NIH Appoints New NINR Director

July 07, 2020 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

Beginning this fall, the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will have a nurse in a permanent position to lead the agency. On July 1, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) named Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, as its new director. Zenk is currently a nursing collegiate professor in the Department of Population Health Nursing Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing, and a fellow at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy.

Zenk will begin her new role in early fall 2020. The institute’s previous director, Patricia Grady, PhD, RN, FAAN, retired in 2018 after steering the agency for 23 years. Since then, the institute has had a series of acting directors.

“Dr. Zenk’s diverse and original research experience paired with her expertise as a nurse educator make her an ideal choice to lead NIH’s efforts in nursing science,” NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, said. “I am delighted to have her join the NIH leadership team in the fall. I also want to recognize Tara A. Schwetz, PhD, for her exemplary leadership in serving as the NINR acting director since January 2020, in addition to her role as NIH associate deputy director in the NIH Office of the Director.”


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