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UAN Mourns Passing of President Cheryl L. Johnson, RN

Vice President Ann Converso, RN, to Serve as President

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The United American Nurses, AFL-CIO, today announced the death of President Cheryl L. Johnson, RN. Johnson was admitted to the University of Michigan Health System on Friday, Oct. 19, with a ruptured brain aneurysm and died early Sunday morning, Oct. 28, surrounded by her family and friends.

"Cheryl was a guiding force in the founding and creation of the UAN as the national union for staff nurses. The profession of nursing and the labor community are the poorer for her passing," said UAN Vice President Ann Converso, RN, who will serve out the remainder of Johnson's presidency until the March 2008 National Labor Assembly elections, in accordance with the UAN Constitution. "On a personal level, I will miss her wisdom, her passion for the hard work done by every staff nurse in this country, her incredible sense of humor and her friendship. We will carry on the legacy of her advocacy for staff nurses and our patients."

"We have been richly privileged to work with Cheryl," said UAN National Executive Director Susan Bianchi-Sand. "Cheryl was an original. We learned from her to take risks, to speak boldly for staff nurses, and not to be afraid of progress or change. Cheryl acted on the integrity of her beliefs and made other people strong as a result. Her voice and her values will never go away."

As a union leader, Johnson was a fierce advocate for staff nurses throughout her life while working full-time for 37 years as a critical care nurse at the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor, Mich. She has been the first and only president of the UAN, which was established in 1999.

In July 2001, Johnson guided the UAN to an historic affiliation with the AFL-CIO and soon was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, where she served as a national voice in the labor community for the interests of nurses. Johnson was one of a few women and the only RN serving on the council. Johnson also served on the AFL-CIO Executive Committee, the highest governing body of the Federation. In 2005, she was named a vice president for the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Johnson, 57, was a resident of Brighton, Mich., and also was recently re-elected as the president of the Michigan Nurses Association. She additionally held many state and local positions during her long union career. She is survived by her daughter, Nikki; son-in-law, Brett; grandson, Jack; and her fiance, Mitch.

Details of services and memorials are not yet known, but will be posted on as soon as they are available.

The United American Nurses, AFL-CIO, the collective bargaining affiliate of the American Nurses Association, is the nation's largest RN union, representing more than 100,000 nurses and including 27 state nurses associations or collective bargaining program affiliates.

SOURCE United American Nurses, AFL-CIO
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