Phyllis Polk Johnson is the CEO/Executive Director of the Mississippi Board of Nursing. She brings 40 years of experience in nursing and health care leadership to her role. Board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, she has held numerous clinical and managerial responsibilities. Located in Ridgeland, Mississippi, the Board of Nursing was recently selected by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of the 2021 “Best Places to Work in Mississippi.”
A native of Carthage, Mississippi, Phyllis attended South Leake High School in Walnut Grove, Mississippi where she graduated as Salutatorian of her class. She received her BSN (Cum Laude) and MSN degrees from the Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, Mississippi. Additional studies were completed at Jackson State University where she received her MS degree in Biology with an emphasis in Genetics and Molecular Biology. A lifelong learner, Phyllis is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice with a completion date of Spring 2022.
Phyllis is a member of several professional organizations, including the Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners, Mississippi Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the American Red Cross Mississippi Region Southwest Chapter. In July 2018, she was selected as one of the 50 Leading Business Women in the state of Mississippi by the Mississippi Business Journal. This culminated in her being selected as the 2019 Mississippi Business Journal Business Woman of the Year in February 2019. Appointed to the Governor’s Opioid and Heroin Drug Task Force in December 2016, Phyllis has been instrumental in developing rules and regulations at the Board pertaining to the prescribing practices of Advanced Practice Nurses. Other appointments include the Governor’s COVID-19 Advisory Board, the NCSBN National Licensure Compact Executive Committee, the Jackson State University COVID-19 Advisory Board, the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure’s Advisory Committee for Physician Assistants and the Advisory Committee for the Project Change Initiative of My Brother’s Keeper. In 2013, Phyllis retired from the United States Navy Reserves at the rank of Commander. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she is active in the Jackson Mississippi Alumnae Chapter.
Phyllis is known for her tireless work ethic and attributes her drive and desire to excel to her parents, Richard and Mary Polk. Married to Clinton Johnson, Jr., they are the parents of two sons and one daughter, William, Trey, and Katrina and the grandparents of eleven adoring grandchildren.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”