Sarah Johnson, Katherine Johnson, Paula Johnson, Natalie Hartman, Steve Johnson, (Kristen) Nicole Hartman
Sarah Johnson, Katherine Johnson, Paula Johnson, Natalie Hartman, Steve Johnson, (Kristen) Nicole Hartman

Throughout the city and state, many are voting early and others will vote on Election Day, Nov. 3. Not only is 2020’s election happening in the midst of a pandemic, but it also is historical as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.

Paula Johnson, a doctorate of nursing practice student, says it is important to pause and commemorate the milestone and think about the advancement of women. 

“It is truly amazing that all four of my daughters and I are in school at UofL in the year that we, as women, celebrate our progress in issues of equal rights, including our right to vote,” she said.

With two daughters pursuing engineering degrees, one step-daughter earning a business degree and one step-daughter following in Johnson’s footsteps to become a nurse, Johnson says she is extremely proud.

“You have to do what you love and make a career out of your naturally given talents,” she said. “There are lots of mountains to go over in school but I encourage the girls to remember they are going over them in order to do what they love.”

For Johnson, it is a passion for nursing, and a goal to teach the next generation.

She has been in the nursing profession for 30 years, including working as an advanced practice nurse for 23 years.

“After working so many years as a nurse practitioner, I have a lot to share and want to reflect that to students who don’t know what we have come from as a profession and where we are going – why we have to be evidence-based and perform at a very high level,” she said.

Johnson says she had a great opportunity to interact with medical students and residents, along with nursing students while working 14 years for UofL Pediatric Neurology before transitioning to Norton Medical Group – Child Neurology.

She is hopeful for her future, and can’t wait to see her daughters launch into their own careers upon graduation.

“I was always guiding my daughters – asking them what classes they liked in school and helping them figure out what they loved to do,” she said.

And, in the year of this historic centennial and progress of women’s rights, Johnson says she is reminded they can all strive toward what they dream of becoming.