I’m Pat McClendon
Formerly a Nurse Leader in healthcare organizations.
Now a Nurse Leader with a mission:
Nurses Humanize Healthcare
Talk About What Nurses Do
Why is this important?
Because nurses want (and need) to talk about their contributions
Because society needs nurses
Is this you?
- A new nurse leader, overwhelmed by job demands, and with no clear picture in how to personally and positively impact nurses and their authentic caring?
- An experienced nurse leader struggling to engage with nurses around authentic caring in everyday work settings in spite of the never-ending staffing, budget and time constraints?
- A nurse leader wondering what nurses need, want or if they have time for deep authentic connections with you or patients?
How I got here
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.
What I learned
Putting aside the pressures of staffing, budgets, and time constraints
for real conversations with nurses will keep you
grounded and whole as a nurse leader.
Healthcare realities for nurses:
For nurses, authentic caring is hard to sustain in our current work environments … for all the reasons we know too well.
Nurses soldier on trying to capture those illusive authentic connections with patients while doing their nursing jobs …Until they can’t.
Attrition is Rising
- Up to 40% of new nurses – 1-3 years – are thinking about leaving nursing
- And nurse managers are in even greater jeopardy to leave – up to 70%
- This is a reality for the 400,000 nurse leaders whose nurse followers are 3 million strong in the US.
And yet … we know
- The stronger a nurse’s capacity for authentic caring connections, the less burnout, caring fatigue, attrition
- The more nurse leaders are connected with their authentic caring leader selves the less nurse leader despair and the stronger and more fulfilled they are.
Healthcare Is Not Going To Be Changing Soon…
But We Nurse Leaders Can …
I share my personal leadership journey in Getting Real About Caring.
It’s part memoir and part guide to authentic connections in life,
and between nurse leaders and nurses.
It’s a practice that makes authentic caring leadership doable in everyday work settings.
Getting Real About Caring
Weekly Newsletter / blog – Touches on the contextual forces within healthcare that impact every nurse leader, and describes how to lead authentic caring in spite of it.
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.