Ruth E. Zielinski, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM


Clinical Associate Professor
Midwifery Graduate Program Lead
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 3186 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 647-0324
Fax: (734) 763-0681

Interests

  • Global maternal health
  • International midwifery/nursing education
  • Optimizing pregnancy and birth outcomes
  • Women’s body image/sexual health

Dr. Zielinski  received her MS in Nursing – Midwifery Track in 1995 and her Ph.D. in Nursing and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan in 2009. She is faculty and program lead for the Midwifery Graduate Program. Her research expertise is in women’s health around body image and sexuality and maternal health outcomes both regionally and globally. In addition, she has over 20 years of experience as a nurse-midwifery and continues to practice, most recently in global settings.
Dr. Zielinski's developed a program of research related to body image and sexual health focusing on the intersecting our understanding of pelvic floor muscle changes associated with childbirth and aging and the social stigma of body image. She leads an ongoing project conducting doula workshops in South Sudanese refugee communities workshops in northern Uganda. Education is a primary goal in all of Dr. Zielinski’s endeavors, where reciprocal learning always occurs between women in the camps, local health providers and UM faculty and students. Graduate students in midwifery and other disciplines are involved in the work in Uganda, as well as other endeavors in Myanmar, Liberia, Haiti, Mongolia and Ghana. 

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Designing and Implementing a Structured Process and Task Trainer for Teaching Digital Vaginal Examination in Labor: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
  • Impolite Birth: Theatre Voice Training and The Experience of Childbirth: MCUBED 3.0 University of Michigan Office of Research
  • Group Antenatal Care to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy and Optimize Maternal and Newborn Outcomes: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (PI – Jody Lori Ph.D., CNM)
  • Healthy Mothers – Healthy Communities: Improving maternal and infant health outcomes among South Sudanese refugees through community education and engagement: Richard Knapp Major Project Fund

Teaching

Dr. Zielinski has taught in the classroom and clinical areas for both undergraduate and graduate student nurses. Currently her primary area of teaching is in the graduate nurse-midwifery program, where she also serves as program lead. She has been preceptor to a number of nurse-midwifery students. Dr. Zielinski has served as the research advisor for undergraduate honors students as well as graduate students. She has been a speaker at many national and international conferences related to women’s health topics such as midwifery, sexual health and pelvic floor disorders.

Affiliations / Service

  • American College of Nurse Midwives – Member 1993 to present (several service roles)
  • American Nurses Association
  • Michigan Nurses Association
  • Sigma Theta Tau – Rho Chapter, Member 1995 to present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Nurse – Midwives in 2014
  • Best Podium Presentation, Research forum – American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Meeting 2-13
  • Medical Activist Award – Women’s Health Foundation 2011
  • ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award – Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan 2010

Education

  • Ph.D. in Nursing and Certificate in Women’s Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 2009
  • MS, Nurse Midwifery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 1995
  • BSN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 1992
  • ASN, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo, MI 1988

Publication Highlights

  • Berhe S, Bayray, Berhe A,Teklu Y, Desta A, Araya T, Zielinski R, Roosevelt L (In press) Levels and determinants of postnatal care utilization in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: a community based cross-sectional study. Plos-One

  • Zielinski R, Lagerwey M. Living and Working at Oasis Hospital: Recollections of Missionary Nurses. International Bulletin of Missionary Research 2018. https://doi.org/10.1177/2396939318808933 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2396939318808933

  • Ackerson K, Zielinski R. ‘Family planning will mean that there will not be any babies’ - Knowledge, beliefs, and acceptance of contraception among South Sudanese women. Clinical Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine 2018; 4 (2) 1-5 doi: 10.15761/COGRM.1000212

  • Roosevelt L, Deibel M, Zielinski R. Achieving competency in vaginal examinations: the challenge of balancing student learning needs with best practice in maternity care. Midwifery 2018 16 39-41  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.02.016

  • Deibel, M, Zielinski, R, Shindler Rising, S, Kane-Low, L. Where are the dads? A pilot study of dads-only session in group prenatal care.The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing 2018; 32(4), 324-332 doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000368

  • Ackerson K, Zielinski R. Factors influencing use of family planning services and methods in women living in Sub-Saharan Africa refugee camps and surrounding areas: A review of the literature. Midwifery 2017; 54: 35-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2017.07.021

  • Zielinski R, Kane Low L, Smith AR, Miller JM. Body after baby: A pilot survey of genital body image and sexual esteem following vaginal birth. Int J Womens Health. 2017;13(9):189-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S123051

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