6Central Nurses Honor Their “Mom”

Denise Richards May DAISY

Veteran night nurse receives May DAISY Award

Denise Gallagher, RN, a night nurse who has worked at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center for the past 17 years, has three children. But if you asked her colleagues on 6Central, they would tell you the 40-year veteran has far more than that.

“I’m known as the “mother” of the unit,” said Gallagher. “There are a lot of nurses on the night shift who are just out of school. I tell them their questions are not dumb. I’m good at recognizing people’s strengths and helping them grow.”

To recognize the wisdom and support Gallagher provides her fellow nurses, 21 colleagues nominated her for the DAISY Award, an international program rewarding the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care delivered by nurses, which she received during Nurses Week.

“Denise has made my transition to the floor a million times better,” said Danielle Tenaglia, RN, a new nurse to 6Central in her nomination letter. “Her kind words, support and “motherly qualities” make me feel very comfortable as a new nurse. Her experience and expertise as a charge nurse is very comforting.”

Gallagher began her nursing career in 1976 as a Navy nurse based in South Carolina. Lahey Hospital & Medical Center hired her on the spot as a night nurse 23 years later.

“Very often it’s just you and the patient at night, so there isn’t the same recognition from families that there is during the day,” said Gallagher. “It was wonderful that my coworkers nominated me. Our night crew is a tight knit group.”