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Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 403

Phone: (919) 843-1244


Specialty Area: Systems/Policy/Informatics

Dr. Donna Sullivan Havens is a tenured professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she mentors graduate students studying health care systems and outcomes. Her career trajectory includes a rich blend of roles in nursing practice, academe, administration and research. 

Dr. Havens earned a diploma from the Grace New Haven School of Nursing at the Yale Medical Center, a BS in Nursing from Cedar Crest College, an MSN from Villanova University, and a PhD in Nursing from the University of Maryland focusing on health services research. She completed post-doctoral study on the organization of nursing and outcomes with Dr. Linda Aiken in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing.

For more than 20 years, she has studied, published, consulted, and presented nationally and internationally about the nursing practice environment, nurse executive leadership and turnover, professional nursing practice, staff nurse decisional involvement, relational coordination, magnet hospitals and more recently partnering with hospitals to implement research-based features of professional practice models. She describes her goal and the purpose of her work as “Designing systems to promote desired outcomes”. She developed the Decisional Involvement Scale, an instrument used extensively in the U.S. and internationally to identify levels of actual and desired staff nurse decisional involvement.

She has served as principle investigator on multiple studies focused on improving nursing practice and patient care. Most recently on two five-year initiatives to translate what has been learned from research about the nursing practice environment and outcomes into evidence-based leadership and management to improve the quality of patient care and nursing practice in hospitals. The two action research and implementation studies, “Building Capacity for Better Work and Better Care” (2004-2009) – six hospitals and “Spiraling Upward for Nurse Retention and Quality Care,” (2008-2013) – five hospitals, were funded by the HRSA- Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Nursing. Both initiatives focused on improving communication/ collaboration, nurse decisional involvement, civility and respect in the practice environment.   Havens also served as the principle investigator of “Why and How do Hospitals Pursue Magnet Recognition?” (RWJF) and a study of nurse executive turnover which was replicated in 2013, funded by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Foundation. 

Dr. Havens has received multiple awards and honors including: fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing, the Pennsylvania Nightingale Award for Research Excellence, the  University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Villanova University School of Nursing Distinguished Contributions in Nursing Research Medallion, the American College of Healthcare Executives Edgar C. Hayhow Article of the Year award and the American Organization of Nurse Executives Nurse Researcher Award.  She belongs to multiple policy boards: including serving as the vice-chair of the Executive Committee of the ANCC Magnet Commission, the AONE Future Patient Care Delivery Committee, the AONE Foundation where she chairs the Research Committee and she co-chairs the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel on “Creating Health Care System Excellence”.  

Select Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

* Data based

* Van Bogaet, P., Van heusden, D., Somers, A., Wouters, K., Van Aken, P., & Havens, D.S. (Under review). Impact of the Productive Ward program™ within a hospital transformation process on the practice environment, nurse burnout, quality of care and nurse-reported job outcomes: a longitudinal multilevel study.

*Warshawsky, N. & Havens, D.S. (2014). Nurse manager job satisfaction and intent to leave. Nursing Economic$. 32(1), 32-39.

*Havens, D.S., Warshawsky, N. & Vasey, J. (2013). Nurse work engagement by generational cohort: A view from U.S. rural hospitals.  The Journal of Nursing Management (International), 21, 927-940.

*Warshawsky, N., Rayens, M.K., Lake, S., & Havens, D.S. (2013). The nurse manager practice environment scale: Development and psychometric testing.  Journal of Nursing Administration. 43(5), 250-257.

Shafer, D., Parker, K., Kantz, B., & Havens, D.S. (2013). The road less traveled: a rural hospital’s journey to Pathway to Excellence. Nursing Management, February, 26-31.

*Havens, D.S. & Warshawsky, N. (2012). Features of nursing practice environments in rural US hospitals: PES-NWI measurement. Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(11): 519-525.

*Warshawsky, N., Havens, D.S., & Knafl, G. (2012). The influence of interpersonal relationships on nurse managers' work engagement and proactive work behavior. Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(9):418-25.

*Havens, D.S. (2011). Positive organizational scholarship: a tool for leading with excellence. Nurse Leader. 9(5), 26-30.

* Warshawsky, N., Havens, D.S. (2011). Global use of the PES-NWI to measure features of the nursing practice environment: A review of the literature. Nursing Research. 60(1), 17-31.

*Havens, D.S., Vasey, J., Gittell, J., & Lin, W. (2010). Relational coordination among nurses and other providers: Impact on the quality of care. Journal of Nursing Management (International).18, 926-937.

