School of Nursing

Oakland University announces winners of the 34th annual Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence

Nightingale Awards

icon of a calendarApril 5, 2022

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Oakland University announces winners of the 34th annual Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence
Nightingale Awards

Oakland University’s School of Nursing and its Board of Visitors have announced the 2022 Nightingale Award winners and runners-up. This year’s top nurses in Michigan come from a variety of clinical positions and settings and are recognized as exceptional in their areas of nursing. 

The invaluable role nurses play in health care has been made more apparent these past few years and the Oakland University School of Nursing is hosting this annual event during National Nurses Week to celebrate the professionals who improve people’s lives.

Thanks to generous support from Presenting Sponsor Ascension Michigan, along with other sponsors, individual donations and support from the School of Nursing Board of Visitors, The Nightingale Awards provides future nurses with scholarships, like the Nightingale Legacy Scholarship. This endowed scholarship is awarded annually to nursing students who display the pioneering spirit of Florence Nightingale.

“We take our mission of educating and helping to create top nurses in Michigan very seriously,” said OU School of Nursing Dean, Judy Didion. “Our goal is to create more nurses who emulate the spirit and tenacity of Florence Nightingale – innovative, passionate nurses who can change the world.”

The Nightingale Awards event will be on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in the Oakland Center Founders Ballrooms, on Oakland’s main campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Each of the 10 Nightingale Award winners will receive a check for $1,000, a solid bronze statue of Florence Nightingale and a Nightingale ceremonial pin. Runners-up receive a commemorative plaque. Nurses were nominated by their peers, supervisors, and patients in recognition of their superior nursing expertise.

For more information on the event, please contact Kate Lionas in OU School of Nursing at (248) 364-8723 or by email at or visit

2022 Nightingale Award Winners & Runners Up:

Excellence in Advanced Practice Nursing

Winner: Makenzie Thimm, Ascension Southeast Michigan East and West Regions
Runner-Up: Michelle Whalen, Michigan Medicine

OU School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni

Winner: Annmarie Switchulis, Accent Care Hospice
Runner-Up: Sara Schwartz, Ascension Providence Novi 

Excellence in Education

Winner: Olivia Keesee, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
Runner-Up: Mary Royse, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

Excellence in Research

Winner: Kechi Iheduru-Anderson, Central Michigan University, College of Health Professions
Runner-Up: Julie Kruse, Oakland University School of Nursing

Excellence in Nursing Leadership

Winner: Ashton Austin, Ascension Providence Southfield
Runner-Up: Levi Launder, Beaumont Hospital, Taylor

Executive Administration

Winner: Jan M. Doolittle, Michigan Medicine
Runner-Up: Renay Gagleard, St Joseph Mercy Oakland

Nursing in the Community

Winner: Madelyn L. Torakis, Henry Ford Hospital
Runner-Up: Mary MacKinnon, Oakland County Health Division

Post-Acute Care & Specialty Nursing

Winner: Karen Habte, Ascension Providence Southfield & Novi
Runner-Up: Amanda Burgon, DMC-Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan

Staff Nurse

Winner:  Isabelle Miller, University of Michigan Health System
Runner-Up:  Prisca Onwenu, Henry Ford West Bloomfield

People’s Choice Award

Winner: Amber Watson, Henry Ford Hospital-Detroit
Runner-Up: Kelley Ryan, DMC-Children’s Hospital of Michigan


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