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'Stay True To Who You Are'

STANFORD (CBS SF) -- It's a core belief for Stanford Children's Health Chief Nursing Officer And VP of Patient Care Kelly Johnson, to achieve success in the workplace, you must enjoy your job.

"One of the things that I'm really proud of that we do at Stanford Children's Health is a focus on professional fulfillment and finding joy in work," she said. "To prevent burnout and really promote personal wellness. As a leader I have to role model that."

Balance is important to Johnson -- balance at work and balance in life.

"One of the things in role modeling that is taking vacations, not answering email on vacation, making sure that you are taking a break throughout the day," she said. "Walking around talking to people -- Just making sure that you stay true to who you are."

Johnson didn't grow up dreaming to be a nurse, but once she entered the profession, it became one of her core passions. Over the last 22 years, Johnson has worked in various roles within the health care field. A registered nurse caring for ill patients, an advanced practice nurse and then a leader of health care teams.

For 15 years, Johnson served as Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Craig Hospital -- a world-renowned, premier center for specialty rehabilitation and research for people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injury. She then joined the Stanford Children's Health in October 2015.

So when Kelly is asked about advice for those entering the field, it's not a surprise that her first word is passion.

"No. 1 find something you are going to be passionate about because you have to work a long time," she said. "Be thoughtful about your career and once you are in, you are all in. Keep learning, keep advancing, even if it's not advancing up the ladder. It's advancing your knowledge, your experience to stay engaged in what you are doing."

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