Five Florida Nurses Win FHCA Excellence in Nursing Awards


Five Florida Nurses Win FHCA Excellence in Nursing Awards

Five nurses who represent the very best in long term nursing care in Florida have been honored by the Florida Health Care Association as recipients of statewide 2014 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards. The awards, which recognize nursing administrators, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants, were presented at a luncheon in St. Pete Beach.

“Long term care facilities are all about people – the residents who rely on us for assistance, and the outstanding professionals who help make their lives better each and every day,” said Scott Allen, FHCA President. “The nurses we honor are leaders in their profession. We are proud to recognize them for the passion they show for maintaining the health and well-being of their residents, their dedication toward their fellow caregivers and their contributions to help their facilities strive toward continuous quality improvement.”

The nurses honored for their exemplary service are:

  • Nurse Administrator of the Year: Amor Rutherford, RN, Director of Nursing at Valencia Hills Health and Rehab in Lakeland, who is renowned for building a family atmosphere at the facility.
  • RN of the Year: Marlena Blaylock, RN, Unit Manager of Riverwood Center in Jacksonville, whose commitment to others ranges from caring for Alzheimer’s patients to serving as a member of the nation’s military.
  • LPN of the Year: Maggie Duval, LPN Unit Manager, Miracle Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Tallahassee and Kim Spurell, LPN sub-acute unit, Margate Health Care Center, both of whom earned reputations as outstanding, compassionate advocates for those in need.
  • CNA of the Year: Juanita Bryant, CNA, Miami Shores Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, whose hands-on and compassionate approach to delivering care is key to helping her facility focus on individualized care for each resident.

Recipients of the Excellence in Nursing Awards were nominated by FHCA member facilities and reflect the unique characteristics, professionalism and expanded skill sets of the long term care nurse. The annual awards recognize individuals for playing an important role in helping facilities achieve one or more of the four national Quality Initiatives: reducing hospital readmissions, decreasing the use of antipsychotic medications, reducing staff turnover and increasing customer satisfaction.


Celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2014, Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation that serves almost 1,000 members and represents more than 500 long term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living and other services to the frail elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development and financial stability of its members. As Florida’s first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about Florida Health Care Association, visit