Marcella Rutherford, PhD, MBA, RN

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  • 2013 Alumni
    Marcella Rutherford

Dean, College of Nursing

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Marcella M. Rutherford, Ph.D. is currently the founding Dean of the College of Nursing at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and oversaw the transition of the Nursing program to become the College of Nursing in January 2012. Under her leadership this college currently graduates a significant number of undergraduate and graduate nurses that help care for patients in all care settings within and beyond the local community.

Dr. Rutherford has an extensive nursing and finance background has informed her interest in research, including her knowledge of health care reimbursement policy and its impact on nursing and the healthcare industry. Dr. Rutherford’s manuscript publication topics have focused on healthcare economics, finance and policy with text book chapters on health care policy, the business of healthcare for nurse practitioners and entry-level nurses Manuscripts focus on nursing valuation; chronicling the value of the nurse. In addition, she has presented an historical research exemplar in a chapter for a qualitative research text. Her competencies inform her teaching focus that includes leadership, policy, finance and economics, with a goal of assuring that education in economics begins for nursing students at the bachelor level. Additionally, Dr. Rutherford is working on a national nursing leadership projects related to academic and service partnerships opportunities to enhance the nursing role in primary care environment sponsored by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. She chairs formal practice-service relationships with 2 large multi-hospital systems and one community hospital.  In addition, she is working on a national model for preparing the generic RN in the care of behavioral health across the care continuum She is the nursing director of State of Florida Funding for tobacco cessation, oversees HRSA funding for Nurse Educators and preparing new nurses for new roles in the changing health care delivery environment. 

Dr. Rutherford is the immediate past secretary of the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives, representing the deans of the accredited nursing programs in the state of Florida.  She was a Board member of Gilda’s Club in Broward County in 2013-2015 and a member of the NSU Ambassadors Club. She has recently elected to the South Florida Consortium Board. Dean Rutherford’s honors include being selected as 2012 March of Dimes Women of Distinction and her selection for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellowship 2013.

Professional nursing organization memberships include Sigma Theta Tau, National League of Nursing, Association of History of Nursing, , American Organization of Nurse Executives, Florida Organization of Nurse Executives, Florida Association of the Colleges of Nursing, the American Nursing Association and the Florida Nurse Association and College of Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing.  She has been the plenary speaker at many of these organizaitons.