Farinaz Havaei

Farinaz Havaei

Assistant Professor

School of Nursing

What is your educational and professional background?

I received a BSN and fast-tracked from the MSN program to the PhD program at the UBC School of Nursing. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the prestigious Stigma and Resilience among Vulnerable Youth Centre at UBC. In addition to my PhD, I obtained a certificate in Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology from UBC’s Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education.

Why nursing? Did a particular person or event inspire you?

Nursing is very rewarding because each day brings another opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, including helping patients and families through what are often difficult times. In addition, nursing is a diverse profession with many possibilities — from working in a wide range of clinical settings to travel nursing, conducting research and education.

Why UBC?

Apart from the fact that UBC is consistently ranked as one of the top 30 to 40 universities in the world, UBC’s strategic priorities (e.g., supporting research excellence and community engagement) are well aligned with my personal and professional values and goals. Also, UBC is home to other health systems scholars and experts, which opens doors for cross-disciplinary research collaborations. I believe this is an environment in which I will have the resources to establish a productive program of research through which I can make a meaningful impact on the quality and safety of health services to Canadians. 

UBC’s School of Nursing, in particular, provides a strong environment for launching my career as a health systems researcher. Recognized as the best nursing school in Canada in 2018 by Maclean’s magazine, it has a strong reputation for excellence in nursing research and education and includes world-renowned nursing researchers who not only are constantly engaged in knowledge production and translation, but also are willing to support each other’s research programs.

My needs for intellectual stimulation and challenges will be met in this environment, and as a new faculty member at UBC Nursing, I have the opportunity to provide the same mentorship support that I received as a student to others interested in health systems research.

What are your research/teaching interests and current projects?

I am a health systems researcher with a passion for improving the quality and safety of patient care delivery. My areas of expertise include health human resource optimization, healthy work environments and models of care delivery redesign and evaluation.

My key projects include:

  • My dissertation research, a province-wide study of BC medical-surgical nurses, found that team-based models of care delivery were associated with poorer quality care and safety outcomes, such as more patient adverse events and undone nursing tasks, compared to independent models of care delivery. This finding suggested that medical-surgical nurses do not function as effective teams. Accordingly, I have developed an interest in further investigating team-based models of care delivery.
  • Currently, I am a co-investigator on a model of care delivery redesign study across three sites (BC Women’s and Children’s hospitals and BC Cancer - Kelowna). This project is focused on examining the effect of the Care Team Design initiative on quality and safety outcomes of care using participatory action research methods.
  • I am also the co-lead of an ongoing study evaluating the impact of a nursing curriculum for registered and licensed practical nurses (i.e., RNs and LPNs) on the quality and safety outcomes of care across BC perioperative contexts. 
  • Currently, I am the principal investigator of a province-wide study of nurses’ psychological health and safety (due to working conditions) and their impact on the quality and safety of patient care delivery.
  • Recently, I completed a study examining the effect of violence prevention strategies on nurses’ perceptions of safety in medical-surgical and mental health settings across BC. This study found there were differences in violence prevention strategies and their association with safety perceptions across these settings.

How do you hope your work will impact society/students?  

I have a passion for improving the quality and safety of patient care delivery and accordingly will study factors/antecedents that enhance the quality/safety of patient care in my program of research. My hope is that through my research program, I will contribute to more positive experiences and outcomes for the users of the Canadian healthcare system and for its providers.

Additionally, I hope to inspire students interested in health systems research to implement theory and evidence in their daily clinical practice and pursue further training in this field.

How do you think the field of nursing will be different 100 years from now?

Due to the current and prospective health human resource shortages in Canada and globally, I anticipate that nurses will have a wider scope of practice; a broader range of roles and responsibilities will be performed by nurses in the future. Accordingly, there will also be a higher demand for specialized nursing training opportunities.

And due to constant technological advancements, I expect that nurses will utilize a higher level of smart technologies in their daily practice. I also anticipate more cross-disciplinary collaborations among nursing, medicine and allied health both in clinical and educational settings.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in nursing?

Never stop learning!

What is your favourite book/movie/album/food/sport/leisure activity?

All food is my favourite food. I enjoy cooking in my spare time, as well as socializing with friends.

What are you passionate about outside work?  

My family and my dog!



Department/School profile