He was previously a double promotion-winning manager for both Southampton and Scunthorpe United.
Birkenhead-born Adkins made the unusual conversion from physio to team boss at Glanford Park following Brian Laws' departure to Sheffield Wednesday in November, 2006.
Scunthorpe were already flying high and, after losing only one of six games as caretaker, Adkins was given the job. He ensured the momentum was maintained in completing his side's climb out of League One. Iron fans celebrated promotion with three matches to spare. This success meant Scunthorpe would start the following season in the Coca-Cola Championship - the first time they would play at that level in 45 years.
They were relegated the following season but regained Championship status at the first attempt. This time, Scunthorpe triumphed in the play-offs with a thrilling 3-2 Wembley win over Millwall.
More success then followed for Adkins and Scunthorpe as he guided The Iron to safety in 09/10 which secured their highest league finish in over four decades.
Having joined Southampton in September 2010, Adkins went onto win his third promotion as the Saints finished second in League One, after the club spent two years in the division. During the campaign, Adkins was awarded the manager of the month award for April and his side also set a club record for the number of clean sheets in one season.
Remarkably in 2011/12, Adkins secured successive promotions for the Saints to guide the club back to the Barclays Premier League after a seven year absence. In a very impressive campaign, his side maintained their position in the top two of the npower Championship for the entire season.
In his first full season in charge at Reading, Adkins guided the Club to a 7th place finish in the Sky Bet Championship where they narrowly missed out on a play-off position.
Though a goalkeeper in his own career, Adkins has proved particularly adept at finding and developing prolific scoring strikers. He promptly replaced Billy Sharp, sold to Sheffield United after the first promotion, with Martin Paterson, who hit 13 goals in the Championship.
When Paterson left for Burnley, Adkins paid Southend £175,000 for Gary Hooper, who plundered 30 goals in the follow-up promotion effort.
Nigel played for Tranmere, Wigan and Bangor City where he subsequently became manager. He won the League of Wales in 1994 and '95, enjoying a brief taste of Europe, before joining Scunthorpe as physio.
Adkins is also a graduate of the LMA's Certificate in Applied Management at Warwick University.