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Remembering and honoring longtime ANMC nursing leader, Julie McNulty, Ph.D.

April 15, 2016




It is with greatest sadness that we share the news of the passing of Dr. Julie McNulty, our friend and longtime ANMC nursing leader. Julie had been bravely battling cancer for the past 18 months. ANMC leadership joins many across the hospital and nursing community in mourning this great loss and in offering condolences and prayers to her husband Kirk, her daughter Jessica, and her friends and family. Julie dedicated more than 20 years of service to the Alaska Tribal Health System and was the driving force behind ANMC receiving Magnet designation in 2003.

Julie started working at ANMC in 1993 as Critical Care Nurse Educator, moving to Director of the Critical Care Unit, then serving as Nursing Director for Clinical Excellence. As director, Julie concentrated on nursing research; evidence-based practice; nursing quality; community partnerships; writing and managing grants; and more.

In June 2013, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science from Oregon Health and Science University. This achievement made her the first ANMC nurse to earn her Ph.D. while working full time at the hospital. She also reached her 20-year anniversary at ANMC in July 2013.

When interviewed for a story in 2013, Julie was asked what had kept her at ANMC for so long. She said she loves the people she works with, cares deeply about the people she serves, and is empowered by working at a Magnet-designated facility. She also said she felt connected to ANTHC’s vision that Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world, and understands the role that nurses play in making that vision a reality, commenting “When you improve nursing, you improve health care, and when you improve health care, you improve health.”

Having received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of New Hampshire and master’s degree in Nursing Science at UAA, McNulty began working on her Ph.D. in 2004. Her doctoral research compared the impact of cancer in rural and urban Alaskans and Oregonians.

Julie led ANMC’s Magnet efforts for 10 years until turning over the duties to Linda Oxley, ANMC Director of Professional Practice, in June 2012. Julie continued mentoring Oxley, the Magnet writing group as well as other nurses. She also contributed to ANMC’s Magnet redesignation efforts in 2014.

Julie was also a nursing leader outside of ANMC. She was the co-leader of the Alaska Nursing Action Coalition, which is responsible for carrying out recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report. She also served on the UAA School of Nursing Curriculum Committee. Julie was also active in the National Nurse Practice Network and the Western Institute of Nursing.

For the last couple years, Julie had been living in Phoenix, Arizona, working as an Assistant Professor for Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation since July 2015. She still worked for ANMC as a part-time employee, helping with our ongoing Magnet efforts.

Julie’s husband, Kirk, and her daughter, Jessica, are holding a celebration of life in Phoenix with a small group in the coming days. They are hoping to have a celebration of life for Julie here in Alaska sometime in June. We will provide more information as it is available.

ANTHC will have a team in Julie’s honor for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. The event is on May 20, which is Julie’s birthday. If you are interested in participating, visit: http://bit.ly/ANTHCrelayforlife.

We are all proud to have known and worked with Julie. We will miss her presence and leadership, and we will also miss her friendship.


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