Is This You?

As you all have noticed, building the Saving Nurses’ theme and message has taken me in different directions over the past year.

Landing on one theme in nursing —yes, just one— and building conversations and action plans around that theme has been my goal.

While taking a step back and looking at my own career in search of the core issue that is nearest to my heart, I’ve been listening to other nurse leaders.

We all just want to make a difference. Through all the strife and daily grind, we are all yearning to make a difference in our work.

And so, for clarification, my target audience is …

Nurse Leaders Who Want To Make A Difference.

Now the question to ask yourself is, Is This You? 

The next question for me is,  Which problem do we tackle?  To my surprise, that answer came with the publication of my article last week,  Authentic Caring: Rediscover the essence of nursing  (Nursing Management, October, 2017).   I had written this a year ago, and it was a ‘hot topic’ for me before I left my last CNO job, but I hadn’t thought of it as a central theme for Saving Nurses.

But as it turns out, one unifying question that haunts us is,  How DO we as leaders lead authentic caring in organizations?  I know I have dangled this question off and on before, but I wasn’t sure if it was hitting the target.  What I’ve been hearing now is that this is the target.

What’s great about this is that transforming caring in organizations is doable… I know that it sounds monstrous, but it is doable.  We leaders just need to get our heads wrapped around it.

You Can Be The Leader Who Leads Caring In Your Organization

This is where we go wrong:

We all come into our leadership roles with the desire to make a difference for patients and nurses, or else we wouldn’t have taken the leadership job!  Right?  Most of us are already caught up in the medical practice model of saving lives and EBP. That’s hard to escape and it is fundamental to nursing.   But then leadership development saddles us into the business model.  So now we’re trapped in two dominant models that are hard to wedge out of long enough to focus on the completely different mental model of authentic caring.

Do we wonder why we feel failure in leading caring in our organizations?

My long view of clinical nursing in healthcare has crystalized:  

Practicing clinical nursing essence is being the one focusing on Deep Caring in patients’ most vulnerable moments while Doing clinical nursing. 

And our job as nurse leaders is:

Leading nursing essence is being the one staying focused on Deep Caring virtually all the time while leading nursing and the organization.  

Yes, this is a heroizing (yes, this is a word!) concept.  First of all, it’s what I’m hearing from the leaders who are leading authentic caring in their organizations.  And let me just say that these are the most satisfied leaders I’ve ever met.

So there you have it….  

It’s wanting to make a difference so badly that it will involve learning how to stay focused of real caring virtually all the time. 

Is This You?

Know this,  achieving this level of ‘leading nursing essence’ is not as complicated as we have led ourselves to believe.  We got this!

image- courtesy of ccmill minouflet from

2 thoughts on “Is This You?

  1. Pat Crowe says:

    While rounding on patients last week, one widow shared she just realized how long it had been since she felt the touch from another; our CNA just finished with her bath. We have been sharing in huddle our “Caring Moments” … what behaviors we each will do, today, to show our patients we care. It really does make a difference. Our unit is focusing on “Empathy – Leading From the Heart” . Keep “Saving Nurses” Pat! We’re listening!

    1. pmcclendon says:

      You just made me weep.
      Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
      love, pat

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