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Madeline A. Naegle


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Madeline A. Naegle has profoundly influenced psychiatric/mental health nursing practice and policy through her unwavering efforts to advance addictions nursing, now a recognized subspecialty. Dr. Naegle is Professor Emerita at New York University’s (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing. As founding Deputy Director of NYU’s World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Gerontological Nursing Education, she implemented educational programs, disseminated best practices, and expanded recognition of key competencies in mental health and the care of older adults in several countries. An enduring example of her work globally is the Spanish translation of baccalaureate degree Essentials in geriatric nursing used widely throughout Latin America.

Early on in her nearly sixty-year career, as a nurse at New York’s Payne Whitney Clinic, she saw firsthand the pressing need to not only improve treatment for individuals experiencing mental health disorders but also the need to enhance education within nursing to provide better patient care. Notably, she championed the integration of behavioral health, including substance use disorders, into health professional education and practice to promote evidence-based care for persons with severe substance use and other mental health disorders. She spearheaded the creation of the Substance Abuse Education in Nursing project, a model curriculum widely used by nursing schools and she launched the Substance Abuse Research Education and Training program, developed for health professionals pursuing research and careers in the field.

Her advocacy for highly stigmatized populations focuses on well-being and holistic health, a hallmark of her career, she successfully spurred a surge in support and peer assistance for nurses with mental health and substance use disorders. One of her early publications, a seminal monograph, Addictions and Psychological Dysfunctions: The Profession's Response, is yet another example of her commitment to steer policies and practices that prioritize treatment and prevention in the U.S. and the nursing community worldwide. She acted strategically to move addictions nursing to the mainstream by strengthening education, promoting advanced practice, building credibility through certification, and serving as founding Editor of the Journal of Addictions Nursing.

Dr. Naegle, in various leadership positions, leveraged opportunities to bring attention to substance use and related disorders to drive change through organizations including as former President of the New York State Nursing Association, former national spokesperson on substance use disorder for the American Nurses Association; consultant for the Pan American Health Organization, former Chair of the Pan American Network of Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centers; Board Member of The Floating Hospital; and as an Appointee to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Health and Human Services) Expert Panel on Older Adults Living with Serious Mental Illness. She was often the sole nurse representative on multiple, interdisciplinary projects at NYU, the National Quality Forum, and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, among others.

Dr. Naegle was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 1989. She earned a BSN from Nazareth College and a Master’s and PhD in Nursing from NYU. As a psychotherapist and global mental health consultant, her pioneering work is widely circulated in peer reviewed journals, policy statements and book chapters, and continues to positively impact mental health care practice around the world.

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