Christine T Kovner headshot

Christine T Kovner

Mathy Mezey Professor of Geriatric Nursing

1 212 998 5312

433 First Avenue
Room 644
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Christine Tassone Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a highly-respected and widely-published nurse educator and researcher at New York University. Her primary appointment is with Rory Meyers College of Nursing, where she is the Mathy Mezey Professor of Geriatric Nursing and a Senior Faculty Associate at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing.  Additionally, Dr. Kovner is a Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.  She is an affiliated faculty at NYU College of Global Public Health and is on the Nurse Faculty at the NYU Langone Medical Center. 

Dr. Kovner is the Principal Investigator for The TL1 Pre- and Post-Doctoral Program of NYU's Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She maintains an active research program involving studies on quality improvement, RN working conditions, and nursing care cost. Dr. Kovner was the principal investigator of a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation studying the career trajectories of newly licensed registered nurses over the first ten years of their careers.


PhD - New York University
MSN - University of Pennsylvania
BS - Columbia University School of Nursing

Honors and awards

Treasurer, CGFNS International, Inc. (2016)
Nursing Outlook Excellence in Policy Award for “State Mandatory Overtime Regulations and Newly Licensed Nurses’ Mandatory and Voluntary Overtime and Total Work Hours.” (2012)
New York University, College of Nursing, Distinguished Alumna Award (2012)
New York University, College of Nursing, Vernice Ferguson Faculty Scholar Award (2010)
“Exploring the Utility of Automated Drug Alerts in Home Healthcare.” Selected for Journal for Healthcare Quality 2007 Golden Pen Award (2007)
New York University, College of Nursing, Health Policy and Legislation Award (2006)
Best of Image (Journal of Nursing Scholarship) Award in Health Policy. For “Nurse Staffing Levels and Adverse Events Following Surgery in U. S. Hospitals” (1999)
New York Counties Registered Nurses Association, Honorary Recognition Award (1999)
Alumni Award for Distinguished Career in Nursing, Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital Alumni Association (1996)
Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association, Distinguished Nurse Researcher (1994)
New York Counties Registered Nurses Association, Lavinia Dock Distinguished Service Award (1992)
Martha E. Rogers Scholarship Award, Upsilon Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau (1983)

Professional membership

American Academy of Nursing Fellow
Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
Sigma Theta Tau



Barriers and facilitators of nurses' use of clinical practice guidelines: An integrative review

Jun, J., Kovner, C. T., & Stimpfel, A. W. (2016). International Journal of Nursing Studies, 60, 54-68. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.03.006
Background: Preventable harm continues to be one of the leading causes of patient death. Each year about 400,000 patients die from sepsis, hospital acquired infections, venous thromboembolism, and pulmonary embolism. However, as shown in the recent reduction in hospital acquired infections, the number of deaths could be reduced if healthcare providers used evidence-based therapies, which are often included in clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review is to appraise and synthesize the current literature on barriers to and facilitators in the use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) by registered nurses. Design: Whittemore and Knafl integrative review methodology was used. Primary quantitative and qualitative studies about the nurses' use of CPGs and published in peer-reviewed journals between January 2000 and August 2015 were included. Methods: The Critical Skills Appraisal Program (CASP) was used to critically appraise the quality of sixteen selected quantitative and qualitative studies. Results: Internal factors were attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge whereas format and usability of CPGs, resources, leadership, and organizational culture were external factors influencing CPG use. Conclusion: Given each barrier and facilitator, interventions and policies can be designed to increase nurses' use of CPGs to deliver more evidence based therapy. In order to improve the use of CPGs and to ensure high quality care for all patients, nurses must actively participate in development, implementation, and maintenance of CPGs.

