Nurse Leader Recognition

Jose Alejandro PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, ACM, FACHE, FAAN
Director, Case Management & Post-Acute Programs Tampa General Hospital

Jose is a prominent expert in case management and working with at-risk populations. Dr. Alejandro was the 15th President (2012-2014) of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. He is the current Vice President of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association. Recognized as the “CMSA National Case Manager of the Year 2015” for his work with at-risk populations.

Ruby F. Alvarez PhD(c), RN
Professor of Nursing, Valencia College
President, West Campus Faculty Senate
President, Florida League for Nursing
QUIN council


As a professor of nursing for 10 years Ruby has learned to lead by example, so clear from her favorite quote: “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” By Lou Holtz

Reuben Bowie MSN, CDONA

Reuben has an impressive career serving and leading others both as a military nurse and director of nursing at Health Central Park. Her numerous awards are a credit to her work ethic and leadership.

Janegale Boyd
Management Consulting Professional
13 years President/CEO LeadingAge Florida
President-Elect FNA


Janegale Boyd’s has been a dedicated nurse leader in the Florida House of Representatives, served on numerous boards, and been a mentor for countless nurses. Her selfless approach and extensive insight makes her well respected in every circle.

Edward Briggs DNP
Family Nurse Practitioner at Florida Institute of Family Medicine, Tampa/St. Petersburg
EmCare, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida Institute of Family Medicine President FNA (2014)


Edward has been diligent in his effort to educate nurses, students, and individuals on their role in the legislative process to ultimately change how heath care is delivered in Florida.

Marlly Cadavid PhD, MBA, MSN
Director of Veterans Administration Nurse Affiliation
Program & Post Baccalaureate Nurse Residency
Miami Vamc, West Coast University, Barry University


Marlly is dedicated to developing nurse leaders. She is an expert in training, facilitating and coaching in areas of clinical learning and leadership. Her work in succession planning for nurse leaders is one of Florida’s top needs in nursing.

Mary Mites Campbell PhD, MS, RN
Assistant Professor Nova Southeastern University DNP & ARNP Program
Chairperson, City of Hollywood County Commissioners African American Advisory (AAA) Council


Mary’s expertise lies in program development and improvement. Her creativity and willingness to participate in a variety of projects over the years have been a large part of her success. Hearing her passion for being on the cutting edge of healthcare when she speaks is what makes her one of Florida’s amazing nurse leaders.

“Never say never and never give up. Better is just around the corner.”

Kate Callahan AS, BSN, MPA, PhD

For Kate, MLK defined what it means to be a nurse and what she wants to pass on to her students, "An individual has not started living until he/she can rise above the narrow confines of their individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." MLK (1929-1968)

Dr. Doreen Cassarino DNP, FNP-BC, BC-ADM, FAANP
ARNP at Millennium Physician Group, Naples
Florida Nurse Practitioner Network, First VP Legislative Affairs
Florida Center for Nursing, Board Member
Florida Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses, Co-Chair
Nurse Practitioner Council of Collier County, Member at Large


Doreen’s astute understanding of Florida’s most pressing nursing issues makes her one of our most valuable leaders. "Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument." Anonymous

Linda Cassidy MSN, EdM, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K, PhD(c)

Linda passionately supports healthy work environments as a linchpin for fostering high quality patient care and optimal patient and nurse/ interdisciplinary team outcomes. She coordinates the development, review and validation of advocacy, policy and liaison activities that impact acute and critical care nurses, patients and families.

Jose D. Castillo III PhDc, CRNA
Collier Anesthesia
QUIN council member - Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Associate Director of Didactic Education, Wolford College, Naples


Even working on his PhD, Jose lends his expertise to the FL-AC Education team as well as the Diversity council. His advice is to: ...engage...learn...associate...listen...collaborate....propel

Mary Kaye Collins Doctor of Law (JD), Health Law Concentration, MSN
Clinical Director, Nurse-Midwife at Women’s Health Specialists

The head of Mary Kaye’s graduate school program impressed on all students the importance of living up to our responsibility to our profession and encouraged involvement in our professional organization. Her advice for all nurses is to network with other organization to better understand the issues facing all nursing disciplines.

Anne Dahnke RN, MSN, CCRN
Coordinator Professional Practice Lab
Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing
Florida Atlantic University


It took several years working on legislative efforts with the Florida Nurses Association to become the encouraging role model she has been to the students of the Florida Nurses Student Association. Anne is helping others find their passion to run for office.

