Research Areas and Interests
Dr. Christine Covell is the principal investigator of the CanNurse Research Program, Creating Evidence to Build and Strengthen the CANadian NURSing Workforce. The nursing intellectual capital (NIC) theory developed and tested by Dr. Covell during her doctoral studies guides the CanNurse Research Program. The NIC theory conceptualizes the contribution of nurses' human capital (knowledge, skills an experience) to the quality of care and and cost-related organizational outcomes. Innovative in its conceptualization, the NIC theory is used worldwide to guide research in this area of nursing science and teach graduate students about theory development and testing. Dr. Covell’s postdoctoral training and collaborations with social scientists from the fields of sociology, economics and management have extended her research program to include studies that explore the intersection of human capital, immigration and gender on the employability of degree-prepared immigrants within the Canadian health workforce. Current research projects focus on facilitating the integration and retention of internationally educated nurses and international students in the health fields, updating the NIC theory and the construction of a questionnaire, and exploring mental health issues in nurses and their influence on quality of care and human resource costs. For her research, Dr. Covell uses a range of study designs and analyses including mixed-methods, review methodologies and quantitative methods with advanced statistics. The findings from her research have implications for policy development at the regulatory, organizational and governmental levels.
Recent Research Projects (Selected)
Healthy and Productive Work Partnership Grant: Healthy and Professional Knowledge Workers: Examining the Gendered Nature of Mental Health Issues, Leaves of Absence & Return to Work Experiences from a Comparative Perspective. Role: Co-Investigator, Nursing Profession Co-Lead, Partnership Executive Committee. Funding: Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada & CIHR Roadmap Accelerator Fund (RAF) in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada ($1,425000; 2018-2022)
Designed to Stay: Canadian-Educated International Students as Future Permanent Residents. Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Insight Development Grant ($61,672; 2017-2019)
Systematic Review to Update Nursing Intellectual Capital Theory and to Develop a Comprehensive Measure. Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: University of Alberta Faculty Establishment Grant ($16,500; 2016-2019)