Community nurses selected for UofL’s Florence Nightingale Awards


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Impacting patient lives, improving health outcomes, elevating the profession of nursing and inspiring others to consider nursing as a professional career are a few of the distinguishing characteristics of the six University of Louisville School of Nursing’s Florence Nightingale Award winners.

    “With more than 100 highly talented registered nurse nominees, our Planning Board members had very difficult selection decisions, as all our nominees represent various aspects of the qualities and talents of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing,” said Marcia Hern, EdD, CNS, RN, dean and professor, UofL School of Nursing.

    The six awardees are:

    Tina A. Clark, RN, BSN – Jefferson County, Ky.

    Recently celebrating her 50-year nursing class reunion, Tina A. Clark, RN, BSN, graduated with a Diploma in Nursing from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Lexington, Ky., where she began her nursing career in 1964. She later earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Spalding University in the 1980s. Working 48 years in the operating room at Norton Healthcare, she has one of the longest nursing employment histories there. In her free time, she travels to Kenya with a surgical team to provide care to the underserved. Tina and her career inspire others to define the true meaning of nursing.

    Vivianne Griffiths, MSN, APRN – Jefferson County, Ky.

    As a pioneer in the adult nurse practitioner (NP) role, Vivianne Griffiths, MSN, APRN, was the first NP at Hosparus, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness Tuberculosis Clinic and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Center. As an advocate for mentoring students into the profession, she also has improved health outcomes through health education and advocacy through the Harambee clinic, Kentucky African-Americans Against Cancer, KYANNA Black Nurses Association, and her church’s health and wellness ministries. She is known as a tireless, humble servant leader to her patients and to the profession.

    Carolyn E. McKee, RN, ASN – Clark County, Ind.

    Carolyn E. McKee, RN, ASN, started her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1970 and completed her Associate Degree of Nursing from Olney Central College in Olney, Illinois to become a Registered Nurse in 1985. Working at Clark Memorial Hospital, she follows patients through their entire surgical procedures in the bariatric program as the Lifestyle Weight Management Coordinator where she serves as motivational coach, educator, and exercise counselor to bariatric surgery patients and post mastectomy patients. Since 2005, Carolyn has been part of a Medical Mission Team that goes to Nicaragua each year to improve the lives of children and families who do not have access to health care. Carolyn’s work ethic references Florence Nightingale, “I attribute my success to this—I never gave or took any excuse.”

    Vickie Miracle, RN, MSN, EdD – Jefferson County, Ky.

    Over the past 39 years, Vickie Miracle, RN, MSN, EdD, has been a staff nurse, charge nurse, critical care clinical nurse specialist, researcher, editor of Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, and part-time nursing faculty lecturer at Bellarmine University. She earned a Diploma in Nursing from Norton Infirmary School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from University of Louisville, and Doctor of Education from Spalding University. Vickie, like every nurse, has worked holidays, weekends, and double shifts. Her devotion to patients and students is more than admirable.

    Justine A. O’Flynn, RN – Jefferson County, Ky.

    As a critical care nurse at Kosair Children’ s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Justine A. O’Flynn, RN, has cared for abused children, often witnessing suffering and death. She helped develop the “Never Shake a Baby” campaign and worked with pediatricians to educate parents on the dangers of shaking a baby. Working with a group that included physicians, other nurses, and statisticians, they developed the TEN-4 bruising pattern rule that specifies any bruising on the Torso, Ears or Neck (TEN-4) of a child four years and younger, or any bruising anywhere on a child 4 months and younger, can be a sign of abuse. This development has led to required continuing education for nurses, physicians and other health care providers who treat children in Kentucky.

    Al Saylor, RN, BSN – Fayette County, Ky.

    As a dedicated Manager of Care Coordination of a substance abuse unit at Saint Joseph East Hospital in Lexington, Ky., Al Saylor, RN, BSN, has developed new policies and mentored new nurses with his expertise as a certified Addiction Registered Nurse. His work in the area of substance abuse also led him to serve with a 12-member delegation that visited treatment facilities in Russia and Hungry. His positive attitude and constant reassurance built the foundation for the staff in a highly demanding department to excel in their new roles for the impact on their clients.

    Each of the six honorees will receive a $1,000 cash award and commemorative plaque, and all nominees will be recognized on November 6, 2014 at the inaugural University of Louisville School of Nursing Florence Nightingale Awards in Nursing at the Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Ave. The reception will begin at 5:30p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 6:45p.m. For information about individual tickets and table sponsorships visit

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.