Melinda Diaz RN, BSN, CHPN, LHRM, CHPCA
Senior Director of Operations at Catholic Hospice, Hialeah, FL

Melinda played an essential role writing questions for NBCHPN board exam and promoting certification in the specialty of Hospice and Palliative administration.

She would encourage us all to read, stay current, & be in the company of seasoned nurse leaders, listen, and learn. Don't be afraid to apply what you know. Find a mentor.

Marie Etienne DNP, ARNP, PLNC
Miami Dade College, Medical Center Campus
Benjamin Leon School of Nursing


Marie has changed the lives of the unserved and underserved patients in the Batey (sugarcane fields) in the Dominican Republic. Her leadership is all about being flexible, non-judgemental, and ‘showing up’ when called for action!

Dr. Elizabeth R. Fiegel DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Director of Nursing/Chief Nursing Officer
Lakeside Medical Center


With over 25 years of nursing experience serving in diverse healthcare settings, the most exciting part of the journey for Elizabeth is being a Servant Leader.

Compassion, Humility and Integrity are the words she tries to live by. Elizabeth’s colleagues see her as generous and a true role model.

Meghan Garland CNM
Regional Clinical Faculty and Instructor Frontier Nursing University
Past President Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands and Polk Counties
QUIN council- Florida Council of Nurse Midwives representative
Hypertension in Pregnancy Task Force-Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative


Meghan speaks out about health inequities. She values partnering with like-minded people from different fields because there is strength in diversity. She advocates that nurses speak to elected officials, lobbyists and legislative assistants. “Nurses are respected in the community. People want to hear your opinion. Don't be afraid to speak up and speak out!”

Laura Gonzalez
VP of Programs for INACSL
Past President of FHSA


My role of VP of Programs for INACSL healthcare simulation in the state of Florida and globally allows me to influence policy. Recently elected by my peers for second term; the role of VP of Programs for INACSL is a highly visible position and in such I share best practices and mentor other healthcare providers in the science of simulation with the end goal of improving patient outcomes. Working within the state of Florida on FHSA taught me many things with regards to funding and government issues. This skill set has been invaluable as I work with others to move the healthcare simulation agenda forward.

Jeanette F. Green PhD, ARNP
Director of Nursing Research, UF Health
Member of Clinical Leader Environment Review steering committee Gainesville


Jeanette collaborates with other disciplines to improve communication with nurses related to physician research and quality improvement initiatives. She is an ANCC Magnet writer for re-designation submission and is involved in community outreach for youth health initiatives.

Ann Balaka Hubbard DNP, ARNP, EdD, CNE
Associate Dean of Nursing at Indian River State College, Fort Pierce
FONE, AACN, FACN, FL Board of Nursing, ACEN


Dr. Hubbard has presented at national and international nursing and non-nursing conferences. Various topics that Dr. Hubbard has presented include but are not limited to: rapid response teams, mentoring minority students, recruiting and retaining qualified faculty, mentoring new nursing faculty, and evaluating student performance in the clinical setting.

Vicki Impoco PhD, ARNP
President of the Brevard Chapter National Organization for Women
Social Media Coordinator, Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Member of the South Brevard Democratic Women’s Club
Member of the ACLU


Vicki has the commitment and sincerity it takes to be a successful nurse leader. Her work with many diverse organizations has been the key to her success.

Dr. Ermalyn Kiehl
Dean of College of Health
University of West Florida


As the inaugural dean of the UWF College of Health, Dr. Kiehl is, “looking forward to working with the local healthcare community in strengthening interprofessional collaborative relationships, and ultimately improving health of the public.”

Ying “Mai” Kung DNP, MN, MPH, FNP-BC, AACN
FPI Fellow Florida State University
FL-AC Practice Regional Lead


Mai is passionate about influencing and shaping health policy. Her vision and mission are to advance the nursing profession and to remove practice barriers through nursing unity to improve healthcare access and quality.

Elizabeth LeFave DNP, ARNP, PNP-BC, AE-C
University of Florida: Division of Pediatric Allergy
Immunology and Rheumatology


Dr. Elizabeth LeFave is passionate about her work with children and about her career in nursing and wants nothing more than to help the advancement of her profession through education, leadership, mentorship and advocacy at all levels.

Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN
40 years of experience as an ICU nurse, case management, risk management, healthcare education and publications and most recently a cancer patient

After being diagnosed and successfully treated for a Central Nervous System Brain Tumor, Anne is using her personal experience to help members of the healthcare team to understand that in order to improve the healthcare system and reign in healthcare costs, we must work together as a team, respect each other’s expertise.

Joanne Masella EdD, MSN, RN
Palm Beach Atlantic University, Dean; Professor Nursing Board member and past president of the Florida League for Nursing
FONE Education Committee member
Board member Faith Community Nursing of the Palm Beaches and the Nursing Consortium of South Florida


Joanne has served over a 20 year period in various clinical and education positions. Dr. Masella’s expertise includes topics of caring philosophy in nursing, nursing student retention, and at-risk students in nursing education, with special interest in individualized teaching plans, learning groups, and student and peer mentoring.

Jan Mauck RN, CNOR
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Jan’s years of service in nursing began at Sarasota Memorial in 1975. Since then she has served in numerous leadership roles, most recently Chief Nursing Officer. She oversees a nursing organization of over 1,200 nurses and still makes time to work on increasing nursing education levels. Jan is retiring soon from her CNO position but will continue her work leading change in nursing education.

Paige McCraney DNP, ARNP
Associate Program Director NeuroInternational - Brain and Spinal
Cord Injury Rehabilitation, Lakeland


Paige was an exceptional educator and mentor to her students, she is known for being able to find the common human experiences in everyone’s lives. These experiences become our “stories” and allow us to connect with others. In this way we have an amazingly rich environment to foster healthy relationships and grow.

Anna McDaniel PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor, UF College of Nursing

In addition to her leadership as the Associate Vice-President for Academic-Practice Partnership at UFHealth Shands Hospital, Dean McDaniel serves as the Chair-elect of the Florida Association of Colleges of Nursing, as a reviewer for professional journals and scientific meetings, and as ad hoc member of NIH review panels in her areas of research expertise.

John McFadden PhD, CRNA
Dean and Professor, Nursing and Health Sciences
Barry University, Miami


Educated as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, John has more than 30 years of health care experience. He has served as a nurse manager and chief nursing officer, hospital and professional accreditation surveyor, and consultant. He serves on national boards and committees, and presents nationally and internationally on nursing, health care, and leadership topics.

Judith McFetridge-Durdle PhD, RN
Dean and Professor, College of Nursing
The Florida State University


Judith was appointed dean of the FSU College of Nursing in December 2013. Prior to accepting this position, she served as dean and professor at the Memorial University School of Nursing in Newfoundland, Canada. She has over 23 years of experience in nursing education at the undergraduate and graduate level. Her passion is research and the role of advanced practice nursing in improving cardiovascular outcomes.

Carol Neil PhD, RN
Professor of Nursing at Florida State College at Jacksonville
FL-AC Diversity Council Co-lead
FL-AC Steering Committee


The words Carol chose to share only begin to describe Carol… Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.

Carol’s nursing career has been dedicated to developing the next generation of nurses to lead in these ever changing times.

Cindy Parsons DNP, ARNP-BC, FAANP
Associate Professor at University of Tampa
FNPN Secretary, American Psychiatric Nurses Assoc. FL
Chapter BOD, Agency for Community Services BOD


Over the course of her career, Cindy has been actively involved in leadership roles with local, state and national nursing organizations. In 2009, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, in recognition for her contributions in education, practice and policy.

Nancy Redenius MSN, RN
Department Chair Health Science Education
Fort Myers Technical College
FL-AC Education Team Statewide Co-Lead
QUIN council


Nancy’s career as a nurse and educator has spanned several decades. She is using her experience to dedicate her time and energy to working with the Florida Action Coalition, leading our Education team in transforming nursing education.

Leslie Rogers PhD, MBA, BSN, RN
Director Med/Surg & Magnet Program Director at Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, FLFONE Board member, Chair FONE Research Committee, past FONE Director Region II, past President of SCONE, member FONE Strategic Planning Committee, QUIN Council member

As Magnet Program Director, Leslie wrote applications for 2 hospitals in FL who received Magnet Designation. She is truly committed to bringing excellence to nursing practice and positive, professional working environments for all nurses. Helping to shape the future of the nursing profession!

