Meet the 6 nurse 'living legends' named by the American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing has named six nurses as honorees of its 2023 annual "Living Legends" designation. 

Recipients will be honored at the association's 50th anniversary ceremony in October, according to the July news release. 

"Each year, the Academy selects exemplars of the profession to be recognized as Living Legends for their outstanding contributions in improving health and advancing the nursing profession as a whole," Kenneth White, PhD, RN, the president of the American Academy of Nursing said in a statement.

The 2023 nurse recipients are: 

Janice Brewington, PhD, RN

Dr. Brewington is the chief program officer at the National League for Nursing and also serves as the director of its Center for Transformational Research. She has led dozens of focused diversity and inclusion efforts throughout her career and has mentored many young nurses in their own career paths. As a mentor, she has also repeatedly advocated for additional leadership pathways in nursing for diverse professionals to thrive in. 


Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN

Dr. Cipriano has had a career spanning more than four decades in which she has served as the president of the International Council of Nurses, a professor in the University of Virginia School of Nursing, and as a two-term former president of the American Nurses Association. Within these roles, Dr. Cipriano helped elevate the stature of nurses in leadership positions, bringing more nurse voices to decision-making processes and has championed efforts to support nurse well-being.

Martha Curley, PhD, RN

Dr. Curley is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and is the endowed chair in pediatric nursing science at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Throughout her career as a nurse scientist, Dr. Curley's work has led to advancements in pediatric critical care.

Mary O'Neil Mundinger, DrPH, RN

Dr. O'Neil Mundinger is a professor and dean emeritus for the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City. During her time as the university's school of nursing dean, she launched its doctor of nursing practice program and pushed for advancements to the entirety of the nursing curriculum. She is known for her research showcasing positive patient outcomes that were essentially equivalent when receiving care from nurse practitioners versus physicians.

Madeline Naegle, PhD

Dr. Naegle is a professor emeritus for New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing in New York City. She is recognized for her work to integrate behavioral health and substance use disorder care into the nursing profession with evidence-based research. She has also led several efforts to champion improvements in the mental healthcare of older adults. 


Adeline Nyamathi, PhD, RN
Dr. Nyamathi is a distinguished professor and the founding dean emeritus of the University of California Irvine's Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. She has led significant research efforts into HIV/AIDS and has also been the principal investigator on 32 NIH projects. 

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