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Director of U.S. Nursing Research Visits Campus

Patricia Grady

Patricia Grady says nurses will be "very much a part of the changes that will happen to our society."

October 21, 2010 – Nurses must be innovative, collaborative and willing to educate the public about their work, according to Patricia Grady (NHS’67), director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

“You will be very much a part of the changes that will happen to our society and the health care system,” Grady told a group of students and faculty Oct. 20. “We have a very exciting trip ahead of us.”

Grady was invited to campus by Georgetown’s chapter of the National Student Nurses Association and the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

An Example and Mentor

The school’s interim dean, Julie DeLoia, welcomed the audience, and association president Jen Tran (NHS’11) introduced Grady.

“Dr. Grady is an example and mentor as she represents a responsible and accountable leader of the nursing profession,” Tran said.

At the lecture, Grady recounted her education, which includes a doctorate in physiology from the University of Maryland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown. 

“It was a very good experience to come to a university … where the bar is high,” she said.

Directing NINR

The researcher spent the early part of her career focusing on the brain and stroke. In 1988, she joined the National Institutes of Health as research program administrator for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 

Seven years later, NIH offered her the directorship at NINR.

“I thought it would be a very exciting opportunity to put together my nursing background, my science background, and my administrative perspective,” she said.

Future Nursing

Grady’s institute, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, focuses on primary care, promoting health and preventing disease, quality, disparities and other areas. Also addressed by NINR are opportunities for newly educated and seasoned nurses to advance themselves in the research field.

“I am so grateful that I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Grady,” said Erin Devitt (NHS’11), association vice president. “She truly embodies the characteristics of what a nurse leader should be and is a role model for all future nurses.”

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