2016 News Releases

Texas Nurses Association honors TWU’s Olinda Johnson

Whether developing hospital policies for managing the Zika virus, teaching clinicals at Texas Woman’s University’s Houston Center or leading perinatal health research, Assistant Clinical Professor Olinda Johnson has been dedicated to the practice and teaching of nursing for more than 35 years.

On Nov. 10, the Texas Nurses Association, District 9, will honor Johnson as one of 20 Outstanding Nurses at its 26th annual Nursing Celebration. The award honors exceptional registered nurses in the Houston/Galveston area.

“I’ve been a member of Texas Nurses Association for over 20 years and I’ve attended all the awards ceremonies,” Johnson said. “To finally be recognized by my peers and be instated into what I consider the hall of fame is such an honor.”

Professors Sandra Cesario and Ann Malecha, along with Ainslie Nibert, associate dean of the TWU College of Nursing’s Houston Center, nominated Johnson. Nominations were judged on the following: expertise in professional practice, service as a professional role model, contributions to the quality of health care and commitment to the profession of nursing.

“It is an honor to work with Olinda, a dedicated professional and a powerful role model for our TWU students,” Cesario said. “Her teaching and mentoring have positively impacted the lives of countless individuals and contributed to their success in life and the profession.”

At TWU, Johnson teaches undergraduate courses in clinical concepts and women’s health. Johnson says she loves lecturing, and she works to increase student interaction by incorporating game show quiz formats and allowing a few students to lecture each week.  

Her classes have volunteered with community organizations addressing perinatal HIV, children at risk/postpartum depression and diabetes.

“Dr. Johnson is an exemplary educator,” said Malecha. “Every year the students comment that Dr. Johnson has been one of the most influential nursing faculty members during their time at TWU.”

Though Johnson retired from the Harris Health System after 33 years as a clinical specialist in 2010, she continues to work as a registered nurse – level IV at the Houston Methodist Hospital. She is in charge of unit responsibilities and procedures.

Most recently, she developed a system-wide policy for managing the Zika virus. Guidelines address preparations for the cold and flu season and education of nurses.

“My teaching comes from clinical experience,” Johnson said. “I retired from bedside, but I didn’t retire what was in me. I wanted to share with students where expectations are high. I wanted African-American students and other students to see the diversity and acceptance at the TWU College of Nursing.”

In addition to the Outstanding Nurse Award, Johnson was nominated for the National Black Nurses Association’s Educator of the Year Award in 2015 and received the Good Samaritan Foundation’s Gold Award for Clinical Practice in a Large Hospital in 2009. In 2001, the TWU College of Nursing recognized her as one of the Top 100 Alumni.

“Her heart for serving others is evident in every volunteer effort that she undertakes, and she rarely turns down an opportunity to serve others in her community, particularly those in the underserved populations within the greater Houston area,” Nibert said.

Johnson is a member of the American Nurses Association; the American Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing; the Fort Bend County Black Nurses Association; the National Black Nurses Association; and the Southern Nursing Research Society. She is also president of the Houston Area Collaborative Perinatal Program.

She has lectured across the nation and published research on clinical outcomes of bereavement intervention for women experiencing pregnancy loss in Critical Care Nursing Quarterly and Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing. 

Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Nursing Science (2009), a Master of Science in Nursing Education (1991) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1980) from TWU.



About Texas Woman’s University Institute of Health Sciences – Houston Center

TWU Institute of Health Sciences – Houston Center is located in the heart of the largest medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center, and offers undergraduate nursing degrees and advanced degrees in several health science programs. TWU Houston is one of three campuses of Texas Woman’s University. TWU is the largest public university in the nation primarily for women and has an enrollment of approximately 16,000 students on campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Since its founding in 1901, TWU has produced more than 100,000 graduates in fields vital to the growth and quality of life in Texas and the nation, including nursing, health care, education and business.

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Page last updated 4:27 PM, January 10, 2020