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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

Nursing Careers:
Acute Care / Transplant


Rachel Johnson, RN, BSN

  • BSN '12

What drew you to this career?

I was always fascinated by cardiology, so when the opportunity presented to work in heart transplant ICU, I went for it! In this role I developed skills to care for a variety of cardiac surgical patients and broadened my understanding of the transplant specialty.

How did you prepare for it?

My senior residency (capstone course) was split between Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit. I was eager to learn all about critical care nursing and took advantage of every learning opportunity. During job interviews I discussed these experiences and highlighted the things I learned that made me a good candidate to consider.

What do you like the most about this career?

I love how versatile a nursing career can be. There are so many opportunities in many specialties, but ultimately we're all saving lives and making a difference! Organ transplantation continues to be researched and developed. I am so fortunate to be a part of it.

What are the biggest challenges?

Working in critical care can be very emotionally draining and stressful, but also incredibly rewarding! Finding that balance and developing self-care coping strategies are crucial for success in any nursing position.

What advice would you have for a student interested in this field?

Look for opportunities to job shadow and network with people in the specialty you'd like to pursue. Internships and post-grad residencies are awesome learning opportunities and great ways to get your foot in the door.

Extra info about Rachel Johnson:

I have just recently accepted a nursing position as Transplant Care Coordinator! I am transitioning from the inpatient ICU to the outpatient Transplant center. I use my knowledge of the transplant population to monitor and manage care, including routine labs, immunosuppression, and phone triage, to assist in managing lifelong care and maximizing function and longevity of the organ.

Johnson staffed the Acute Care Booth at the 3/24/15 Online Alumni Mentoring event. Click here for more information.

Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson, RN, BSN
"I love how versatile a nursing career can be. There are so many opportunities in many specialties, but ultimately we are all saving lives and making a difference! Organ trans-plantation continues to be researched and developed. I am so fortunate to be part of it."

Johnson staffs acute care booth at online mentoring event


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