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MDC Nursing Professor Dr. Marie Etienne to Receive Prestigious Florence Nightingale Medal from International Red Cross


Dr. Etienne joined MDC’s renowned Benjamin Leon School of Nursing more than 10 years ago and has been a transformational member of the faculty.

Miami, June 5, 2013 - Miami Dade College (MDC) nursing professor Dr. Marie O. Etienne has spent much of her career providing medical aid to underserved and disaster-impacted communities. “I believe that God has given me the gift of aiding people. Everything I do in my life is about helping others,” said Dr. Etienne, who recently returned from training nurses in Léogâne, Haiti. For her dedicated service, Dr. Etienne will receive the highest international distinction a nurse can receive – the prestigious Florence Nightingale Medal by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The international medal, awarded bi-annually, recognizes exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. It also recognizes exemplary service or a “pioneering spirit” in areas of public health or nursing education. The 32 outstanding medal recipients hail from 16 countries and will be awarded at a ceremony on Oct. 23 in the District of Columbia (DC).

Dr. Etienne joined MDC’s renowned Benjamin Leon School of Nursing more than 10 years ago and has been a transformational member of the faculty. “I challenge my students to overcome their limitations and to always strive for excellence,” said Dr. Etienne, who holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Miami.

“Dr. Etienne is one of our outstanding faculty members who is instrumental in our students’ success.  She is also conscious of inequities in our community and internationally and searches for ways to provide care for the underserved and in need.  She is one of the great assets on this campus and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Armando Ferrer, president of the Medical Campus.

The inspiring educator has been just as committed to nursing outside of the classroom. When a devastating earthquake struck her hometown of Port-au-Prince in 2010, she was one of the responders who aided survivors as part of the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida, Inc. (HANA), where she’s served as president (2005-2007), a board member and as chair of Public Relations Committee since 2001. Since 2006, Dr. Etienne has led groups of MDC students on medical missions to Dominican Republic in partnership with the Haitian American Professionals Coalition (HAPC) and provided health screenings to uninsured, low-income immigrant communities in South Florida. She was appointed to the National Nursing Committee of the American Red Cross in January 2011 by the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) and was also appointed to the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council

Recognized locally and nationally, Dr. Etienne has received numerous accolades for her contributions to the nursing profession and assistance in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. In 2011, Dr. Etienne received the 2011 Excellence Award in the Area of Community Service. In February, Dr. Etienne was among five MDC nursing professors honored by Online Schools of Florida as one of the Top 25 nursing professors in the state. In 2012, Dr. Etienne received the Florida Nurses Association’s 2012 Advanced Nursing Practice Awards for Florida and the South Region.. She was also awarded the Trailblazer Award by the National Black Nurses Association for 2012. Additionally, Dr. Etienne was honored in 2011 as Haitian Woman of the Year by The National Center of the Haitian Apostolate (NCHA) and was the first Wall of Fame Awardee for the Florida chapter of HANA.

For more information on Dr. Etienne and the Florence Nightingale Medal, visit, or contact MDC’s School of Nursing at 305-237-4101.

Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
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