Paper names Taylor Johnstone, R.N., one of Wyoming's Top Nurses
By Kristy May 9, 2021
I have been honored in watching her grow as a nurse and as a human being."
Congratulations to Taylor Johnstone, R.N., for being named one of Wyoming's Top Nurses by the Casper Star-Tribune.
In celebration of National Nurses Week, the newspaper selected 10 Wyoming nurses for the honor, and four of them work at Wyoming Medical Center.
Taylor is a registered nurse on our Neurology Unit, and she was nominated by a coworker.
“Taylor is a new nurse, and she is absolutely amazing. She always treats each one of her patients with the most kind and compassionate heart. I have been honored in watching her grow as a nurse and as a human being. She has a fire for learning and always puts her patient's best interests first,” reads Taylor’s nomination letter.
Read more about Taylor in the interview below.
How long have you worked at Banner Wyoming Medical Center?
This time around, I've only been here for a year. But I was a CNA on the Surgical Unit for two years before. Then, I went to get my nursing degree. I started working here again when I got my RN and I’ve been on the Neuro Unit for the whole time.
What got you interested in medicine?
Not a lot of people in my family are in health care. Most of them really work in customer service and are very people oriented. I've always just known I was supposed to be a nurse, even when I was a kid. I don't ever think I chose nursing, I think nursing chose me.
I always just wanted to help people. And then, when I was a student up here on Neuro, I just fell in love with it.
What about Neuro do you love?
First of all, it's the team. I know there were two other Neuro nurses chosen for the Top Nurse award as well. Working with people like them and all the people up here is just amazing. They really inspire this culture of growth. And my lovely boss, Miss Tamara, she supports all of us.
Second, I just love the brain. It's so interesting, and every day is so different. You learn more and more every time you take care of a patient. There's just so much to be learned. And then there’s so much you can do to help these people. It’s incredible to see a patient go through as something as serious as a stroke and then get better. People will come from the ICU to our floor with terrible deficits. You know, they can't move. They can’t speak. They're not themselves. Then, gradually as they're here and they go through the process, they just get better. Sometimes I literally see people walk off of my unit. Being a part of that is truly one of the greatest privileges of my life. Being there for somebody for their highs and their lows, and then just watching them get better and being a part of that, is the best thing ever.
What do you think makes you a good nurse?
Well, I think I'm really good at talking, first of all. That definitely helps being able to relate to patients and being able to talk to them like they're a person. Really, it’s really just learning how to take care of and how to manage different types of people. We're really fortunate in Casper to see all walks of life. Learning how to tailor your care for people of different cultures, backgrounds, religions, all of that, it's just so important.
So, your first nursing job was during a global pandemic. What has that been like?
It's been a crazy year. But I mean, there have been a lot of highs, a lot of wins. I've been learning so much, and I was fortunate enough to be cross trained on several different areas, especially for cardiac patients. It was a blessing, and I think I'm going to take a lot of what I learned into the future.
What qualities do you think good nurses possess?
Patience, for sure. Willingness to help. I think that's what makes our team special: Everybody wants to see everybody succeed. There's not one person up here that wouldn't be able to step in, in the middle of a crazy day.
I think, truly a good nurse is somebody who cares, who genuinely wants to be there for their patient and for their team members. You can teach how to think critically. You can teach how to take care of a certain set of patients. What you can’t teach is compassion.
What did you think when you heard that you had been named one of Wyoming’s Top Nurses by the Casper Star-Tribune?
My mind is blown. Honestly, I feel just incredibly honored to be even considered. I was watching the nominations on the website and on Facebook, and reading about all these people. I was thinking, if I was in the hospital, these are the nurses I would want taking care of me. Being on that same list, I was just like “holy cow.”
That must be like some good validation that you chose the right career, to get an honor like this in your first year.
Truly, it's just so humbling because this year has been wild. It's really nice to know that I'm making an impact on somebody. It's been nice to know I'm helping my team as much as they help me.
How do you feel about working at Banner Wyoming Medical Center?
Amazing. On this unit especially, we have the Epilepsy Center, we’re helping to further research to help people recover from strokes faster. I mean, wow. It’s incredible to be a part of it.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'm just thankful for the community and all the support they’ve given to nurses this year. I want to shout out the Healthcare Heroes group on Facebook that pulled the community together and helped nurses and frontline workers with food, snacks and other support. It was so so nice and so appreciated. There were days we just didn't even know how we were going to sit down, and then to know somebody took time out to think of us enough to get us food or snacks. It made a difference. It really did.