living in poverty. (2018). Nursing Outlook, 66(2), 204–209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.02.009
Cox, K. Reducing toxic stress experienced by children living in poverty. (2018). Nursing Outlook, 66(2), 108–109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.02.010
Cox, K. Mindfulness and the work of the Academy. (2018). Nursing Outlook, 66(1), 3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.01.001
Cox, K. with Hickam T., White, P. H., Modrcin, A., & McManus, M. (2018). Implementing a nationally recognized pediatric-to-adult transitional care approach in a major children’s hospital. Journal of Health and Social Work, 43(1), 3–5. https://doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hlx049
Cox, K. with Goodyear-Bruch, C., & Altman, M. (2017, November 30). Empowering nurses to innovate at the bedside, then spread their innovations. Health Affairs. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20171121.831571/full/
Cox, K. with Westbrook, D. H., Hospital leadership recognizes need to create partnerships to treat consequences of poverty. (2017). Current Problems in Pediatric Adolescent Health Care. 47(9), 229–232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2017.07.009
Cox, K. Nurses and the social determinants of health. (2016). Public Health Nursing, 33(1), 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1111/phn.12244
Cox, K. with Lacey, S. R., Ives Erickson J., Rich V. L. (2015). The contemporary work environment of nursing. In D. J. Mason, D. B. Gardner, F. H. Outlaw, & E. T. O’Grady (Eds.), Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care (7th ed., pp. 523–532). Elsevier.
Interviews, Presentations and Appearances
Clinician well-being: Chamberlain President Karen Cox and Provost Carla Sanderson[Video]. (2020). Cox and Sanderson discuss the moral and ethical challenges facing health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fim-M3Je54
High tech to high touch[Video]. (2019). Invited comments at the National Academy of Medicine, Seattle Town Hall [Video].https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVqJUABACU
An interview with Dr. Karen Cox. (2018, September). JONA: Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(9), 417- 418.https://www.nursingcenter.com/journalarticle?Article_ID=4761642&Journal_ID=54024&Issue_ID=4761622