I’m Pat McClendon

Formerly a Nurse Leader in healthcare organizations.
Now a Nurse Leader with a mission:

Bringing Conversations About What Nurses Do
into Everyday Work Settings

Here we are in 2020.

Nurses’ presence with patients in their most vulnerable moments has never been so public.
Nursing’s contribution to humanity has never been so vivid.
Nursing is critical in saving lives and quality clinical outcomes,  but at the same time, nursing’s distinct disciplinary contributions — independent of medicine — is also critical to the health of humanity.
Up until now, I thought there was nothing that could change healthcare. Not so …
All of us will be forever changed by the impact of COVID-19 and social reckoning, especially the healthcare industry.
Nursing is uniquely positioned.

Nursing is at the fulcrum of the forces needed to humanize and strengthen public health and healthcare institutions.

Where nursing lands, how strong nurses stand
within their distinct discipline
depends on the clarity of each nurse leader voice.

This is the time to talk about nursing and embody what matters most to people—authentic human connections, care equity and inclusion of patient choice in living and dying.
Bringing conversations into everyday work settings about what nurses do makes nurses’ humanity and impact real within our medicalized healthcare system.
This is one giant step forward in leading nurses and healthcare.

This is what I learned as a nurse leader and write about in Getting Real About Caring


Is this you?

  • A new nurse leader ?
  • An experienced nurse leader seeking authentic ways to engage with nurses ?
  • A nurse leader wondering what nurses need and want ?

How I got here might help you

As a nurse leader in healthcare organizations for years, I thought helping nurses cultivate their authentic caring was out of reach.   I thought the only way to impact caring — especially authentic caring — was to roll out a comprehensive professional practice model, and do whatever education on caring and caring science the budget would allow.

And then something happened when I was a CNO.   I realized that if I wanted authentic caring to be more visible and active in my nursing organization, then I needed to put aside the pressures of staffing, budgets and time constraints and start talking about authentic caring.

I started by asking nurses about their deep caring experiences.  Right off, nurses’ responses grabbed me!  Nurses wanted to talk and explore their thoughts, feelings and experiences about their personal authentic caring practice.  And they made time to talk.  I knew I needed to keep going.  The more conversations I had—however momentary— the more nurses stopped, talked and shared , even when busy. 

I discovered that meaningful caring engagement conversations were doable in-between nurses’ patients and my meetings.  And these conversations had a positive impact on me and the nurses I worked with.  This was worth sharing.  So I wrote  Getting Real About Caring

How nurse leaders find their authentic leader selves takes many paths, yet there are few stories told.  In my book I share my story as a nurse, nurse leader, wife and mother.  It’s part memoir and part guide to authentic connections in life, and between nurse leaders and nurses.  It’s personal and instructional in how to lead authentic caring everyday in spite of the daily pressures of staffing, budgets and time constraints.

Healthcare realities for nurses:

For nurses,  authentic caring, paying attention to what matters most to people and involving patient choice in care is hard to sustain in our current work environments … for all the reasons we know too well. 
Nurses soldier on trying to capture these illusive authentic connections with patients while doing their nursing jobs …Until they can’t.

And yet … we know

I share my personal leadership journey in Getting Real About Caring.

Bringing conversations and listening
to how nurses thread humanity into what they do.
Conversations that are doable in everyday work settings.

  Click here to Order


Getting Real About Caring


Weekly Newsletter / blog  –

Addressing nursing’s distinct disciplinary contributions to patients, health care and society in this time of COVID-19, health inequities and social unrest.


My Biography 

I have been a nurse and leader from the bedside to a chief nursing officer, from community hospitals to corporate healthcare across four states.

My education: a BS in Anthropology and a BSN from the University of Oklahoma, an MSN in Nursing Administration from the University of San Diego, and a DNP, Doctorate In Nursing Practice, from the University of Colorado.

My husband and I grew up and met in Oklahoma, and have lived and worked in Ohio, Colorado and California.  Home now is in Temecula, California, just outside of San Diego. We have two grown daughters who also live in California.