Determinants of job satisfaction for novice nurse managers employed in hospitals

Djukic, M., Jun, J., Kovner, C., Brewer, C., & Fletcher, J. (2016). Health Care Management Review. 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000102
BACKGROUND:: Numbering close to 300,000 nurse managers represent the largest segment of the health care management workforce. Their effectiveness is, in part, influenced by their job satisfaction. PURPOSE:: We examined factors associated with job satisfaction of novice frontline nurse managers. METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:: We used a cross-sectional, correlational survey design. The sample consisted of responders to the fifth wave of a multiyear study of new nurses in 2013 (N = 1,392; response rate of 69%) who reported working as managers (n = 209). The parent study sample consisted of registered nurses who were licensed for the first time by exam 6–18 months prior in 1 of 51 selected metropolitan statistical areas and 9 rural areas across 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. We examined bivariate correlations between job satisfaction and 31 personal and structural variables. All variables significantly related to job satisfaction in bivariate analysis were included in a multivariate linear regression model. In addition, we tested the interaction effects of procedural justice and negative affectivity, autonomy, and organizational constraints on job satisfaction. The Cronbach’s alphas for all multi-item scales ranged from .74 to .96. FINDINGS:: In the multivariate analysis, negative affectivity (β = −.169; p = .006) and procedural justice (β = .210; p = .016) were significantly correlated with job satisfaction. The combination of predictors in the model accounted for half of the variability in job satisfaction ratings (R = .51, adjusted R = .47; p

Estimating and preventing hospital internal turnover of newly licensed nurses: A panel survey

Kovner, C. T., Djukic, M., Fatehi, F. K., Fletcher, J., Jun, J., Brewer, C., & Chacko, T. (2016). International Journal of Nursing Studies, 60, 251-262. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.05.003
Background: Registered nurse job turnover is an ongoing problem in the USA resulting in significant financial costs to both organizations and society. Most research has focused on organizational turnover with few studies about internal or unit-level turnover. Turnover of new nurses in hospitals has particular importance as almost 80% of new nurses work in hospitals and have higher turnover rates when compared to experienced nurses. This paper focuses on new nurses' unit-level turnover rates in hospitals. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to: (1) identify factors that predict new nurses staying in the same units, positions, and job titles to inform unit-level retention strategies, and (2) examine the changes in work environment perceptions over time between nurses who remain in the same unit, position, and title to those who changed unit, position and/or title. Study design: A panel survey design was used to analyze changes over time. Participants: Participants were newly licensed registered nurses who were licensed for the first time between August 1st, 2004 and July 31st, 2005. The nurses came from metropolitan statistical areas or rural areas that were nested to reflect a nationally representative USA sample (58% response rate). The analytic sample for this study was 1335. Data sources: Data were collected in January 2006 and 2007 following the Dillman total design approach. All potential respondents received paper surveys and non-responders received repeated mailings. Results: Using multinomial regression the five variables with the largest effects on unit retention were (1) variety (positive), (2) having another job for pay (negative), (3) first basic degree (having a bachelors or higher degree increased the probability of staying), (4) negative affectivity (positive), and (5) job satisfaction (positive). Nurses who changed unit, and/or position, and/or title reported more positive change scores on a variety of work attitudes. Discussion: Almost 30% of new nurses working in hospitals leave their unit, and/or position, and/or title during their first year of work. Our results point to the variables on which managers can focus to improve unit-level retention of new nurses. Although participants were from a nationally representative sample of nurses who were newly licensed in 2004-2005, with the geographical shifts in the USA population in the last 10 years the sample may not be geographically representative of new nurses who graduated in 2015.

Barriers to Referral for Elevated Blood Pressure in the Emergency Department and Differences Between Provider Type

Souffront, K., Chyun, D., & Kovner, C. (2015). Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 17(3), 207-214. 10.1111/jch.12468
A multidisciplinary sample of emergency department providers across the United States (n=450) were surveyed to identify barriers to referral for elevated blood pressure (BP) in the emergency department and differences between provider type. Registered nurses reported less knowledge of stage I hypertension (P=.043) and prehypertension (P<.01); were less aware of definitions for hypertension (P<.001); reported more difficulty in caring for patients who are asymptomatic (P=.007); required financial compensation to refer (P=.048); and perceived that BP referrals are influenced by the medical director (P<.001). Medical doctors reported more skills to refer (P=.008) and time as a barrier (P=.038). Physician assistants were more likely to report patients are not aware of health benefits (P=.035), doubted their concern for their BP (P=.023), and felt emotionally uncomfortable when referring (P=.025). Despite these differences, there was no significant difference between provider type and referral rates.

Educational gaps and solutions for early-career nurse managers' education and participation in quality improvement

Djukic, M., Kovner, C. T., Brewer, C. S., Fatehi, F., & Jun, J. (2015). Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(4), 206-211. 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000186
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine early-career frontline nurse managers' (FLNMs') reported educational preparedness and participation in quality improvement (QI). BACKGROUND: Frontline nurse managers are vitally important for leading QI.However, it is not well known if they have adequate knowledge and skills to lead this important function. METHODS: We examined cross-sectional survey data from 42 FLNMs using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: About 30%of FLNMsreported being very prepared across 12 measured QI skills by schools or employers and 35% reported participating in a specific clinical effort to improve patient care on their unit more than once a month. More than 50% reported having good organizational support for QI, but only about 30% reported being rewarded for their contributions to QI. CONCLUSION: Our study highlights opportunities for development in QI for FLNMs and offers some solutions for nurse executives that can bridge the educational gaps.

