Miami Dade College nursing professor Marie O. Etienne, RN, DNP, has spent much of her career caring for underserved populations and those affected by disaster. “I believe that God has given me the gift of aiding people,” Etienne, who recently returned from training nurses in Léogâne, Haiti, said in a news release. “Everything I do in my life is about helping others.” For her dedicated service, Etienne will receive the Florence Nightingale Medal from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The biennial international medal 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, according to the release. The 32 medal recipients from 16 countries will receive their awards at a ceremony Oct. 23 in the District of Columbia.
Etienne aided survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti as a representative of the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida Inc. Etienne also has led groups of MDC students on medical missions to the Dominican Republic in partnership with the Haitian American Professionals Coalition since 2006 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 and was appointed to the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council.
Etienne has received numerous accolades for her contributions to the nursing profession and assistance in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake, including a 2011 Nurse.com Nursing Excellence Award in the Community Service category. In February, 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, Etienne received the Florida Nurses Association’s 2012 Advanced Nursing Practice Awards for Florida and the South Region. She also was awarded the Trailblazer Award by the National Black Nurses Association in 2012. Additionally, Etienne was honored in 2011 as the Haitian Woman of the Year by The National Center of the Haitian Apostolate and was the first Wall of Fame Awardee for the Florida chapter of HANA.