September 6, 2022

ORWH’s Pearls of Wisdom series features Shannon N. Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN, FAAN, Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). In this video clip, Dr. Zenk discusses the qualities of success. 

Dr. Zenk oversees NINR’s research and training programs in support of the institute’s mission to:

  • Improve the lives of individuals and families living with illness;
  • Develop personalized strategies to maximize health and well-being at all stages of life, across diverse populations and settings; and
  • Support training and career development to foster the next generation of nurse scientists.

She joined NINR in September 2020, following a 14-year career as a faculty member at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing and the Institute for Health Research and Policy. Her background is in nursing and public health. Dr. Zenk’s own research focuses on community environments as a social determinant of health and health inequities. She and her team conducted pioneering research on food deserts in the United States. Dr. Zenk was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2013, inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2019, and elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021. 

The Pearls of Wisdom online series of short videos aims to inspire, motivate, and inform women in the beginning or middle stages of their biomedical careers. Produced and funded by ORWH, it features prominent scientists and physicians at NIH and beyond—many from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups—sharing words of wisdom, perspectives, and advice to current and future women scientists. The video series is located on the NIH “Women in Science” website, which describes the history of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers and provides information on supported programs, information on grants, career development resources, NIH diversity resources, and NIH career flexibility initiatives.