2017 Tillman Scholar

Britt Johnson

University of Minnesota
MSN, Midwifery

“I want to engage in the lives of others, sharing my hard-earned lesson to strengthen their lives.”

When Britt entered into Navy ROTC in 1997, she couldn’t have guessed that four years later, a terrorist attack on American soil would define her role as a Surface Warfare Officer. Being forward deployed, her ship was one of the first to engage, and it was an exciting honor and privilege to defend her country. Yet beyond whatever benefit she offered, Britt discovered that serving her country and fellow sailors gave her a great sense of fulfillment. After a medical diagnosis cut her time in the military short, the deep camaraderie, unity, and sense of mission she shared with her fellow service members followed Britt into civilian life.

Pursuing her newfound interest in science and healthcare, she started a career in pharmaceutical sales. However, when her oldest son spent two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, Britt discovered her passion. There she observed nurses who possessed the expertise, empathy, and dedication to care for the most fragile, dependent human lives. In those short but emotional days, her dream took shape.

Britt is pursuing a Master of Nursing degree and feels called to work as a pediatric critical care nurse, a balance between thinking quickly under pressure and providing comfort and compassion to families suffering intense grief and stress. The military developed in Britt an attitude that encourages her to engage in the battle, and she will use this drive to invest in the lives of patients and their families at their time of greatest need.