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Since the pandemic, Dr. Charla Johnson ’87 has been creating instructive videos dressed as Florence Nightingale to inform the community on ways to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 while also trying to reduce anxiety and offer hope during times of uncertainty.

Johnson said that the videos were inspired by 2020 being the Year of the Nurse and May 12 being the 200-year-old birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. Nightingale used the environmental theory to help contain the spread of illness and disease, principles which are still followed today by using soap and water for handwashing, sunlight, proper ventilation, social distancing, and cohorting patients or isolation precautions.

She starts off the videos by saying, “Florence Johnson Nightingale here, the lady with a lamp and southern accent,” she continues in one of her videos, “A merry heart does the spirit good, a crushed spirit dries up the bones, and as an orthopedic nurse, I want those bones healthy.”

Johnson graduated from Our Lady School of Nursing and has practiced as a registered nurse, along with other roles for over 31 years within the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. She obtained her BSN from Loyola, MSN in Nursing Education from Southeastern Louisiana University and received her DNP in 2019 from Grand Canyon University.

Since 1991 she has been certified in Orthopaedics and has been an active member of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses. She has conducted IRB approved quantitative research studies, is a published author and has presented at NAON events on several occasions. She has served in roles such as Program Coordinator of the Orthopaedic Service Line, Director of Care Management, Manager of Community and Provider Education at Lake Ascension, System Director of Nursing Informatics for FMOLHS, and an instructor for the Orthopaedic Nurse Review Course. She has served on several boards and committees at the regional/national level, which is affiliated with the care of patients with musculoskeletal conditions such as the Orthopaedic Nurse Certification Board, Arthritis Foundation and Movement is Life.

She stated that her alma mater gave her the firm foundation of Franciscan ministries, to care for those most in need. “Using our gifts and talents to provide information, education, and inspiration is what we are called to do as part of care,” she concluded.

Johnson’s videos can be viewed here.

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