Karen O’Connell, MSN, CCNS, RN

  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist, Heart Valve Center

Karen O’Connell has worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the cardiac surgery team at Hoag since 1996. She received her B.S. from SDSU and her Masters of Nursing degree from UCLA. She appreciated her learning experiences as a critical care nurse at both USC/LA County Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center. At UCLA she provided direct patient care in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit caring for adult, pediatric and neonatal cardiac surgery and cardiac transplantation patients. She was recruited to establish a new pediatric/ adult cardiac surgery unit at Shaare-Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel prior to joining the Hoag team. Karen has earned specialty certifications in critical care nursing (CCRN) and is a certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (CCNS). Karen enjoys teaching both patients and nurses. She has presented at national critical care nursing conferences and co-authored, “Development & Implementation of Nursing Grand Rounds in a Community Hospital” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Nurse Specialists. She received the “Golden Heart” award as the Nurse Specialist of the year at UCLA Medical Center and named “Who’s Who in American Nursing.” Over the past 19 years, Karen has worked for the Hoag cardiac surgery team in many different capacities. She thoroughly enjoys working with a great group of surgeons and co-workers who are dedicated to excellent patient care and improving the patient experience.