Margaret (Marge) Shandor Miles, RN, PhD, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
School of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall CB 7460
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
Phone: 919 966 3620
Fax: 919 843 9969
Email: mmiles@email.unc.edu

 

 

About Marge:

    My personal background starts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I was born and spent all of my early life. My mother was Hungarian and my father Slovak and we enjoyed a rich Eastern European heritage during our childhood years. Especially important were family gatherings where delicious food was prepared and served.

    I very much enjoyed my diploma education at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. I still have many lifelong friends from those three years where I matured into an adult. My first position was in the emergency room at Mercy but I soon switched to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh where I got hooked as pediatric nurse. I then got my BSN from Boston College and enjoyed living there and working at the famous Boston Children's Hospital. Within a year, I enrolled in and completed the MSN program at the University of Pittsburgh working with Dr. Florence Erickson and Dr. Reva Rubin. This was the first master's program in the country that prepared clinical nurse specialists (CNS) in pediatrics-a new role. After a brief stint in Washington DC where I was the first clinical nurse specialist at Children's Hospital of DC, I moved to Kansas City and had several CNS positions. I spent almost 18 years in Missouri-mostly in Kansas City--and a few years in Columbia. During that time, I attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City and obtained my PhD in Counseling Psychology. I taught for over 15 years at the University of Kansas. I have been a Professor (now Professor Emeritus) at the University of North Carolina since 1984 and now call Chapel Hill, North Carolina my home.

My nursing career has encompassed staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, teacher, and researcher. Having started my career in 1955, I have memories of many changes that have occurred in the care of children in the span of 47 years! This includes pioneering in ways of helping children cope with hospitalization and surgery including the use of play therapy; caring for two children who were Siamese twins; participating in giving new chemotherapeutic agents to children with leukemia then considered a fatal illness; and caring for children who had open heart surgery during a time when this was a risky, pioneering procedure and when there were no ICUs (one was caring for patients of the famous surgeon Dr. Gross at Boston Children's). One of my favorite positions was being the CNS on the pediatric cardiology team at the University of Kansas. In this role, I helped parents cope with the diagnosis of critical congenital heart disease in their children and helped parents and children cope with open heart surgery. I also volunteered for many years to help parents whose infants died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Both experiences lead to my intense interest in the grief of parents and care of dying children. As such, I was one of the early leaders in health care that directed our focus to needs of people who were dying and the bereaved. These experiences also led to my focus on research focused on parents of children with chronic and life-threatening illness. My early research, conducted collaboratively with others and funded by the Division of Nursing, described the stressors of parents whose children were hospitalized in an intensive care unit and resulted in two instruments, the Parental Stressor Scale: Pediatric ICU and the Parental Stressor Scale: NICU, that are being used internationally. With colleagues, I conducted NINR funded longitudinal studies focused on the experience of parenting medically fragile infants and on parenting the prematurely-born-child. This work led to an NINR funded nursing support intervention with rural, African American mothers who have preterm infants. Another focus of my research is with African American women with HIV. In conducing an NIMH funded study of parental caregivers of infants seropositive for HIV, a major focus was on the mental and physical health of the mothers. This led to a self-care management intervention with African American mothers with HIV that was funded through an NINR RFA. Through this research, I have become interested in learning more about culturally sensitive approaches to conducting research and designing intervention. As such, I am a core director for the Center for Innovations in Health Disparities Research in the School of Nursing. I have especially the numerous opportunities to present papers and meet colleagues around the world (Sweden, England, Jersey Island, China, New Zealand,Vancouver BC, Cameroon, and Malawi, Africa.

I met my husband Lewis M. Miles in Kansas City and within a year of our marriage we adopted Aimee. Lew is an extremely strong supporter for me, allowing my career to flourish. Aimee is married to Scott Eckler and they lives nearby with my precious grandchildren, Abigail Rose (b. 11/00) and Emma Lizabeth (b. 6/02). I enjoy babysitting more than I ever imagined and, to accommodate that pleasure, I have retired but still work on research grants about half time.  As a family we enjoy times together at our condo at the beach. It is right on the Atlantic Ocean and very peaceful except when we have hurricanes come through. My extended family includes my brother, his wife, and daughter Lindsay in Texas and his son and wife in Milwaukee. I also keep in touch with my many cousins in Pittsburgh and across the country.