When I was about 4-years-old, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. My grandmother was a licensed practical nurse, and she had a significant influence on my career. I often flipped through her nursing textbooks and marveled over all the fascinating photos and medical images. And when I played with my dolls, I tried to mimic the actions I saw on those pages. I can still remember it so vividly.
Throughout my childhood and young adult life, I had a perception of what a nurse might be, but nothing compared to going to nursing school and living it for myself. I chose oncology nursing because I loved witnessing new, novel therapies translate to the bedside. But it was the patient connections that really grasped me.
To be in a role where I can be with patients and families as they overcome some of the most vulnerable moments of their life is unlike any other human interaction. It’s an extraordinary position to be in as a nurse. You develop relationships with patients that other nursing specialties just don’t see.
Now as the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Roswell Park, I strive to help my staff be the best that they can be every single day. It is an absolute joy to be a part of the great work occurring here and the future ahead of us.
Watch the video above to learn more about Shirley Johnson and her impressive career in oncology nursing.
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