UNC provost James W. Dean, Jr. has named professor Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing as Interim Dean of the School, pending approval from the Board of Governors. Dr. Havens will begin on July 1 after Dean Kristen M. Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, steps down as Dean.
“With Dean Swanson at the helm, the School has launched new degree programs, strengthened its relationship with UNC Hospitals, and opened new faculty practice sites,” Dr. Havens said. “During this transition, I will partner with the School and University in finding the best person to lead us as we continue on a trajectory of nationally recognized excellence in nursing education, research, and practice.”
Dr. Havens earned a PhD in Nursing focusing on health services research at the University of Maryland, and she completed postdoctoral study on the organization of nursing and outcomes at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She has been a tenured professor at UNC for more than a decade and chaired the School’s Health Care Division from 2003 to 2006. She came to UNC from the Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing, where she held the Ebberly endowed professorship and was part of a five-person leadership team who provided interim leadership to the School while a new dean was recruited.
Dr. Havens is passionate about improving health care quality and advancing nursing leadership and practice environments. She developed the Decisional Involvement Scale, which is used extensively in the U.S. and internationally to identify actual and preferred degrees of staff nurse involvement in workplace policy and practice decisions. Strengthening the staff nurse’s involvement in making decisions that improve the culture of the workplace is a key factor for improving nurse, patient, and organizational outcomes. Dr. Havens also served as principal investigator of multiple studies and has published, consulted, and presented extensively on topics related to improving nursing practice and patient care.