The American Nurses Foundation (Foundation) recently named Laurene Elauria Johnson, MSN, RN, CDP, of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, as the Honor A Nurse 2016 Nurse of the Year. The Foundation’s Honor A Nurse program acknowledges nurses who have made a difference in the lives of others while raising money for the Foundation.
The program enables colleagues, friends, family and others to honor and tell the story of a nurse or a group of nurses who has made a positive difference in nursing locally or globally. The funds raised by the Honor A Nurse program are used to support nursing research, scholarships and programs to improve nurses’ lives and the nursing profession. Nurses who have been nominated qualify for the Nurse of the Year award.
“We had hundreds of deserving nurses honored through this program last year. However, the Laurene Elauria Johnson tribute spoke precisely to the purpose and intent of Honoring A Nurse,” said American Nurses Foundation Chair Tim Porter-O’Grady, DM, EdD, ScD (h), APRN, FAAN, FACCWS. “We are thrilled to recognize her dedication to nursing and inspirational leadership.”
Maria Grier, a lead health tech who worked with Johnson, chose to honor her because of her loyalty and unending compassion for her patients, employer, and co-workers. Johnson and Grier worked together at the Domiciliary Care Program at the VA.
Johnson grew up in the Philippines and always dreamed of becoming a nurse. After moving to the United States in 1981, she found work as a nursing assistant in a nursing home, and went on to obtain her LPN, RN, and MSN degrees. In 1993, she started working at the VA. Johnson considers it her responsibility to give back to veterans because of all they have sacrificed for our country’s freedom.
Johnson’s giving nature does not end with her patients; she also looks after the future of nursing. As a believer in the power of education, Johnson provides for her niece in the Philippines and is serving as a benefactor of her niece’s nursing BSN education.
“The Honor A Nurse program is a great way for colleagues and patients to acknowledge and highlight the difference an individual nurse made in their lives. And we know recognition itself inspires excellence in nursing,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director Kate Judge. “This unique program makes recognition possible and we are excited to see how Honor A Nurse will continue to develop and expand in future years.”

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