Deena Kelly Costa, PhD, RN, FAAN

Deena Kelly Costa

Associate Professor of Nursing

Yale School of Nursing - Room 20510


Dr. Deena Kelly Costa PhD, RN, FAAN is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Yale School of Nursing. She also has an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Costa is a trained health services researcher with nearly a decade of clinical expertise in adult critical care nursing. She is one of the only PhD-prepared nurses in the US to devote her unique training and expertise as a critical care nurse to healthcare workforce research that equally focuses on all members of the interprofessional team (nurses, physicians, and others). In her work, Dr. Costa studies how to optimize the organization and management of critical care. She is dedicated to supporting all clinicians and creating an environment that optimizes their ability to provide high quality care for each mechanically ventilated patient by examining key characteristics of, and interactions among, ICU interprofessional teams. She incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine ICU interprofessional teams, patient outcomes and how best to support patients, families, and clinician well-being. Her research has been published in several leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, CHEST, and Annals of American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Costa has completed an Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Career Development Award (K08) in 2021 and has received funding as PI/MPI from American Thoracic Society, American Nurses Foundation, and other foundation awards. She is co-investigator on several federally funded R01s, included a recent R01 studying the continuity of interprofessional teams in ICUs (PI Yakusheva). She serves on the Editorial Board of CHEST Critical Care, the American Journal of Critical Care, and Heart & Lung. She is Planning Committee Chair for American Thoracic Society’s Nursing Assembly. Dr. Costa was recipient of the ATS Nursing Assembly Early Career Achievement Award (2019) and Harriet H. Werley New Investigator Award from Midwest Nursing Research Society (2017) and was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (2019). Notably, she served an advisor for Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office during spring 2020 that informed the development of Executive Order 2020-30 that suspended scope of practice laws for advance practice nurses and eliminated regulatory and legal barriers for the nursing workforce in Michigan during the pandemic.

Dr. Costa completed her Master’s and PhD in nursing outcomes research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy Research and a post-doctoral fellowship in critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Critical Care Medicine in the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center. She has a Bachelor’s of Italian Studies from Boston University and BSN from Binghamton University. Dr. Costa joins YSN after working as an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.


Dr. Costa is an experienced health services researcher that studies the organization and management of critical care, with specific expertise in survey methods, quantitative analyses and more recently, qualitative methods and implementation science approaches to improving ICU care delivery, ICU teams, and patient outcomes. She has a dedicated commitment to supporting the nursing workforce through research and policy. 

Selected publications

NIH bibliography 

1.     Costa DK, Friese CR. (2022). Policy strategies for addressing current threats to the U.S. Nursing workforce. New England Journal of Medicine, doi: 10.1164/rccm.202210-1975ED

2.     Costa DK, Wright NC, Hashem O, Posa AM, Juno J, Brown S, Blank R, McSparron JI. (2023). Team dynamics in a COVID-19 intensive care unit: A qualitative study. Australian Critical Care. doi: 10.1016/j.aucc.2022.11.001

3.     Costa DK, Liu H., Boltey EM., Yakusheva, O. (2020). The structure of critical care nursing teams and patient outcomes: A network analysis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201903-0543LE.

4.     Lynch J, Evans N, Ice E, Costa DK. (2021). Ignoring nurses: Media coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Annals of American Thoracic Society. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202010-1293PS

5.     Costa DK, Valley TS, Miller MA, Manojlovich M, Watson SR, McLellan P, Pope C, Hyzy RC, Iwashyna TJ. (2017). ICU team composition and its association with ABCDE implementation in a quality collaborative. Journal of Critical Care.. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2017.09.180. [

6.     Costa DK, White MR, Ginier E, Manojlovich M, Govindan S, Iwashyna TJ, Sales AE. (2017). Identifying barriers to delivering the Awakening and Breathing Coordination, Delirium and Early Exercise/Mobility bundle to minimize adverse outcomes for mechanically ventilated patients: a systematic review. Chest. 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.chest.2017.03.054

7.     Yakusheva O, Costa DK, Weiss M. (2017). Patients negatively impacted by discontinuity of nursing care during acute hospitalization. Medical Care. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000670

8.     Costa DK, Kahn JM. (2016). Organizing critical care for the 21st Century. JAMA DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.0974 PMID: 26903330.