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MDC Medical Campus Nursing Faculty Awarded by the Florida Nurses Association

FNA Nursing Award

(L-R) Patricia R. Messmer, Marie O Etienne, Yamina Alvarez and Constance "Connie" Miller

Miami, April 26, 2012 - Three Miami Dade College (MDC) Medical Campus nursing faculty members were recently honored at the Florida Nurses Association’s (FNA) Second Annual FNA South Region Symposium & Awards Ceremony held at the Signature Grand  in Davie. This is the second year MDC’s nursing faculty is recognized by the FNA.

This year’s recipients, as well as Professor Carol Petrozella, EdD, RN, who received the FNA South Region Nurse of The Year award last year, will be recognized at the Miami Marlins game on Saturday, May 12, as part of National Nurses Week.

MDC’s FNA award recipients this year:    

Professor Yamina Alvarez, DNP, RN was awarded the FNA South Region 2012 Nurse Educator Award. In addition to being an outstanding educator, Dr. Alvarez serves as co-chair for the campus’ Technology Committee, where she has been instrumental in guiding both nursing and health science faculty to enhance their teaching strategies utilizing human patient simulation (HPS). She gives life to the lecture content by creating interactive learning activities using the Harvey Cardiac Simulator® and METI® IStan Simulator. In addition, Dr. Alvarez serves as a Florida Nursing Student Association (FNSA) faculty advisor and coordinates simulation activities for “A Day in the Life of a Nurse” activity for Miami-Dade County Carol Senior High School students and groups of Notre Dame d’ Haiti nursing students who traveled to Florida for this experience. Dr. Alvarez was one of 253 Scholars selected nation-wide for the 2010 Health Information Scholars (HITS) Project with University of Kansas, Indiana University, John Hopkins University, and University of Colorado in partnership with National League of Nursing (NLN), funded by a HRSA grant.

Professor Marie O. Etienne, DNP, ARNP, PLNC received the FNA South Region 2012 Advanced Practice Nursing Award. Dr. Etienne is considered a leader in the nurse practitioner movement and a top notch clinician. She served as a nurse practitioner in relief efforts in Haiti caring for two tents of earthquake victims, ranging from simple to complex, including triaging victims and transporting them. Dr. Etienne continues traveling to Haiti to help in the rehabilitation process, both physically and mentally, with Project Medishare & the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida. She also coordinates medical missions with Haitian American Professionals Coalition to Dominican Republic in the Batey (Sugar cane plantation of migrant workers) to provide Advanced Nurse Practitioner services. Dr. Etienne has been appointed to the National Nursing Committee of the American Red Cross, and was also appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Red Cross in 2011, serving in the Nursing and Caregiving Subcouncil. Last year, she received the 2011 Nursing Excellence Award for the Southeast Region of the U.S. in the category of Community Service and the 2011 Marie Claire Heureuse Leadership Award by the Haitian Women of Miami.

Professor Constance Miller received the FNA South Region Community Action Award. Professor Miller has demonstrated dedication and leadership in sustaining community involvement for faculty and nursing students. She provides successful service learning activities in the Community Health Nursing course with a number of community partners, including programs for developmentally disabled children, preschoolers, women in distress and smoking cessation. She organizes and facilitates health fairs and community events, educating students and faculty in the process and helping to ensure sustainability of nurses working in the community. In addition, she organized the Disease of the Month – Diabetes for all the classes in Medical Surgical Nursing, which was presented at all eight MDC campuses. She helps the annual Miami Rescue Mission’s “Christmas in July” fair and Good Friday event, collecting Hope Totes and participating in health screenings. This month, MDC nursing students screened approximately 275 homeless. Prof. Miller was awarded the 2010 Florida Campus Compact Community Engagement Education Award and is the current Financial Secretary for the National Black Nurses Association’s Miami Chapter. 

Patricia R. Messmer, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN Consultant for Nursing Education and Research for the School of Nursing received the inaugural FNA South Region Nightingale Award. The award is given to an individual, group of people, entity, or organization that has, through extraordinary actions and deeds, enriched and enhanced the nursing profession. Dr. Messmer accepted the award as chair of the Nurses Charitable Trust, along with Trustees Sande Gracia Jones, Charlotte Dison, Ann Marie Clyatt, Barbara S. Russell, JoAnn Gottlieb, and Nina Brookins.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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