Claudia Roth BSN, MS
President at League of Women Voters of Volusia County

Claudia’s ability to look outside of nursing for opportunities enabled her to find community leaders to mentor her. She has been a strong community leader and advocate in her role as president of the LWVVC. She is an expert in advancing LWVVC public policy positions effectively at the state and local levels.

Marcella Rutherford PhD, MBA, MSN
Dean, College of Nursing, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellow (2013)


Marcella is working to enhance nurse leaders’ effectiveness in improving the United States health care system. She is an exceptional role model, educating new bachelor-level and practicing nurses in graduate degrees; preparing tomorrows nursing workforces to lead in healthcare. She is currently a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship of Executive Nurse Scholars.

Marlaine C. Smith PhD, AHN-BC, FAAN

Marlaine believes “nursing is a distinct discipline and that it is important to value and clearly articulate nursing’s unique perspective when working within interdisciplinary teams”.

Marlaine believes that love and caring are what matters most in this world. She feels it is her responsibility as a person and nurse to be loving and caring in her relationships, and these are the qualities that give nurse leaders a solid foundation.

Mary Lou Sole PhD, RN, CCNS, CNL, FAAN, FCCM
Dean of the University of Central Florida College of Nursing
Orlando Health Endowed Chair
UCF Pegasus Professor


Having role models brought Mary Lou an awareness and understanding of the importance of leadership. Practicing as a CNS first opened her up to leadership in critical care and her openness to taking on new opportunities eventually lead her to a position she had not realized she would love, Dean of UCF College of Nursing.

Sharon Surrency RN, BSN, MPH, FCN
Executive Community Health Nurse at State of Florida

Sharon has a gift of empowering people to fulfill their talents. One of the things she cherishes most is seeing citizens learn to make healthy choices.

Sharon’s advice for aspiring nurse leaders includes, seeking out opportunities and partnerships that may be in other disciplines so that nursing can be more global.

Guillermo Valdes-Manganelly DNP,MSN-HCS,BSN,RN-BC
Assistant Professor at Miami Dade College: Benjamin Leon School of Nursing, Medical Campus

Guillermo is an advocate for the rights and welfare of his colleagues: the nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals. He has a long list of distinguished honors including: the “March of Dimes Nurse of The Year” for Clinical and Academic Education for all of his contributions to professional nursing development, and one of “Great 100 Florida Nurses”.

Kathy Whitson MSN, RN
Mayo Clinic
Florida Board of Nursing
QUIN council


Kathy’s expertise as a clinical nurse educator commitment to the profession, and passion for leadership are important qualities needed to serve as a leader on a nursing board. Kathy was one of the FCN first board members and is currently Vice-chair of the Florida Board of Nursing.

Stan Whittaker ARNP
Calhoun Liberty Hospital, Bay Walk In Emergency Service ARNP
President of Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners
Panama City


Stan has a total of 40 years in the medical field of which 12 years were spent in Independent Practice in Bush, Alaska. Stan works long hours providing care to high need communities. His dedication and hard work extends beyond his patients to fighting for policies that provide the highest quality healthcare for all.

Linda Lacomb-Williams RN, BSN, MPH, LNC, CHES

Linda has enjoyed being a part of the Florida Action Coalition for several years, representing the Florida Public Health Association/Nursing Section. Helping to put into action the ideas developed on the Practice Action. Linda is committed to removing scope of practice barriers.

“Thanks to all my team members for all your hard work”.

Meryl Williamson MSN, CRNA
Lake County Anesthesia Associates
Central Florida Health Alliance


Meryl has 25 years of clinical service. Her collaboration with physicians and team members, willingness to go above and beyond, and positive attitude make her the kind of leader that will have a lasting impact on nursing.

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Special Recognition

In 2013 and 2015, the Florida Center for Nursing was awarded a Statewide Implementation Grant (SIP) from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, focusing on Promoting Nurse Leadership in the State of Florida.

Corner Office

Our Corner Office features in depth interviews with Florida’s exceptional nurse leaders. Their insight is key to understanding the dedication and wisdom it takes to become an influential community leader. These leaders have served in many volunteer roles which effect and influence health policy statewide. Please join us in recognizing their achievements and share yours with us as well so we can show the wealth of diversity and talent in Florida.

Past Corner Office Leaders

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