Grandfather Inspired Nurse Practitioner Into Nursing, Patients Keep Her There

Tammy Johnson can pinpoint the exact time when she felt her first calling to nursing.

"At a very young age I was inspired to get into nursing," Johnson said.

Her grandfather had just experienced a cardiac arrest and she witnessed firsthand the impact nurses have on patients and families.

"From that point on I knew I wanted to be a nurse," she said.

She's stayed a nurse for more than two decades because she remains inspired each day, "talking to the families and seeing that I was able to help them, or see that a patient has gotten much better and been able to be discharged back home from things that I have done, orders that I have placed."

Sometimes, Johnson said, it's even rewarding just to know that as a nurse practitioner she has been there for families, listening to them and helping them in any way she can, medical care related or not.

In true Riverside Care Difference style, Johnson said, she feels the same way about her family as she does her patients and her fellow Riverside team members.

"I've worked here (at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital) for 21 years, so there's many of my co-workers that are near and dear to my heart," Johnson said. "I know their families and their children."

And she knows that they are all with Riverside chasing a common goal –to make a difference.

"For anyone that's considering the medical profession, I tell them it is well worth it," Johnson said. "I'm happy to wake up every morning and come to my job. I have a job that I love."