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About Donna M. Zucker

Dr. Zucker received her Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island, her master’s degree from Umass Amherst, and her baccalaureate degree from Mundelein College, Loyola University, Chicago, IL. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing, completed a NINR Summer Genetics Research Institute Fellowship and is a charter Society of Gastroenterology Nursing Scholar.

Her program of research began with symptom identification and management of adverse events in person with hepatitis C particularly those in treatment, in recovery or incarcerated. She has developed an expertise in two areas: communicable disease prevention and behavioral modification for persons with substance abuse. The populations she works with are at high risk for return to substance use disorder. As part of this work, she actively participates in the American Correctional Nurses Association, Eastern Nursing Research Society, Sigma, and the American Academy of Nursing.

Current research is focused on decreasing the disparity and access by high risk persons who are homeless, incarcerated and actively addicted to substances and or/recovering. She and her collaborators hope to provide innovative, cost effective, behavioral strategies to reduce barriers, including stigma to access to treatment and wellness, especially in those who are criminal justice involved. Ongoing work continues in criminal justice health curriculum development, labyrinth walking, and national and global attention to the effects of mass incarceration on health. Recent work is looking a barriers and facilitators to adult cannabis use.

Dr. Zucker is a recognized expert behavioral treatment for stress in offenders both in the US and abroad. She is a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator and was trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

In May of 2016 she and her team received a $870,00 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association to determine change in knowledge in undergraduate nursing students who are taught SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment). This study, spanning, three years, trained nearly 500 students and 100 staff and faculty. In September 2020, a SAMHSA Prac-Ed Grant was awarded to Kimberly Dion, PI and Donna Zucker Co-Investigator, for two years. This funding expands and extends student nurse education to care for persons with substance use disorder (SUD), to reduce stigma and improve treatment outcomes.


Present Professor Emerita, College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Curriculum Vitae



2020 - 2022 Prac Ed Project Project
SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment - 1H79FG000131-01
The S.A.M.E. S-Substance A-Abuse and M- Management E -Education
Role: Co-Investigator
Colleague(s): PI Kimberly Dion, Suzanne Rataj (Evaluator), Diane Fedorchak (Program Integration Specialist)
2016 - 2019 SBIRT Training: The Power of Nursing to Change Health
SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment - 1H79T1O26441-01
Role: PI
Colleague(s): Chandler, G., Dundon, E. (Nursing), DiFulvio, G., Rataj. S., Heffernan, D. (SPHHS), Fedorchak, D. (CHP), Linowski, S. (dean of Students Office)
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2020 - 2021 Chair of Scholarship and Awards Committee, National Correctional Nurses Association
2019 - 2021 Member Expert Panel -Psychiatric Mental Health and Substance Use, American Academy of Nursing
2019 - 2021 Member of Research and Scholarship Committee, University of Massachusetts Amherst Retired Faculty Assn.
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Honors and Awards

  • June 2012 NINR Summer Genetics Institute Fellow
  • July 2012 TCU/JBI Collaborating Center -SGNA Scholar
  • November 2010 Inducted into the American Academy of Nursing
  • Nominated 2007-2008 Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA)
  • May 2004 College Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Massachusetts School of Nursing
  • October 31, 2001 Outstanding Continuing Education Faculty Award - University Continuing Education Association, New England Annual Conference, Falmouth, MA.
  • December 2022 Ambassador Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research


1999 PhD, University of Rhode Island
1990 MS, University of Massachusetts Amherst
1978 - 1980 BS, Loyola University Chicago
1971 Diploma, Charles E. Gregory School of Nursing

Contact Information

University of Massachusetts Amherst
651 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003


Literature Review (1)

Recent Works (1)

Case Study Method and Case Studies (6)

Concept Analysis (1)

Presentations (3)

Research Works (6)

Chronic Illness (7)