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



Cardiovascular Risk in Middle-Aged and Older Immigrants: Exploring Residency Period and Health Insurance Coverage

Sadarangani, T., Trinh-Shevrin, C., Chyun, D., Yu, G., & Kovner, C. (2019). Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 10.1111/jnu.12465
Purpose: It is reported that while immigrants are, initially, healthier than the native-born upon resettlement, this advantage erodes over time. In the United States, uninsured aging immigrants are increasingly experiencing severe complications of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The purpose of this study was to compare overall CVD risk and explore the importance of health insurance coverage on CVD risk relative to other health access barriers, from 2007 to 2012, in recent and long-term immigrants >50 years of age. Methods: This study was based on secondary cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 1,920). The primary outcome, CVD risk category (high or low), was determined using the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Pooled Cohort equation. Differences between immigrant groups were examined using independent-samples t tests and chi-square analysis. The association between insurance and CVD risk was explored using a hierarchical block logistic regression model, in which variables were entered in a predetermined order. Changes in pseudo R 2 measured whether health insurance explained variance in cardiac risk beyond other variables. Results: Recent immigrants had lower overall CVD risk than long-term immigrants but were twice as likely to be uninsured and had higher serum glucose and lipid levels. Based on regression models, being uninsured contributed to CVD risk beyond other health access determinants, and CVD risk was pronounced among recent immigrants who were uninsured. Conclusions: Health insurance coverage plays an essential part in a comprehensive approach to mitigating CVD risk for aging immigrants, particularly recent immigrants whose cardiovascular health is susceptible to deterioration. Clinical Relevance: Nurses are tasked with recognizing the unique social and physical vulnerabilities of aging immigrants and accounting for these in care plans. In addition to helping them access healthcare coverage and affordable medication, nurses and clinicians should prioritize low-cost lifestyle interventions that reduce CVD risk, especially diet and exercise programs.

Cardiovascular disease risk among older immigrants in the United States

Sadarangani, T., Chyun, D., Trinh-Shevrin, C., Yu, G., & Kovner, C. (2018). Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 33(6), 544-550. 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000498
Background: In the United States, 16 million immigrants are 50 years and older, but little is known about their cardiometabolic health and how to best assess their cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Aging immigrants may therefore not be benefitting from advances in CVD prevention. Objective: In this study, we estimate and compare CVD risk in a nationally representative sample of aging immigrants using 3 different measures. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. Immigrants 50 years and older with no history of CVD were eligible. The Framingham Risk Score (FRS), the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Pooled Cohort Risk Equation, and presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) were used to estimate risk. Bivariate statistics were analyzed using SPSS version 23.0 Complex Survey module to account for National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey unique weighting scheme. Results: The mean age of the sample was 61.3 years; 40% had hypertension, 17% had diabetes, 10% were smokers, and 95% did not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Proportions at an elevated CVD risk were as follows: American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, 42% female and 76% male; FRS, 17.4% female and 76% male; and MetS, 22% female and 24% male. Conclusions: Immigrants had a lower overall risk using MetS and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association equation than has been found using these tools in similarly aged samples. The opposite was true for the FRS. The discrepancy between the proportion at risk and those being treated may reflect healthcare access gaps that warrant further investigation. A more holistic approach to risk measurement is needed that accounts for determinants of health that disproportionately affect immigrants, including language and socioeconomic status.

Nurses Improve Their Communities’ Health Where They Live, Learn, Work, and Play

McCollum, M., Kovner, C., Ojemeni, M. T., Brewer, C., & Cohen, S. (2017). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 18(1), 7-16. 10.1177/1527154417698142
Nurses are often recognized for their volunteer efforts following disasters and international humanitarian crises. However, little attention is paid to the activities of nurses who promote a culture of health in their communities through local volunteer work. In this article, we describe nurses’ perceptions of how they promote health in their communities through formal and informal volunteer work. Using 315 written responses to an open-ended question included in a 2016 survey of the career patterns of nurses in the U.S., we utilized conventional content analysis methods to code and thematically synthesize responses. Two broad categories of nurse involvement in volunteer activities arose from the participants’ responses to the open-ended question, “Please tell us what you have done in the past year to improve the health of your community”: 17% identified job-related activities, and 74% identified non-job-related activities. 9% of respondents indicated they do not participate in volunteer work. Job-related activities included patient education, educating colleagues, and “other” job-related activities. Non-job-related activities included health-related community volunteering, volunteering related to a specific population or disease, family-related volunteering, church activities, health fairs, raising or donating money, and travelling abroad for volunteer work. Nurses are committed to promoting a culture of health in their communities both at work and in their daily lives. Leveraging nurses’ interest in volunteer work could improve the way nurses engage with their communities, expand the role of nurses as public health professionals, and foster the social desirability of healthful living.

Health policy and the private sector: New vistas for nursing

Pulcini, J., Mason, D. J., Cohen, S., Kovner, C., & Leavitt, J. K. (2000). Nursing and Health Care Perspectives, 21(1), 22-28.
During the past two decades, the drive to rein in rising health care costs has shifted some of the power in health care policy making from professional groups, government agencies, and not-for-profit health care organizations to large for-profit corporations (1-4). This has been a worldwide phenomenon, as the provision and financing of health care services is shifted from governments to private health care organizations (5,6). In the United States, the shift in power is manifested in profound ways. Market competition and bottom-line economics have permeated the health care system, creating powerful new incentives for mergers, other corporate restructuring, and the shift to for-profit status by formerly not-for-profit insurance companies and providers. Private sector health care is now increasingly influenced by for-profit organizations (3). Moreover, the health insurance industry has been transformed as traditional indemnity insurance is replaced by versions of managed care. The role of government, or the public sector, in setting parameters for health care financing and standards for the delivery of health care services is increasingly outpaced in cost cutting by organizations that directly face the bottom line. In addition, private foundations, many of which are under the auspices of managed care organizations, now fund a large proportion of health care research and demonstration projects, a task once largely within the realm of the government. Through education and experience, nurses have developed political sophistication and understanding of policy making in the public sector (7). The challenge now is to educate nurses to adapt their political and policy strategies to the new health care milieu. This challenge is particularly crucial for advanced practice nurses, who must survive in a managed care environment.

Stages of nursing's political development: Where we've been and where we ought to go

Cohen, S., Mason, D. J., Kovner, C., Leavitt, J. K., Pulcini, J., & Sochalski, J. (1996). Nursing Outlook, 44(6), 259-266.