Scheduling and shift work characteristics associated with risk for occupational injury in newly licensed registered nurses: An observational study

Stimpfel, A. W., Brewer, C. S., & Kovner, C. T. (2015). International Journal of Nursing Studies, 52(11), 1686-1693. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.06.011
Background: Registered nurses across the globe bear a heavy injury burden. Every shift, nurses are exposed to a variety of hazards that can jeopardize their health, which negatively impacts their ability to provide high-quality patient care. Previous research suggests that inexperienced, or newly licensed nurses, may have an increased risk for certain occupational injuries. However, the current knowledge base is insufficient to fully understand how work hours influence newly licensed nurses' occupational injury, given the significant variation in hospital organization and work characteristics. Objective: To describe newly licensed nurses' shift work characteristics and determine the association between shift type and scheduling characteristics and nurse injury, before and after adjusting for individual and combined effects of demographics, external context, organizational context, and work context, following the Organization of Work model. Design: This study is a secondary analysis of a nationally representative survey of newly licensed registered nurses using a cross-sectional design. Participants: The analytic sample includes 1744 newly licensed registered nurses from 34 states and the District of Columbia who reported working in a hospital and were within 6-18 months of passing their state licensure exam at the time of survey administration. Methods: Descriptive statistics were calculated, followed by bivariate and multivariate Poisson regression models to assess the relationship between shift type and scheduling characteristics and nurse injury. Lastly, full models with the addition of demographics, external context, organizational context, and work context variables were calculated. Results: The majority (79%) of newly licensed nurses worked 12-h shifts, a near majority worked night shift (44%), and over half (61%) worked overtime (mandatory or voluntary) weekly. Nurses working weekly overtime were associated with a 32% [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.32, CI 1.07-1.62] increase in the risk of a needle stick and nurses working night shift were associated with a 16% [IRR 1.16, CI 1.02-1.33] increase in the risk of a sprain or strain injury. Conclusions: Overtime and night shift work were significantly associated with increased injury risk in newly licensed nurses independent of other work factors and demographic characteristics. The findings warrant further study given the long-term consequences of these injuries, costs associated with treatment, and loss of worker productivity.

A structural equation model of turnover for a longitudinal survey among early career registered nurses

Brewer, C. S., Chao, Y. Y., Colder, C. R., Kovner, C. T., & Chacko, T. P. (2015). International Journal of Nursing Studies, 52(11), 1735-1745. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.06.017
Background: Key predictors of early career nurses' turnover are job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job search, intent to stay, and shock (back injuries) based on the literature review and our previous research. Existing research has often omitted one of these key predictors. Objectives: The purpose of this study in a sample of early career nurses was to compare predictors of turnover to nurses' actual turnover at two time points in their careers. Design: A multi-state longitudinal panel survey of early career nurses was used to compare a turnover model across two time periods. The sample has been surveyed five times.Participants: The sample was selected using a two-stage sample of registered nurses nested in 51 metropolitan areas and nine non-metropolitan, rural areas in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Methods: The associations between key predictors of turnover were tested using structural equation modeling and data from the earliest and latest panels in our study. We used predictors from the respondents who replied to the Wave-1 survey in 2006 and their turnover status from Wave 2 in 2007 (N = 2386). We compared these results to the remaining respondents' predictors from Wave 4 in 2011 and their turnover status in Wave 5 in 2013 (N = 1073). We tested and found no effect for missingness from Wave 1-5 and little evidence of attrition bias. Results: Strong support was found for the relationships hypothesized among job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intent to stay, and turnover, with some support for shock and search in the Wave 1-2 sample. However, for Wave 4-5 sample (n = 1073), none of the paths through search were significant, nor was the path from shock to turnover. Conclusions: Nurses in the second analysis who had matured longer in their career did not have a significant response to search or shock (back injuries), which may indicate how easily experienced registered nurses find new jobs and/or accommodation to jobs requiring significant physicality. Nurse turnover is a major concern for healthcare organizations because of its costs and related outcomes. The relevant strength and relationships of these key turnover predictors will be informative to employers for prioritizing strategies to retain their registered nurse workforce. We need more research on programs that implement changes in the work environment that impact these two outcomes, as well as research that focuses on the relevant strength or impact to help administrators prioritize translation of results.