Articles in Refereed Journals

* Data based

* Jones, C.B., Havens, D.S., & Thompson, P.A. (2009). Chief nursing officer turnover and the crisis brewing: Views from the front line. Journal of Nursing Administration, 39(6), 1-8.

* Aiken, L.H., Havens, D.S., Sloane, D.M. (2009). The Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program: A Comparison of Two Groups of Magnet Hospitals. Journal of Nursing Administration, 39(7-8), S5-S14   Supplement: Suppl. S. (Republished in special Magnet Hospital edition).

* Havens, D.S., Thompson, P.A., & Jones, C.B. (2008). CNO Retention and Turnover: CNOs tell their stories. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 38(12), 516-525.

* Yurek, L., Vasey, J., & Havens, D.S. (2008). Use of self-generated identification codes in longitudinal research.  Evaluation Review. 32(5), 435-452.

* Jones, C.B., Havens, D.S., & Thompson, P. A. (2008). Chief Nursing Officer retention and turnover: A crisis brewing? Results of a national survey. Journal of Healthcare Management. 53(2), 85-102.

* Havens, D.S., Wood, S., & Leeman, J. (2006). Improving nursing practice and patient care: Building capacity with Appreciative Inquiry. The Journal of Nursing Administration. 36(10), 463-470.

*Kellogg, V.A., & Havens, D.S. (2006). Using an innovative method to monitor adverse events: The shift coupon. Journal of Nursing Care Quality. 21(1), 49-55.

*Havens, D.S., & Vasey, J. (2005).  The staff nurse decisional involvement scale: Report of psychometric assessments. Nursing Research. 54(6), 376-383.

*Havens, D.S., & Johnston, M.A. (2004). Achieving magnet hospital recognition: Chief nurse executives and magnet coordinators tell their stories. The Journal of Nursing Administration. 34(12), 579-588.

*Kellogg, V.A., & Havens, D.S. (2003). Adverse events in acute care: An integrative review of the research literature. Research in Nursing and Health. 26(5), 398-408.

Havens, D.S., & Brewer, C. (2003). Promoting nursing involvement in health services research. Nursing Outlook. 51 (6), 285-286.

*Havens, D.S., & Vasey, J. (2003). Measuring staff nurse decisional involvement: The decisional involvement scale (DIS). The Journal of Nursing Administration, 33(6), 331-336.

Articles in Refereed Journals

* Data based

Havens, D.S., Stone, P., & Brewer, C. (2002). Nursing and Health Services Research: Building capacity and seizing opportunities. Applied Nursing Research, 15 (4), 261-263.

Havens, D.S. (2002). Economics & nursing--critical professional issues. Nursing Leadership Forum, 6(3), 2-3.

*Havens, D.S., Labov, T., Faura, T., & Aiken, L.H. (2002). Validation of a measure to assess the hospital clinical nurse practice environment: A cross-national pilot study (Spain and the U.S.). Enfermería Clínica, 12, 13-22 (Barcelona, Spain).

*Havens, D.S. (2001). Comparison of nursing department infrastructure and outcomes: ANCC magnet and nonmagnet CNEs report. Nursing Economic$, 19(6), 258-266.

*Pugh, L.C., Havens, D.S., Xie, S., Robinson, J., &  Blaha, C. (2001). Cost outcomes of a longitudinal nursing case management program for elderly CHF patients. Medical Surgical Nursing, 10(2). 71-78. Medical Surgical Nursing 2001 Writer's Award--Honorable mention.

Havens, D.S., &  Dienemann, J. (2000). A resource for nursing administration research. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 30(11), 510-511.

*Aiken, L.H, Havens, D.S., & Sloane, D.,M. (2000). The magnet nursing services recognition program: A comparison of two groups of magnet hospitals. American Journal of Nursing, 100(3), 27-36.

*Aiken, L.H., Havens, D.S., & Sloane, D.M. (2000). The magnet nursing services recognition program: A comparison of groups of magnet hospitals. Nursing Standard (The United Kingdom), 8(14), 41-47. (Special agreement between AJN and Nursing Standard [UK] published concurrently).

*Blaha, D., Robinson, J., Pugh, L., Bryan, Y., & Havens, D.S. (2000). Longitudinal nursing case management for elderly heart failure patients: Notes from the field. Journal of Nursing Case Management, 5(1), 32-36.

