Welcome !  I’m Pat McClendon

What I Do –                     Help Nurse Leaders Help Nurses … Thrive in Nursing

What I Know –                Authentic Caring Connections Keep Nurses in Nursing

Authentic caring connections happen with patients, leaders, fellow nurses, and …. 

How I got here – My Story  

If you are like me, you think that being able to help nurses cultivate authentic caring is out of reach.  For years, I thought the only way to impact caring was to roll out a comprehensive professional practice model based in caring science.

And then something happened. I woke to the reality that the healthcare industry is not going to change anytime soon.  I realized that if I wanted authentic caring to be a more prominent part of my nursing organization, then I needed to start talking about it.

I started by talking with nurses.  The more conversations I hadhowever momentary the more I knew that I needed to keep talking.  Nurses responded in meaningful and refreshing ways that brought connection within and between us in the moment.

These conversations can create a new narrative of mutual authenticity and caring literacy in our daily work environments, and can open doors to the future.

We Work in a World Where …

Authentic caring practices are hard for nurses 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 don’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%)  
  • 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 selves—and less with their organizational selves— the less nurse leader despair and feelings of ‘never being enough’


Healthcare is not going to change.             But We Nurse Leaders Can.

    How?         Engage with Nurses in Conversations that Cultivate our Authentic Selves 

    Where It Starts …

What we talk about matters and impacts nurses.  This is a reality for the 400,000 nurse leaders whose nurse followers are 3 million strong in the US.

  • Authentic Caring requires cultivation. Nurses can’t do this alone.
  • Nurse leaders have a unique voice & position that can help nurses. 
  • How to help nurses cultivate their caring consciousness seems like a mystery… But there’s no mystery.
  • Authentic connections between nurse leaders and nurses  …  through momentary, routine conversations help cultivate caring consciousness for both.
  • It does not take a lot of time for nurse leaders to do or learn.   
  • These connections with nurses feel good – fill the soul – keep us going.

Authentic caring certainly exists today but not at the frequency or systemic level it could if it was seen as a realistic and active part of our work environments. 

If we nurse leaders want nurses to focus on self-caring and authentic caring connections, then we must focus on authentic caring connections with nurses.

Nurse leaders in organizations can help nurses acknowledge the positive impact of their work by giving voice and visibility to everyday authentic connections. 

How It Carries Forward … 

  • You will immediately feel resilience  (despite the relentless challenges of the job)  
  • You will meaningfully impact the Nurses around you 


Coming soon, 



What I Discovered About Authentic Caring As A Nurse Leader 

and One Step Forward




MAKING CARING REAL — a place to learn how to help nurses thrive in nursing   … grounded in my leadership experiences and in caring science and language

I’m Pat McClendon — a Nurse Leader, Author, Speaker, Caritas Coach 


——– Weekly Blog, Book, Public Speaking, Coaching ———


  My Biography 

I have been a nurse and leader from the bedside to a chief nursing officer.

I founded Making Caring Real in 2016.  I have a book coming out in the Spring – Getting Real About Caring – a memoir about my nurse leader career, … and is endorsed by Jean Watson and other nurse leaders.

Watson’s Human Caring Theory and caring science have been my guide in cultivating my caring consciousness and authentic leadership.  

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. We have lived and worked in Ohio, California and Colorado. Our home is now in Temecula, California, just outside of San Diego. We have two grown daughters who now live in California.