Donna Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
Dr. Donna S. Havens’ career has included a rich blend of roles in nursing practice, academe, administration, and research. She was a tenured professor at the School from 2003-2018 and served as the interim dean of the UNC School of Nursing from 2014-2016. She presently serves as Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University.
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.
Articles in Refereed Journals
* Data based
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: http://decisionalinvolvementscale.web.unc.edu/
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.