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Meet Dr. Angela Prestia, Ph.D., ’14

Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Angela PrestiaA recent graduate, Dr. Angela Prestia earned her Ph.D. in Nursing in December 2014, an achievement that is one of the latest over a distinguished, nearly 40-year career. Since 2009, she has served as the Chief Nursing Officer of Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, a role she previously held at Jupiter Medical Center.

Dr. Prestia was born in Manhattan and moved to Garden City, Long Island at the age of 10. Then, five years later, her family moved to Pembroke Pines. When it was time to choose a career, she said, “My mother was a huge influence on me. She said, ‘Get an education and be able to support yourself.’ My father was also very supportive. At the time, I wanted to be a writer. My mother suggested I become a nurse because I was good at science.”

Dr. Prestia received her BSN degree at the University of West Florida in 1979 and went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Nursing at Vanderbilt University in 1985.

She is passionate and committed to advancing the profession of nursing by developing nurse leaders, helping them meet challenges and problem-solve to do what is in the best interest of the patient. In addition, she shares her knowledge as a new adjunct professor at FAU, having taught an online course on clinical informatics to 37 students as her first foray in to teaching in higher education, only a semester after completing her doctorate.

Outside of the office, she is an avid swimmer, loves to read and enjoys spending time outdoors. “People would be surprised to learn that I’ve ridden on the back of a motorcycle from South Florida to Pennsylvania,” she said. “I love being on the back of a motorcycle and seeing the countryside. It gives me time to think.”

While few nurse executives contribute to the nursing literature, Dr. Prestia is the author of five recent peer-reviewed publications on nursing leadership. “I’m excited to now have the opportunity to write and research, a lifelong interest of mine.”

Among other organizations, she is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives. The FAU National Alumni Association named her Distinguished Alumnus for 2015, and she also received the 2014 Rising Star Award from FAU’s Graduate College. She was part of the winning team for Tenet Corporation’s Circle of Excellence in both 2011 and 2012. She was also a nominee for Palm Healthcare Foundation’s 2012 Nursing Distinction Awards for the “Nursing Leadership” and “Extra Mile” categories. Under her leadership, the hospital has received several accreditations and accolades, including being named a comprehensive community based cancer center and chest pain center of excellence.

Both of Dr. Prestia’s children are FAU graduates, her son Richard in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and her daughter Chelsea in 2013 with her Master’s in Public Administration.