Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently selected Karen K. Giuliano, PhD, RN, FAAN, MBA, as its 2020 Distinguished Research Lecturer.

AACN established the award in 1982 to honor nurses who make significant contributions to high-acuity and critical care research. The annual award recognizes research that changes or improves patient outcomes, and advances nursing education and practice.

Giuliano began her nursing career in critical care as a staff nurse and clinical nurse specialist. She has long been interested in product development and, in 1999, began working at Philips Healthcare, where she spent the next 13 years working on its multiparameter patient monitors. Giuliano then worked at several startup companies, joined the product development team at Sage Products in 2013 and finished her industry career at Stryker Medical.

After completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at Yale University, Giuliano transitioned to a full-time faculty role as an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences. In addition to her faculty role, she served as executive director of Bouvé’s Healthcare Innovation & EntreprenNURSEship program.

Giuliano is joining the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she will have a joint position between its new Institute for Applied Life Sciences and the College of Nursing. In her product development lab, Giuliano will work with a team of interdisciplinary colleagues from across the university to support innovation through both academic and industry partnerships.

Giuliano’s own program of research is focused primarily on two areas: the reduction of medication infusion error through improved usability of IV smart pumps and the role of evidence-based oral care in the prevention of non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia. In addition, she continues to work with startups on medical product innovation. 

In collaboration with Recovery Force, an Indianapolis-based startup, Giuliano is the principal investigator of the subaward of a $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research II grant from the National Institutes of Health, where she is leading the clinical testing of a mobile active compression device designed to improve patient mobility and prevent deep vein thrombosis.

“Dr. Giuliano’s work focuses on the intersection of clinical needs and medical technology use, development and innovation,” said AACN President Megan Brunson. “Her critical care nursing and medical device development experience provide her with a unique perspective on testing and improving medical devices that considers both patients and providers.”

Among her awards are recognition as Nurse of the Year by the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and the Global Winner in the research and development category for new product innovation and development while at Philips Healthcare. She also received the 2012 professional achievement award for innovative product development from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

Giuliano has published over 80 articles in more than 20 journals, and she is an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences, including AACN’s annual National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition.

She holds a BSN and PhD in nursing from Boston College, an MSN from the University of Rhode Island and a nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate from the University of Massachusetts. She also earned an MBA from Babson College. 

As the Distinguished Research Lecturer, Giuliano will discuss her career and research journey Monday, May 4, 2020, during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI). The world’s largest educational conference and trade show for acute and critical care nurses, NTI takes place Monday, May 4, through Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Indianapolis (preconferences are Sunday, May 3).

The American Journal of Critical Care will publish an abstract of Giuliano’s presentation in its May 2020 issue, followed by a complete manuscript in July 2020.


About AACN’s Distinguished Research Lectureship: AACN established the Distinguished Research Lectureship in 1982 to honor nationally known nurses who make significant contributions to high-acuity and critical care research. The annual award recognizes research that changes or improves patient outcomes and advances nursing education and practice. Recipients present their award-winning research at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition and receive a $2,500 honorarium.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 with 400 members, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is now the world’s largest specialty nursing organization. In 2019, AACN celebrates 50 years of acute and critical care nursing excellence, serving more than 120,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States. The organization remains committed to its vision of creating a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. During its 50th anniversary year, AACN continues to salute and celebrate all that nurses have accomplished over the last half century, while honoring their past, present and future impact on the evolution of high-acuity and critical care nursing.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109; 949-362-2000;;;