*Havens, D.S. &  Aiken, L..H. (1999). Shaping systems to promote desired outcomes: The magnet hospital model. Journal of Nursing Administration, 29(2), 14-20.

*Havens, D.S. (1998). Update on nursing involvement in hospital governance: 1990-1996. Nursing Economic$, 16(1), 6-11.

*Laschinger, H.S., & Havens, D.S. (1997). The effect of workplace empowerment and perceptions of occupational mental health and work effectiveness. Journal of Nursing Administration, 27(6), 42-50.

*Havens, D.S., & Laschinger, H.S. (1997). Creating the environment to support shared governance: Kanter’s theory of power in organizations. The Journal of Shared Governance, 3(1), 15-23.

*Laschinger, H. S. &  Havens, D.S. (1996). Testing Kanter’s Theory: Staff RN perceptions of work empowerment, control over nursing practice, satisfaction and work effectiveness. Journal of Nursing Administration, 26(9), 27-35.

*Strzalka, A., & Havens, D.S. (1996). Nursing care quality: Comparison of unit hired, hospital float pool, and agency Nurses. The Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 10(4). 59-65.

*Havens, D.S. (1994). Is governance being shared? Journal of Nursing Administration, 24(6), 59-63.

Havens, D.S. (1993). Evaluating case management efforts beyond length of stay data. Hospital Case Management, 1(11), 192-194, 199.

*Havens, D.S. (1992) Nursing involvement in hospital governance: 1990 and 1995. Nursing Economic$, 10(5), 331-335.

*Havens, D.S., & Mills, M.E. (1992). Staff nurse empowerment: Current status and future projections.  Nursing Administration Quarterly, 16(3), 58-64.

*Havens, D.S., & Mills, M.E. (1992).  Professional recognition and compensation for staff RNs. Nursing Economic$, 10(1), 15-20.

Articles in Non-Refereed Journals

*Wood, S.O., Havens, D.S., Good, P., & Scheaffer, C.M. (August, 2007) Building strategic capacity for better work and better care: A strengths-based tool for strategic planning –applications in nursing. AI Practitioner.  pp.43-44.

* Jones, C.B., Havens, D.S., & Thompson, P.A. (2006). Chief nursing officer retention and turnover: A crisis brewing. Voice of Nursing Leadership, 4 (6), 3, 18.

*Havens, D.S. (1991). Professional nursing practice in acute care hospitals: Current status and future projections. ANA Update, 16(1), 4,8.

Havens, D.S. (1988). Recruitment and retention action plan. The Pennsylvania Nurse, 4, 1,3,14.

Selected Other Professional Contributions:

Havens, D.S. (2014). The commitment to influential nursing administration research: An interview with Dr. Donna Sullivan Havens. Journal of Nursing Administration, 44(5).

Havens, D.S. An interview about building hospital capacity to enhance nursing work and patient care. Nursing Spectrum. May, 2005.

Havens, D.S. An interview about staff RN decisional involvement. The Nurse Advisory Board, Washington, DC, May 2005.

Havens, D.S. An interview about the Decisional Involvement Scale with WKCSN TV Los Angeles, July, 2003.

Havens, D.S. An interview about the Decisional Involvement Scale with PA Public Radio Network, June, 2003.

Havens, D.S. An interview about the Decisional Involvement Scale with NurseZone, San Diego, CA, June, 2003.

Havens, D. S. (2001). Hospitals should invest wisely when addressing the nursing shortage. The Pennsylvania State University College of Health and Human Development Web site,

Havens, D.S. A public conversation about the nursing shortage and issues of recruitment and retention. TAKE NOTE LIVE. WPSX-TV.– PA Public TV, November 8, 2001 (Invited guest).

Havens, D.S. Nurse staffing, the organization of nursing work, and outcomes: Lessons Learned. Broadcast on the Pennsylvania Public Television Cable Network Channel. August-September, 2001.

Havens, D.S. Restructuring nursing practice in the acute care setting. Live, interactive continuing education program broadcast by Public Television - WITF NetSource - via satellite. Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster, PA area hospitals. September 27, 1989 (Invited speaker).


The Decisional Involvement Scale (DIS) – Havens, D.S., 1990. An instrument to assess staff nurse perceptions of actual and desired involvement in decisions about nursing practice and patient care. Since publication in June of 2003, permission to use has been requested to use the DIS by more than 200 hospitals, hospital systems, researchers, consultants, graduate students, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the AONE T-CAB project.

