Johnson moved to Wichita last month after making her home in Florida since 1981. She worked in other parts of the country as a contract nurse during part of that time.

"That gave me a chance to see what part of the country I wanted to settle down in until I retire," Johnson, 56, said. "I just really wanted to be in the Midwest, and I wanted to be with a company that was very progressive and family-focused."

An Ohio native, Johnson graduated from the University of Kentucky with a nursing degree. She's currently working on a master's degree.

She worked in pediatrics before moving into neonatal care 18 years ago.

"I've always loved the little ones," she said. "They can't really tell you what's wrong. We have to have expert communication skills and be able to work with parents who are in the most stressful situation of their life, and help them get ready to take their babies home, and watch babies grow and get ready to go home and be part of a family."

At Via Christi, she'll lead a unit with 28 beds and about 65 employees.

"It's my responsibility to make sure the practice we have shows best nursing practices and has the best outcomes for the infants we take care of," she said.

Outside work, she enjoys photography, reading, movies and one hobby _ scuba diving _ she may find in short supply in Wichita.

"That'll give me a reason to visit Florida," she said.