Assessing nursing student intent for PHD study

Squires, A., Kovner, C., Faridaben, F., & Chyun, D. (2014). Nurse Education Today, 34(11), 1405-1410. 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.09.004
Background: Nursing faculty shortages threaten a country's ability to produce the amount of nurses necessary to sustain the delivery of healthcare services. Programs that "fast track" graduate education options for registered nurses are one solution to the problem. Objectives: To 1) evaluate admission criteria into PhD programs for direct entry from a bachelor's degree; 2) ascertain bachelors and masters degree nursing students' perspectives on pursuing a BSN to PhD course of study; 3) clarify factors that influence students' decision-making processes behind pursuing a PhD and identify characteristics of those who would be likely recruits for PhD study; 4) to test the survey questions to develop an instrument for future use. Design: A cross-sectional pilot study. Setting: A nursing program at a large urban university in the United States of America with an enrollment of over 1400 students. Participants: Currently enrolled bachelor's, master's, and doctor of nursing practice students. Methods: Students were sampled via a 10-question (including one open-ended question) electronic mail survey that included 1385 eligible subjects. Results: Among the 606 respondents (57% response rate), 63% were between ages 18 and 30 and 87% indicated that full tuition funding with a living stipend would make them more interested in pursuing a PhD. Current program track was a significant predictor of course of study and area of interest (p = .029). Analysis of the 427 respondents to the open-ended question revealed themes around "time" and "money" as the main barriers to study. The desire to gain clinical experience prior to PhD study was the third theme and an unanticipated finding. Conclusions: The questionnaire offered some predictive ability for gauging intent to study for a PhD among bachelor's and graduate degree prepared nurses. The results do offer some suggestions for nursing workforce development to help address faculty shortages.

Challenges of nurses' deployment to other New York city hospitals in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Vandevanter, N., Kovner, C. T., Raveis, V. H., McCollum, M., & Keller, R. (2014). Journal of Urban Health, 91(4), 603-614. 10.1007/s11524-014-9889-0
On October 29, 2012, a 12-ft storm surge generated by Hurricane Sandy necessitated evacuation and temporary closure of three New York City hospitals including NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC). NYULMC nurses participated in the evacuation, and 71 % were subsequently deployed to area hospitals to address patient surge for periods from a few days up to 2 months when NYULMC reopened. This mixed methods study explored nurses' experience in the immediate disaster and the subsequent deployment. More than 50 % of deployed nurse participants reported the experience to be extremely or very stressful. Deployed nurses encountered practice challenges related to working in an unfamiliar environment, limited orientation, legal concerns about clinical assignments. They experienced psychosocial challenges associated with the intense experience of the evacuation, uncertainty about future employment, and the increased demands of managing the deployment. Findings provide data to inform national and regional policies to support nurses in future deployments.

Changing trends in newly licensed RNs

Kovner, C. T., Brewer, C. S., Fatehi, F., & Katigbak, C. (2014). The American Journal of Nursing, 114(2), 26-34. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000443767.20011.7f
OBJECTIVE:: Recent changes in U.S. health care and economics may influence the demand for nurses and the work choices of newly licensed RNs (NLRNs). We sought to compare the work lives of two cohorts of NLRNs licensed six years apart. METHODS:: Data were collected from two groups of NLRNs in 14 states via mailed surveys. The first group consisted of a subset of NLRNs surveyed for a larger study in 2004-05; the second group was surveyed by similar methods in 2010-11. Responses were weighted to adjust for differences in response rates according to geographic area. RESULTS:: Response rates were 58% and 47%, respectively, for the 2004-05 cohort (N = 774) and the 2010-11 cohort (N = 1,613). The NLRNs in the later cohort were less likely to work in hospitals, special-care units, and direct care and more likely to work as managers, be enrolled in formal education programs, and view their work environments positively, resulting in more commitment to the organization. Also, those in the later cohort reported fewer local job opportunities, and a greater number held a second job CONCLUSIONS:: These findings indicate a shift from the traditional work patterns of NLRNs, who often began their careers in hospitals. Employers' heightened awareness of such changing trends among NLRNs may help them in planning for RN recruitment and retention.