Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN

Research, Systems/Policy/Informatics


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

Office: 403

Dr. Donna S. Havens’ career has included a rich blend of roles in nursing practice, academe, administration, and research. She has been a tenured professor at the School since 2003 and served as the interim dean of the UNC School of Nursing from 2014-2016.

From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Havens chaired the School of Nursing’s Health Care Environments Division. 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 developed the Decisional Involvement Scale (DIS), 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.

For more than 25 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, and Magnet hospitals.

Dr. Havens earned a diploma from the Grace New Haven School of Nursing at the Yale Medical Center, a BSN 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.

She has served as principal investigator on multiple studies focused on improving nursing practice and patient care. Her most recent work includes several initiatives to translate research findings 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. These three HRSA-funded initiatives focused on improving communication and collaboration, staff nurse decisional involvement and her newest study is grounded in implementation science principles to enhance interprofessional collaborative practice in four rural Emergency Departments in rural NC hospitals.

Since 2012, she has held a Visiting Professorship at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s College London, where she has collaborated with colleagues in the National Nursing Research Unit.

She belongs to multiple policy boards, serving as the chair of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Magnet and chair of the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel on “Building Health Care System Excellence.” She has also served on the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Future Patient Care Delivery Committee and chaired the AONE Foundation Research Committee.

  • 2015 Inaugural Visionary Pioneer Award, University of Maryland School of Nursing
  • 2012 Pennsylvania Nightingale Award for Research Excellence
  • 2011 The University of Maryland School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award
  • 2009 The American Organization of Nurse Executives Nurse Researcher Award
  • 2009 The American College of Healthcare Executives Edgar C. Hayhow Award – 2009 Article of the Year Award — Jones, C., 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
  • 2007 Best Podium Presentation Award, Designing Systems to Promote Desired Outcomes (How to Do It and How to Make it Stick) – A Model for Implementation. The International Nursing Administration Research Conference, Indianapolis IN, October, 2007
  • 2005 American Journal of Nursing 2005 Book of the Year Award: Havens, D.S., Burton, D., Cadmus, E., Cox, K., Fuller, & J., Boyer, S., & (2005). Redesign of nursing work. In B. Cleary & B. Rice (Eds.). Nursing Workforce Development: Strategic State Initiatives. New York: Springer Publishing Company. ** Two AJN Book of the Year awards: 1) History and Public Policy and 2) Professional Development & Issues
  • 2004 Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing
  • 2002 Villanova University 2002 Distinguished Contributions in Nursing Research Medallion
  • 2002 The Julia Hardy Scholar Award, the American Nurses Foundation
  • 1984 Phi Kappa Phi
  • 1982 Sigma Theta Tau International

Select Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

* Data based

  • *Yurek, L., Havens, D.S., Hayes S., and Hughes, L. (In press). Factorial validity of the Decisional Involvement Scale as a Measure of Content and Context of Nursing Practice. Research in Nursing & Health.
  • *Stolldorf, D., Jones C.B., & Havens, D.S. (In press). Sustaining innovations in complex healthcare environments: A multiple-case study of rapid response teams. Journal of Patient Safety.
  • *Van Bogaert, P., Van heusden, D., Somers, A., Wouters, K., Van Aken, P., & Havens, D.S. (In press). Staff Nurses’ opinions and experiences about structural empowerment: A qualitative phenomenological study.
  • *Van Bogaert, P., Van heusden, D., Somers, A., Wouters, K., Van Aken, P., & Havens, D.S. (2014). 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.
  • Adams, J. (2014). The commitment to influential nursing administration research: An interview with Dr. Donna Sullivan Havens. Journal of Nursing Administration, 44(5).
  • *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.
    * 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.
  • 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.
  • *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.



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.