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Introduction Madeleine Leininger was born in Sutton, Nebraska on July 13, 1925. She lived on a farm with four brothers and sisters and graduated from Sutton High School. In 1945 (post-depression period), Madeleine and her sister entered the Cadet Nurse Corps and diploma program at St. Anthony’s School of Nursing in Denver. She credits her interest in nursing to one of her aunts, who was suffering from congenital heart disease and wanted Madeleine to make a difference in people’s lives. In 1948 Madeleine received her diploma of nursing from St. Anthony’s, and in 1950 she went on to receive a bachelor degree in biological science and a minor in philosophy and humanities from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Also in 1950 she opened a psychiatric nursing service and educational program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Three years later Madeleine received a master’s degree in the science of nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. After receiving her master’s degree Madeleine moved to Cincinnati where she started the very first Graduate of Psychiatric Nursing Program in the country. She became the Professor of Nursing and the Director of the Graduate Programs at the University of Cincinnati from 1954-1960. To add to her already impressive accomplishments, Madeleine co-authored the first psychiatric nursing textbook called Basic Psychiatric Nursing Concepts, which has now been published in eleven languages and is used worldwide. Leininger noticed early in her career that traditional psychiatric interventions did not adequately address the needs of children with differing cultural backgrounds. While at the University of Cincinnati, Madeleine discussed her concerns regarding this issue with Professor Margaret Mead. In search of answers, she embarked upon a doctoral program in cultural and social anthropology at the University of Washington. In 1965 Madeleine Leininger became the very first nurse to earn a Ph.D. in Anthropology. In 1966 Dr. Leininger was appointed the Professor of Nursing and Anthropology at the University of Colorado, where she offered the first course in transcultural nursing. From 1969 to 1974 she was the Dean, Nursing Professor and Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing. From 1974 to 1980 she served as the Dean and as a Professor at the University of Utah where she established the first Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Transcultural Nursing. In 1981 Madeleine went to Wayne State University where she was Professor of Nursing and Director of the Center for Health Research. While serving at Wayne State, she was given numerous awards including: the Prestigious President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Board of Governor’s Distinguished Faculty Award and the Gershenson’s Research Fellowship Award. Then in 1990 she was appointed the Women in Science Award from California State University. As a nurse theorist, Madeleine developed her theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality and coined the term “culturally congruent care’ as the goal of this theory. This theory is elaborated in the book Culture Care Diversity and Universality: A Theory of Nursing which she published in 1991. During her developments as a theorist Dr. Leininger also came up with the Ethnonursing Method and conducted the first transcultural nursing field study, living alone with the Gadsup tribe of the East Highlands in New Guinea. Throughout her career, Madeleine initiated certification of transcultural nursing degree’s, and has founded several professional organizations including the Transcultural Nursing Society in 1974, the International Association of Human Care in 1978 and served as first full-time president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Madeleine established and served as first editor of the Journal of Transcultural Nursing from 1989-1995. Dr. Leininger is an internationally known educator, author, theorist, researcher and public speaker. She has been a distinguished professor at approximately 70 Universities, she has written 25 books and published over 220 articles which are now held at the Wayne State University Archives (since June 1995) and have been available to researchers since 2005. Madeleine has given over 850 public lectures worldwide and has developed her own software program for nurses. Her areas of expertise are transcultural nursing, comparative human care, qualitative research, cultural care theories, the culture of nursing and health fields, anthropology and the future of nursing. Impressively, to add to the list of her accomplishments, just last year she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology.
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