By EVELYN ALLEN JOHNSON
Special to the Sentinel
Evelyn Allen Johnson, Nurse and Author was honored by Mt. St Mary’s University and it’s Department of Nursing on March 14, 2018. Following Evelyn’s teaching a class for Nurses, a beautiful luncheon with faculty and students present was held in her honor inside a campus historical home. Evelyn was indeed appreciative upon acceptance of the beautifully framed document, which expressed appreciation to her, “For her commitment and lifelong leadership and education of nurses”. Janet Wise, Mt. St. Mary’s Director of Nursing, presented the award. Evelyn, responded with an expression of her gratitude, and the joy she has encountered in her association with the University, it’s illustrious faculty, select students and it’s superior role in the delivery of high quality education to nursing students.
Evelyn Allen Johnson, Nurse and Author was honored by Mt. St. Mary’s University and it’s Department of Nursing at a special Luncheon held in her honor. She was presented an Award for ,“Her Commitment and Lifelong Leadership and Education of Nurses.” Pictured at the Luncheon are, lt to rt., Nurse Evelyn Allen Johnson, Honoree; Janet Wise, Director of Nursing at Mt. St. Mary’s University and Danise Lerher, Former Director of Ciinical Services at West Side Regional Center.
Evelyn was born and educated in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA., where she was refused a Nursing Education although she rated second highest among those students in her high school desirous of becoming Nurses. She was told that colored girls were not accepted for an education into the nursing profession. She later applied to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and was accepted into the former Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing, now Howard University School of Nursing. She is a R.N. Cum Laude having taken the National Licensing Boards with white students from George Washington and Georgetown Universities and scoring the second highest in the District of Columbia, as recorded in the Washington Post. She attended Catholic University of America and received a B.S.N. and P.H. N. from California State University at Los Angeles. She has vast Nursing experience in the practice of Nursing, Nursing Administration and Teaching. She was privileged to have served as a Surgical Operating Room Nurse with the eminent Dr. Charles Drew. He was the Physician-Surgeon-Scientist that developed the previously much sought after method of separating plasma from blood, preserving the plasma and setting up the first blood bank, thus saving millions of lives through out the world. She has worked extensively in hospitals through out the country including Strong Memorial Hospital at the University Of Rochester in N,Y. where she acted as Head Nurse in the Premature Nursery. In Washington D.C. she was employed as the first Colored Nurse at Garfield Memorial Hospital, an Acute white Hospital, thus breaking the barrier of segregation active at that time. She was later employed at George Washington University Hospital and served with Dr. Byron Blades, world renown Thoracic Surgeon, as a member of his surgical team.
After becoming a Board Certified, Professional Nurse, she returned home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With excellent credentials, she was unable to obtain employment , because, as she was told, colored nurses could not be hired there, even in the Veterans Administration. Evelyn then went to the Asheville Colored Hospital, in Asheville, N. C. where her Aunt and mentor, Mattie Bynum Arnold was both Director of Nursing and Hospital Administrator. She describes her Nursing experiences there as the most exciting, complicated and exhausting of her nursing Career.
Evelyn served as a U. S. Cadet Nurse while a Student and as a result she was required to render six months of service to either the armed forces or a special entity so specified. She had applied to serve in the Army, Navy or on an Indian Reservation, but none were accepting colored Nurses. She was therefore sent to the Veterans Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama, which was assigned to Colored Veterans.
In Los Angeles she has been employed as a Critical Care Nurse for Children’s and Cedars Sinai Hospitals, as a Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City School Nurse, Director of Nursing for Skilled Nursing Facilities, Director of Nursing at Good Samaritan Hospital, Nursing Supervisor for West Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente Hospital and Nurse Consultant for Westside and South Central Los Angeles Regional Centers for the Developmental Disabled.
Evelyn is an accomplished, Award Winning author. Her books, “PILLAR OF SALT’,’’ ‘’GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD,’’ ‘’ MY NEIGHBOR’S ISLAND’’ and “A NURSE’S NOTES”, which is soon to be released are available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, your favorite bookstore and all E-Books. She has authored numerous articles available on the Internet and You Tube. She is recipient of the Vassie D. Wright, Our Authors Study Club Award for “My Neighbor’s Island”, also rated Number 1 Hit on Amazon. She was named Phenomenal Woman by KJLHFM.
Evelyn and her deceased husband, Raymond L. Johnson, Sr.an Attorney and former Tuskegee Airman, Charles Drew University Professor, Judge Pro-tem for the County and Superior Courts, former Director of the Small Business Development Agency, NAACP Executive, founder of Lynray Press and a leader in many other Civic and National Organizations, were married 61 years. They raised three children, Raymond Johnson, Jr. , an attorney and current District Attorney Candidate in Birmingham, Alabama; Marjorie Johnson Warren, a physician and Robert Johnson a Dentist.
Evelyn stated, as she fulfills her duties as an actively employed nurse of 75 years, “This recognition, from such a prestigious University as Mt. St. Mary and it’s national acclaimed Nursing Department is indeed the highlight of my Nursing Career. Thank you, Mt St .Mary’s University and your Nursing Department for this most valued and cherished Honor.”