Image of Steven Missaggia, RN, CDONA

A post-acute care leader who has presided over seven perfect deficiency-free health department surveys in 23 years has been awarded a top honor from the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long-Term Care.

Steven Missaggia, RN, CDONA, director of nursing at Palmetto Subacute Care Center, Miami, is NADONA’s 2021 National Nurse Leader of the Year.

The 62-year-old said that he found his passion for nursing while working on an inpatient psychiatric care team after pursuing an undergraduate degree in sociology and advanced psychology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. After receiving his nursing license, Missaggia began his career as a telemetry nurse. He has worked as a director of nursing since 1998. 

“I feel blessed each and every day because I truly love what I do,” Missagia said in a statement following the award announcement. “Nursing has been very good to me; all I’ve ever wanted to do was to be in the business of helping others.”

Missaggia said that the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have helped his team grow stronger. “[I]t allowed us to learn together, grow together and progress together; we are of one mind and one heart here at Palmetto Subacute,” he said.

“We are so proud of Steven,” said Monica Calonge, the care center’s administrator. “He gives his heart and soul to his patients and staff every single day; he makes the world a better place. Steven is incredibly deserving of this prestigious award.”

Missaggia accepted the award at the 2021 NADONA National Conference. His employer, Palmetto Subacute Care Center, is part of CareRite Centers, which has facilities in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Tennessee.