Karen Johnson, Ph.D., R.N.

Karen Johnson, Ph.D., R.N. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. She is a passionate advocate for vulnerable youth, public health nursing education, and the role of nurses in achieving health and social equity. Dr. Johnson’s long-term goal is to establish a statewide public health surveillance system for alternative high schools, making Texas one of the few states to monitor health-risk behaviors and school health policies among this vulnerable population. As a Nurse Faculty Scholar, she will modify two surveys that have been widely used nationwide in traditional schools for administration in alternative high schools in Central Texas.  These data will inform policies and interventions that can serve the needs of students in these settings. Dr. Johnson has a B.A. in Sociology from Colorado State University, a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Colorado Denver, and completed her Ph.D. in Nursing and a four-year pre-doctoral fellowship in adolescent health at the University of Minnesota. She has worked with vulnerable youth since her own adolescence, including as a sports camp counselor and a public health nurse working with young pregnant/parenting women. She currently serves on several committees in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.