Johnson, a nurse and nursing educator, created great steps forward in patient care and in working conditions for nurses. She graduated from the MGH Training School for Nurses and was its principal from 1920 to 1946. Johnson added a public health nurse and a supervisor of clinical instruction to the faculty. As Superintendent of Nurses she standardized ward equipment to ensure everyone had the tools they needed. Until Johnson’s leadership, nursing was in many ways a catch-all position. Johnson’s improvements and her plan to hire ward helpers, secretaries and other staff allowed nurses to focus on medicine.