2016 Hall of Fame Award
This prestigious award recognizes an individual’s lifelong commitment to the field of nursing
and its impact on the health and/or social history of the U.S.
Patricia Ruth Messmer, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
Florida Nurses Association
Dr. Patricia Messmer has led a remarkable career in nursing, and has
been an active and committed ANA member for more than 54 years.
Her dedication and knowledge of the nursing profession include her
work as a long-term advocate for excellence at the bedside.
Dr. Messmer is currently a consultant for nursing research and education
in the Benjamín León School of Nursing at Miami Dade College.
She serves as chair of the Nurses Charitable Trust, which supports
nursing scholarships and research. Since her early days as a staff
nurse at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, she has continued to
build on her career, taking on roles that have included clinical instructor,
nurse practitioner, assistant professor, director of nursing education
and research, director of nursing research, and Magnet project
director at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL.
Dr. Messmer also has made her mark in health care by publishing numerous
articles that include “Teaching infant CPR to mothers of cocaine-
exposed infants,” “Kangaroo care for neonates,” “CPR steps to
Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and “Enhancing nurse-physician collaboration
using simulation,” as well as collaborating with Ethiopian surgeons to co-author “Treatment
of sigmoid volvulus by deflation versus surgery.” Dr. Messmer received the 2010 ANA Jessie M.
Scott Award and in 2000 became the only nurse to receive the Smithsonian Computerworld Medal
for “Companion Phone Technology in the Emergency Department.” Dr. Messmer, a Sigma Theta Tau
International Virginia Henderson Fellow, is a consummate advocate who ensures that nurses’ voices
are heard, and a dedicated champion who has strengthened the nursing profession regionally,
nationally and internationally. She co-authored “Private Duty Nurse Undine Sams: Passion, Power
& Political Action” and donated Sams’ archival material to Florida International University and the
University of Miami, and donated Imogene King’s archives to Loyola University in Chicago and the
University of Virginia. At the same time, Dr. Messmer led an initiative to
fund a Veterans Affairs nurse collection for the Kansas Nurses Foundation.
A former American Nurses Foundation trustee and treasurer and
ANA-PAC trustee and secretary, she co-chairs the ANA-PAC Leadership
Society and is president of the Florida Nurses Foundation. She serves
as an advisor to the Philippine Nurses Association in Cebu, Philippines,
the Miami chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, and
the Haitian American Nurses Association.
Her innovative, highly relevant and international research is consistently
funded. She is a globally respected mentor to nurses and physicians,
helping them to achieve workable solutions in clinical practice.