Deena Kelly Costa, PhD, RN

Deena Costa

Assistant Professor
Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
Room 4351 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 764-2818
Fax: (734) 647-2146
Deena Costa is accepting new PhD students.


  • Critical care
  • Quality improvement
  • Interprofessional teamwork
  • Alternative ICU delivery and staffing models

Dr. Costa's goal is to maximize survival and minimize morbidity for mechanically ventilated adults. She accomplishes this through her research on the organization and management of critical care. Specifically, her work identifies key structural and functional characteristics of ICU interprofessional teams that can be leveraged to improve the delivery of high quality, complex care to mechanically ventilated patients. She is a trained health services researcher with clinical expertise in adult critical care nursing. Her work on the organization and management of critical care has been published in leading journals such as JAMA, Chest, and Critical Care Medicine. Her current research, funded by AHRQ, incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine ICU teamwork and patient outcomes. Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty, Dr. Costa completed a pre-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research with Dr. Linda Aiken and a post-doctoral fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in the Clinical Research, Investigations and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center with Dr. Jeremy Kahn.

You can follow her on Twitter @DeenaKCosta.

Current Research Grants and Programs:

  • The role of interprofessional teamwork in complex care delivery. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (K08HS024552), Principal Investigator.
  • Patient and family engagement in the ICU: a mixed methods study. University of Michigan Center for Complexity and Self-management of Chronic Disease pilot funding, Principal investigator.
  • National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Loan Repayment Program, Awardee 2016 – 2018


Dr. Costa teaches primarily in the Masters in Health Systems, Nursing Leadership and Effectiveness Science program in the School of Nursing. She has taught N781: Leadership Immersion for Impact and N527: Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Healthcare delivery (one of the graduate core courses). Her prior clinical experience as a critical care nurse and her health services research training provides a firm foundation and real-world understanding of the needs and challenges nurse leaders face in the current healthcare environment. Dr. Costa is also passionate about mentoring, working with both doctoral and honors students.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 2008 - present
  • Member, AcademyHealth, 2010 - present
  • Member, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2012 - present
  • Member, American Thoracic Society, 2012 – present
  • Member, International Network for Social Network Analysis, 2013 – present
  • Michigan Health and Hospital Association Keystone Center: ICU, Advisory Board Member, 2014 - present
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine Quality and Patient Safety Subcommittee member, 2015 – present
  • American Thoracic Society Quality Improvement and implementation Science Committee member, 2016 - present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Harriet H. Werley New Investigator Award, MNRS, 2017
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine, Star Research Achievement Award, 2017
  • University of Toronto Bloomberg School of Nursing Emerging Nurse Scholar, 2015
  • Best of Annual Research Meeting, AcademyHealth, 2014
  • Nursing Assembly Abstract Scholarship Award, American Thoracic Society, 2013
  • Dorothy Mereness Award for Exceptional Ability in Scholarly Writing, University of Pennsylvania, 2012


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2012
  • MS, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2010
  • BSN, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 2005
  • BA, Boston University, Boston, MA 2004

Publication Highlights

  • Costa DK, White M, Ginier E, Manojlovich M, Govindan S, Iwashyna TJ, Sales AE. (in press). Identifying barriers to delivering the ABCDE bundle to minimize adverse outcomes for mechanically ventilated patients: A systematic review. CHEST.

  • Costa, D.K., Yang, J., Manojlovich, M. (in press). The critical care work environment, intensivist staffing and its association with ventilator-associated pneumonia. American Journal of Infection Control.

  • Costa, D.K., Yakusheva, O. (in press). Why causal inference matters to nurses: the case of nurse staffing and outcomes. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.

  • Costa DK, Dammeyer J, White M, Galinato J, Hyzy RC, Manojlovich M, Sales AE. (2016). Interprofessional team interactions about complex care in the ICU: Pilot development of an observational rating tool. BMC Research Notes, 9 (408). doi: 10.1186/s13104-016-2213-1.

  • Costa, D.K., Kahn J.M. (2016). Organizing critical care for the 21st century. JAMA, 315(8): 751-752.

  • Costa, D.K., Wallace, D.J. & Kahn, J.M. (2015). The association between daytime intensivist physician staffing and mortality in the context of other ICU organizational practices: A multi center cohort study. Critical Care Medicine, 43(11):2275-2282. *Editor’s Choice

  • Costa D.K, Kuza, C.C., & Kahn, J.M. (2015). Differences between nurse- and physician-assessed ICU characteristics using a standardized survey. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 27(5): 344-348.

  • Costa, D.K., Wallace, D.J., Barnato, A.E., & Kahn, J.M. (12/2014). Nurse practitioner and physician assistant staffing and critical care mortality. Chest.

  • Costa, D.K., Barg, F.A., Asch, D.A., & Kahn, J.M. (2014). Facilatators of an interprofessional approach to care in medical and mixed medical/surgical ICUs: a multicenter qualitative study. Research in Nursing & Health, 37, 326 – 355.

  • Kelly, D.M., Kutney-Lee, A., McHugh, M.D., Sloane, D.P., & Aiken, L.H. (2014). Impact of critical care nursing on 30-day mortality of mechanically ventilated older adults. Critical Care Medicine, 42, 1089-95.

  • Kelly, D.M. & Kahn, J.M. (2014). Improving multidisciplinary collaboration in the ICU. In J.L. Vincent (Eds.), Annual Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, Heidelberg: Springer.

  • Kelly, D., Kutney-Lee, A., Lake, E.T., & Aiken, L.H. (2013). The critical care nurse work environment and nurse-reported healthcare associated infections. American Journal of Critical Care, 22, 482-488.

  • Kutney-Lee, A., & Kelly, D. (2011). The effect of hospital electronic health record adoption on nurse-assessed quality of care and patient safety. Journal of Nursing Administration, 41, 466-471.

  • Hanrahan, N.P., Wu, E., Kelly, D., Aiken, L.H., & Blank, M.B. (2011). Randomized clinical trial of effectiveness of a home-based advanced practice psychiatric nruse intervention: outcomes for individuals with serious mental illness and HIV. Nursing Research and Practice, 840248.

  • Lee, J., Kelly, D., & McHugh, M.D. (2011). Health reform and the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice. 12(4):236-44