Faculty Focus: Denise Matus

DENISE MATUS

College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Denise Matus

Title: Immersive Simulation Facilitator

Years at GCU: I have started my second year here.

Academic degrees: ADN, BSN, MSN-Ed ... hopefully a Ph.D. someday.

Faculty scholarship (publications, scholarly presentations, fellowships, etc.): Arizona Simulation Network’s Fall Conference at GCU. 

Notable research in your field: I did obtain my CNE-Cl certification this year, which denotes me as an expert in clinical nursing education, which is fitting because immersive simulation is clinical. I am hoping to take my CHES exam next year; this exam is a certification that demonstrates your ability and commitment to simulation education standards and advancements.        

Notable employment in your field: I serve on two committees outside of GCU. I am a board member of the Arizona Nurses Association Education special interest group and am the membership chair for the Arizona Simulation Network.

What are you most passionate about in your field? When I first went into nursing education I had to adjust to a different way of filling my bucket. As a bedside nurse, I constantly received a great deal of personal satisfaction from comments like “you are my favorite nurse,” and “We love it when you are the nurse.” I even had two people who said they became nurses because of me, which is the greatest compliment a nurse can receive. I struggled when I was new in nursing education because you do not get that type of instant gratification.  However, I had to grow and readjust my mindset and realize that as an educator I am not just making an impact on the here and now but on the future of nursing. I am most passionate about seeing the students when they connect the dots, when you see that moment in their face that they understand … priceless. It is amazing as you see the students grow and transition in their role from student to professional nurse.

What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable? Students often say on my ECOS that I can make it interesting and fun. My humor is something that they remember. I have had students from years ago come back and say, “I still hear you when you said ..." or "I still remember when you did ...” I try to embrace innovative ways that make learning and difficult concepts fun.

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time? I kickbox four times a week -- hitting, kicking, punching and yelling are fantastic stress relief. My nickname at the kickboxing studio is The Beast because I can hit and kick so hard that I knock bags over and have been known scare people.

What is something interesting about you that most people don't know? I did drama and theater and have been approached by a couple of dinner theater groups wanting to  know if I would be interested in doing some plays. I would not mind doing this -- it helps me in simulation in character development. I do have a dream of attempting to do standup comedy someday.   

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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

(Job declared,) "Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." (Job 7:11)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/