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Donna S. Havens, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Donna S. Havens, PhD

Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing | Villanova University


Health systems researcher Donna Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a leader and an advocate for quality nursing education, practice and patient care.


Areas of Expertise (6)

Quality of Patient Care

Nursing Practice

Health Systems Research

Nursing Leadership

Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Workers

Stress and burnout of nurses and doctors


Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Dr. Havens is committed to advancing the field of nursing through research and engagement with nurse leaders, practicing nurses and health care organizations. Dr. Havens is one of the principal investigators on the national longitudinal CHAMPS study which the College launched in May 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to study the health effects on frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Her work includes several initiatives to translate research findings to improve the quality of patient care and nursing practice in hospitals and enhance the quality of patient care in emergency rooms located in rural North Carolina hospitals. Dr. Havens developed the groundbreaking Decisional Involvement Scale (DIS), a well-known tool used across the US and internationally by hundreds of hospitals, hospital systems, researchers and consultants to enhance clinical nurse involvement in decisions about nursing practice and patient care.

Education (4)

University of Maryland School of Nursing: PhD

Villanova University College of Nursing: MSN

Cedar Crest College: BSN

Cedar Crest College: BS

Select Media Appearances (6)

Auschwitz Survivor Urges Nurses, Doctors at Risk of Pandemic PTSD to Rid Themselves of Guilt

Newsweek  online


Donna Havens, the Connelly-endowed dean and professor of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova, told Newsweek they're "very, very" concerned about health care workers' emotional well being. "Haunted" is the word nurses in a study used to describe their COVID-19 experience and they're often the last line of defense. "Before they leave, they hand the phone to their patients so they can connect with their families," Havens said. "Several told us that they were taking care of coworkers when they died."

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Our healthcare heroes are getting fed up with us

HuffPost  online


“They use the word haunted,” said Donna Havens, dean of the Villanova University College of Nursing in Philadelphia. “They’re haunted by the COVID-19 experience, and talk about caring for their co-workers who died while they were caring for them. These are just unimaginable things.”

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Gov. Wolf issues dire plea to Pennsylvanians as COVID-19 hospitalizations hit 5,400 and health-care workers are exhausted

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


Nurses working with coronavirus patients have reported depression, sleep disorders, and traumatic stress, according to the preliminary results of a national study of the effects of the pandemic on health care workers by Villanova University’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. “These are incredibly stressed people who are experiencing horrific, horrific things in their workplace,” said Donna Havens, the college’s dean and a leader of the study. “This is just a huge crisis. And it’s very, very worrisome especially since we have not yet seen the effect of Thanksgiving … and then we’re going to be heading into Christmas.”

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How Coronavirus Is Affecting Nursing School Admissions

U.S. News and World Report  online


"For the first time in my career, I feel the world really understands what nurses do, and they really understand how important the contributions of nurses are to health and health care," says Donna Havens, the Connelly endowed dean at Villanova University's Fitzpatrick College of Nursing in Pennsylvania.

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‘We’re very worried about PTSD’: Villanova to study COVID-19’s long-range toll on frontline workers

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


The long-term consequences of these difficult shifts are the focus of a national study launched this week by Villanova University’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Dubbed the COVID-19 Caring About Health for All Study (CHAMPS), local clinicians will rely on surveys to examine the long-term physical, mental, and social health effects of the pandemic on up to 20,000 front-line workers over the next two decades.

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Villanova University to study impact of COVID-19 on front line workers

6 ABC Philadelphia  online


"I'm concerned that we're going to see higher levels of burnout than we already have been, especially amongst health care professionals, but, as Peter says, all of the workers and their families," said Dean Donna Havens.

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