etienne-marie_web.jpgMIAMI — Miami Dade College (MDC) nursing professor Marie O. Etienne has spent much of her career providing medical aid to underserved and disaster-impacted communities. For her dedicated service, 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 recipients of the award hail from 16 countries.

The Port-au-Prince native 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 Etienne, who holds a doctorate of Nursing Practice.

“Dr. Etienne is one of our outstanding faculty members who is instrumental in our students’ success,” said Armando Ferrer, president of the Medical Campus. “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.”

School officials described the inspiring educator as being just as committed to nursing outside of the classroom.

When a devastating earthquake struck her hometown in 2010, she was one of the responders who aided survivors. Since 2007, Etienne has led groups of MDC students on medical missions to the Dominican Republic 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 and sits on the American Red Cross Scientific Review Committee.

Recognized locally and nationally, Etienne has received numerous accolades for her contributions to the nursing profession and assistance in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. In February, she was among five MDC nursing professors honored by Online Schools of Florida for having made a difference in the field.

In 2012, Etienne received the South Region 2012 Advanced Practice Nursing Award and was also awarded the Trailblazer Award by the Black Nurses Association for 2012.  Etienne was also honored as Haitian Woman of the Year by The National Center of the Haitian Apostolate.

For more information visit or contact MDC’s School of Nursing at 305-237-4101.