Tessa Johnson, MSN, BSN, RN, and Executive Director at CountryHouse Residence for Memory Care in Dickinson, North Dakota, was recently honored with a Legendary Nurse Award presented by the North Dakota Center for Nursing.

The North Dakota Center for Nursing has given Legendary Nurse Awards since 2015. The program honors exemplary nurses across the state of North Dakota. With more than 20,000 nurses statewide, nurses form the backbone of the health care system and are a vital part of many different settings as reflected by each year’s award winners.

Johnson’s award category is in the area of Leadership. Recipients of this award have demonstrated exceptional leadership (either in a formal or informal role) in either their place of employment or in a non-profit or nursing organization. Johnson says, “I am so honored to have been chosen for this award. We have so many wonderful leaders in our nursing community in North Dakota, and I’m truly proud to be one of them. I feel strongly that good leadership is what gets our teams through difficult times. I am thrilled to be in a position to lead and advocate for the incredible nurses of North Dakota.”

In addition to directing CountryHouse, Johnson serves as President of the North Dakota Nurses Association and President of the ND Center for Nursing Board of Directors. She was a particularly vocal leader amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, granting media interviews to local entities and making appearances on several health-related podcasts as well as national outlets CNNMSNBC, NPR and more. Johnson has been vocal about the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to nurses and other healthcare workers, particularly those who work in long-term care. A passionate champion for her fellow nurses, Johnson frequently advocates on behalf of her peers to North Dakota state leaders and government officials. Additionally, she often presents to groups including students and families of those who live with dementia, providing expertise and education on a variety of topics.

The individual who submitted the nomination states that Johnson is an “outstanding spokesperson for our organization…she represented us in a powerful, caring, intelligent, down to earth and insightful manner and is a leader for nurses in the state.”

Johnson also spends time as a volunteer and community educator with the Alzheimer’s Association and serves on the board of directors for the House of Manna. She and her husband have two children and make their home in Dickinson.

Learn more about Tessa and CountryHouse in Dickinson, ND.