The Decisional Involvement Scale (DIS) web site:

  • Translated into Arabic and used in Jordan – 2013
  • Modified for use in the Ambulatory Care Setting (Thies) 2013.
  • Used by the National Banner Health System - 2013
  • Used by hospitals in the American Organization of Nurse Executives Transforming Care at the Bedside initiative (AONE-TCAB) 2011, 2012
  • Translated and used in Nepal - 2012
  • Translated and used in Saudi Arabia - 2011
  • Translated and used in Thailand (x2) – 2010
  • Translated and used in the Philippines – 2010, 2011, 2013
  • Translated and used in Turkey – 2008
  • Translated and used in Germany - 2008
  • Translated and used in Taiwan – 2006, 2013
  • Highlighted/recommended as a useful tool in Nurse Advisory Board “White Paper” on implementing Shared Governance – 2005 and 2010.

Select Research Activities

Selected through competitive review as one of 30 attendees to the 2012 NIH Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH), July 9-13, 2012, San Jose, California. Sponsored by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

Havens, D.S. (Co-PI, with Jones, C.) Chief Nursing Officer Retention and Turnover: Is the Crisis Still Brewing?       Funded by the American Organization of Nurse Executives Foundation, 1/01/2013, $17,000.

Havens, D.S. (PI) Spiraling upward for nurse retention and quality care. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration – Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention Grants Program, HRSA -  D11HP09752-01-01 - $1,300,000. July 2009-June 2014. Funded.

Havens, D.S. International Research Knowledge Utilization Colloquium, Invited attendee, Llaundry Wales, UK, June 22-27, 2009,  Workgroup Chair – Capacity Development in Research Knowledge Utilization 2008-2009.

Havens, D.S. (PI). Building hospital capacity for better work and better care. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration – Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention Grants Program, HRSA D66HP03170, 2004-2009, $995,000. Funded.

Havens, D.S. International Knowledge Development Colloquium, Invited attendee, Banff Canada. June 11-15, 2008.

Havens, D.S. (Contributing faculty- Mark PI):  Research Training:  Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes.  National Institute for Nursing Research/NIH. Funded, $1,522,928.  9/30/04 – 7/31/09. To provide pre- and post-doctoral research training in nursing related to quality healthcare and patient outcomes. Mentored two T-32 Predoctoral Fellows. 

Havens, D.S. (Co-Investigator – Thompson PI) Chief Nursing Officer Retention and Turnover: A Crisis Brewing. P. Thompson (PI). The AONE Institute for Patient Care Research and Education/The Health Research and Educational Trust- AHA. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2004-2006. $42,795. Funded.

Havens, D.S. (PI). Why and how do hospitals pursue magnet recognition?  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, #49530-1, 2003-2004. $17,000. Funded.

Havens, D.S. (Co-investigator). Pediatric Asthma Clinical Research Network. NHLBI –NIH, HL64313, Vern Chinchilli (PI). 2000-2002, $6,303,814. Funded

Havens, D.S. (Co-investigator). Antecedents and Consequences of Enhancing Workplace Empowerment in Nurses. The Canadian Government. Laschinger, H. (PI), 1999 – 2002, $60,000. Funded.

Havens, D.S. (PI). A Comparison of the Organizational Attributes of Hospitals Known for Excellence -  Magnet Hospitals - Selected by Two Methods: A National Reputational Study by Experts and Self-Nomination and Evaluation by the ANCC. The American Nurses’ Foundation. 1998, $3,500. Funded.

Havens, D.S. (Co-investigator, Aiken, L.H. - PI). Hospital Staffing and Patient Outcomes. NIH/NINR,1-RO4-NR04513-02S1. 1997-2000, $1.2 million. Funded.

Havens, D.S. (Co-PI). Nurse Perceptions of Work Empowerment Testing Kanter’s Theory.  The University of Western Ontario Sabbatical Research Grant and the Vice President’s Special Competition. Heather Spence Laschinger (PI), 1994-1995, $1,400. Funded.

Havens, D.S. (PI). Analysis of Implementation of Features of Professional Nursing Practice Models in Acute Care General Hospitals Across the United States (replication of dissertation), 1994. Funded by the Duke University School of Nursing, $3,000.

Havens, D.S. (Project Director). Evaluation of Organizational Change at the Duke University Medical Center.  Duke University Medical Center 1991-1993. Funded by the Duke University Medical Center Department of Nursing, $30,000.