About the Dean

Eileen G. Collins, PhD, RN, FAAN, ATSF

Eileen Collins

Eileen Collins became the ninth dean of the the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing on Sept. 1, 2021. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her research into cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation interventions to improve quality-of-life for people with chronic illnesses. Her research career, continually funded for decades by more than $41 million in grants, has been honored with many accolades, including induction into the Sigma International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Collins has been on the UIC College of Nursing faculty since 2002, promoted to full professor in 2011 and appointed associate dean for research in 2018. In that role, she was instrumental in achieving and securing the college’s consistent rank in the top 10 recipients of NIH funding among U.S. nursing schools.

In 2018, Collins was one of only nine nurses named to the first class of fellows of the American Thoracic Society (ATS). She was later selected as the 2020 recipient of the Elizabeth A. Rich Award, an honor given annually to an outstanding female member of the American Thoracic Society. Only the second RN to receive the honor since the award was established 20 years prior, Collins was chosen for her significant contributions to the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine and her leadership and mentorship within the ATS.

Before joining UIC full-time, Collins had a half-time appointment at the College of Nursing while splitting her professional time with Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital and the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center. There, over the course of 30 years and multiple promotions, she ascended to the post of acting associate chief of staff for research and development, responsible for upwards of $19 million per year in research program expenditures.

Collins earned her BSN, MSN and PhD degrees in nursing at Loyola University Chicago. She would later go on to complete an MS in exercise science at Northeastern University.