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Press Release for Wednesday, March 20, 2019

UNF School of Nursing Director Named ‘Advocate of the Year’

Media Contact: Amanda Dawson, PR Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192


Dr. Lillia Loriz, director of the School of Nursing Flagship Program at the University of North Florida, was selected as “Advocate of the Year” by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for her advocacy efforts and advancing academic nursing at the federal level.


Loriz, a Beaches resident, will meet with Florida legislators and be honored during the AACN’s Capitol Hill Day Reception Monday, March 25, in Washington D.C.


The AACN is recognizing Loriz for her steadfast advocacy for nursing students and the profession by being a State Grassroots Liaison, attending biannual Capitol Hill visits, encouraging her UNF students to participate in AACN’s Student Policy Summit and maintaining a strong rapport with federal legislators.


Loriz has been at UNF since 1996, where she began as an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing. She has served as director of the School of Nursing since 2003. She also volunteered for over 10 years as a nurse practitioner at UNF’s Student Health Services.


Under Loriz’s direction, the UNF School of Nursing was the first UNF program to receive a Flagship designation in 2005. This prestigious recognition demonstrates the significant impact the school has within the community and profession.


While at UNF, Loriz helped the nursing program to flourish by developing and implementing the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Leader tracks within the Master of Science in Nursing program, the Nurse Anesthetist program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program as well as the online RN-BSN.


She is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Nurses Association, Florida Nurses Association, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.  


She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Jacksonville Hispanic Leadership Award, Wharton Executive Leadership Fellow, Jacksonville Health Care Heroes Award, Great 100 Nurses in Florida Award and the Distinguished Director of the Year.


Loriz earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from George Mason University and her Master of Science in Nursing from Marymount University. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University.


The AACN proudly serves as the leading national voice on behalf of academic nursing and continues to advance health care and higher education through an academic nursing lens.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.