Denise McNulty has applied her medical and teaching talents to establishing and accrediting nursing degree programs in two counties and educating hundreds of professionals each week.
A leader gives lessons
Denise McNulty takes a microphone and begins talking to an audience of 75 peers as if doing so is an everyday task. And for her it nearly is. As clinical education specialist for Lee Memorial Health System, on the day we visit McNulty is addressing an auditorium full of nurses. The topic: “When Your Patient Has a Meltdown.” She teases apart the differences between dementia and delirium and the types and possible causes of both. She draws on years as a director of nursing and in private practice to add doses of reality to the discussion. She’s a breeze as a speaker. “I’ve been public speaking my whole life – well, since I was 24,” says McNulty, 51. She founded the nursing program at Ave Maria University, and fittingly, spends most of her time teaching and training on the topic of leadership. Her style is firm but not strict and light but not frivolous. When two students laugh during her talk, she stops and smiles. “OK, do you two work together?” she says. Her delivery makes them comfortable enough to say yes, and coaxes them to share an experience that’s relevant and helpful. She empowers.