Welcome !  I’m Pat McClendon

Helping Nurse Leaders Help Nurses — Find Fulfillment in Nursing

In How We Lead Authentic Caring in Our Organizations

I believe that until nurse leaders find their voice in  —  helping nurses gain fulfillment in their work in our current healthcare system — all the current confusion, frustration and aloneness that nurses and nurse leaders feel will continue to mount.

The lives of nurses and leaders are busy. It’s hard to see the pieces and steps that make caring connections and fulfillment happen.  

It’s in our deep authentic connections where nurses find meaning and fulfillment in caring.   These practices are hard to sustain in our current work environments. … For all the reasons we know too well.  We know that the nurse leaders’ role in leading authentic caring in organizations is not well defined. More on this. 

Yet, my experience is that most nurses soldier on trying to capture those illusive authentic connections with patients while doing their nursing jobs … Until they don’t.    We can’t expect nurses to do this alone.  We must create simple organic solutions that work for nurse leaders and support nurses or continue to lose them through disengagement, attrition, etc..

I believe  …  

Nurse leaders can help nurses find fulfillment in nursing in simple and doable ways by tapping into nurses existing caring capacity.        

It requires connecting with nurses around their feelings and beliefs about caring experiences and practice

It does not require a lot of nurse leader time & It does not require a lot of time to learn


What we know …  

If we don’t help nurses find fulfillment in nursing, we will continue in our current cycle of increasing …

  • Nurse Burnout, Caring Fatigue, Moral Distress
  • Nurse and Nurse Leader Job Dissatisfaction, Job Turnover, Attrition
  • Nurse Disengagement
  • Nurse Leader Despair, Feelings of Failure


From my own leadership experience, I accept …

… that the weight and elements of our organizational responsibilities are not going to change.   But I also know as a nurse leader, that what we think and talk about can change. 

It was my personal experiences and my career learnings that awakened me to the reality that how I live and work, what I focus on, and what I talk about impacts the lives of those around me everyday.

This reality is true for all leaders, and especially true for the 400,000 nurse leaders whose nurse followers are 3 million strong in the US.

I believe …   

  • We cannot expect nurses to successfully juggle rising clinical demands and authentically connect with patients routinely without leaders’ direct support
  • This direct support = routine, authentic connections in meaningful conversations … that help cultivate nurses’ self-awareness and reflections on their caring practices


Nurse leaders in organizations can help nurses realize the positive impact of their work by acknowledging and exploring individual nurse’s caring practices … in simple meaningful conversations—however momentary. 

First Solution:       Nurse leaders can learn to craft their own style of …

  • How to talk so nurses will hear you
  • How to listen so nurses will talk about meaning in their work and feel heard


Details coming soon in my book, 

GETTING REAL ABOUT CARING     What I Discovered As A Nurse Leader 


SAVING NURSES — a place to learn how to help nurses find fulfillment in the way you lead caring  … grounded in my leadership experiences and in Caring Science and Language

I’m Pat McClendon — a Nurse Leader, Caritas CoachSM, Speaker, Writer, Teacher    

——– Weekly Blog, Books, Courses, 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 May – Getting Real About Caring and Saving Nurses, – a memoir about my nurse leader career, and is endorsed by Jean Watson.

Watson’s Human Caring Theory and Caring Science have been my guide in cultivating my caring consciousness.  Jean Watson and the nursing faculty in the Caritas Coaching Education Program and CU’s College of Nursing helped me learn, know and understand caring in nursing.

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, Denver.

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 are each thriving in their life journeys.

image courtesy of Fredrick Suwandi @unsplash.com – water image
other images courtesy of istock.com