Professor Emerita Margaret Miles, RN, PhD, FAAN, has been named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). Living Legends are nurses with distinguished careers who have impacted health care through notable contributions to nursing practice, research, and education. The Living Legend distinction is the highest honor offered by the AAN. Since the award began in 1994, only 84 nurses have been selected as Living Legends.
Dr. Miles is a pioneer in pediatric nursing. She was one of the first pediatric clinical nurse specialists focusing on the psychosocial needs of hospitalized children and their parents at a time when the focus of care was strictly on medical treatment. Building on her experiences with parents, she was one of the early researchers to study the suffering of bereaved parents and parents of critically ill children. Her pamphlet on parental grief is still distributed by Compassionate Friends to parents today. Later on in her research career, Dr. Miles and her colleagues focused on the stress parents experience when their baby or child is hospitalized in an intensive care unit. The research instruments developed in those studies have been used by investigators around the world. Dr. Miles also developed an interest in HIV and began to investigate interventions that would help mothers of HIV-positive infants provide better home care for their children.
Known for her leadership as well as her seminal research, Dr. Miles was critical in launching the Society of Pediatric Nurses and served as the founding president. In recognition of her service, the Margaret Miles Distinguished Service award is given biannually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the society.
Dr. Miles is well-known for her strong mentoring of students and faculty across the country. As a core director for the Center for Innovations in Health Disparities Research, she has mentored numerous faculty who have developed programs of research on health disparities and minority populations.