Meet Chrystal Young-Johnson
Children’s School Services Nurse Manager, School Health
Chrystal Young-Johnson is a Children’s School Services (CSS) nurse known for excellence and dedication to the students and communities we serve. Chrystal has embodied compassion, commitment and connection in her daily work for the last 29 years.
“School nurses touch children’s lives early on and can leave a lasting imprint for a lifetime. I entered school nursing to make a long-term difference in the lives of students,” says Chrystal.
A native from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Chrystal graduated from Bowie State University and majored in biology, a subject she excelled at in high school. Following college, Chrystal began her career as a neuroscience research assistant conducting seizure studies in mice and brain lesions in rats. Her career path would take a turn as she became close with her grandmother’s visiting nurse who suggested Chrystal would be ideal for nursing.
Chrystal went back to school, changed careers and stepped into the nursing profession with enthusiasm and purpose. She worked in various settings but spent most of her time as an emergency department nurse at the only hospital east of the Anacostia River. This experience allowed her to see up close the pervasive effects of the social determinants of health and was the beginning of her love for and commitment to serving marginalized communities that continues to this day. She had a young family, however, and needed more flexibility. So, Chrystal moved to school nursing and has never looked back.
Now with Children’s National Hospital for the last nine years, Chrystal is a nurse manager on our team of school nurses. The mission of CSS is to advance the health, well-being, academic success and life-long achievement of students in the District of Columbia. As a school nurse leader, Chrystal says her “passion, purpose and profession are perfectly aligned.”
During her time at Children’s National, she has worked to improve the collaboration between CSS and our hospital-based partners as well as to increase the visibility of the school nurse in the community. She explains exuberantly, “I am so proud of the work we did at Children’s School Services at the beginning of COVID-19. We were the front-line workers deployed to the Department of Health during the early days of the pandemic in the District. We were the very first to be on call, managed the call centers and became the early contact tracers.”
She was actively involved in the “Don’t Hesitate Vaccinate,” campaign of Children’s National to safely return students and teachers back to school for the 2021-2022 school year. Chrystal says of her experience, “We went out there and helped because we are nurses and love what we do.” She added, “School Nurses are game changers and throughout this pandemic have demonstrated our resilience…. We are #CSSstrong.”
Recently, Chrystal was featured in the Washington Informer (page 12) for being honored with the 2022 Woman of the Year award, by Prince George’s County’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Women in the NAACP (WIN) Committee, for her “unselfish commitment and devotion to the service of others,” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you, Chrystal, for demonstrating connection, compassion and commitment to everyone you serve!