What I Know

I know that the healthcare system is a beast to work in.

I know that the tides are shifting in healthcare.


I know that nursing is in constant change, and has always been and will continue to be.

I know that nursing is confusing, full of competing demands that feel like conflicting demands.

I know that there are so many elements for a nurse to know that it’s hard to keep up.

I know that not keeping up is at first scary, then frustrating, then irritating, then demoralizing, then numbing.

I know that we don’t acknowledge this progression on a grand scale… on a scale worthy enough to generate grand scale dialogues and resolutions.

I know that there is a chasm between nursing education and organizations that leaves nurses themselves ‘holding the bag’, caught in severe reality shock.

I know that nursing inherently is involved in unique levels of risks and suffering that to balance them requires deep intellectual thought and inner awareness.

I know that too many nurses are not aware of and not prepared to handle this required balancing act.

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I know that patients get it.

I know that there is a chasm between all the robust organizational nursing development programs – that have elevated nursing’s professionalism and effectiveness – and caring consciousness programs.

I know that nursing leaders nationally and locally are off track with the sole focus on scripted, formulaic caring programs in the race to higher patient satisfaction scores.

I know that organizational programs cannot address the caring consciousness realm.

I know that success in the balancing act of nursing requires life long caring consciousness development by the individual nurse on personal levels.

I know that too many nurses think authentic caring is NOT a realistic possibility in their work settings.

I know that the pressures on frontline nurse leaders are heroing ( Urban dictionary- To single handedly charge into a group of enemies ….).


I know that this is a golden time for nursing. Societal changes are changing healthcare, and in the direction of nursing’s domain.

I know that the essence of nursing, CARING, is at risk,

and that nursing is at a crisis point or a tipping point.

I know that there are battles waging in and among nurses about work demands and working conditions. I also know that much of this energy that is fueling these battles is from confusion and conflict about caring expectations from within and out.

I know that there is a war waging about caring.


12 thoughts on “What I Know

  1. Teresa Meyer says:

    True words about issues that seem irrelevant to management.

    1. pmcclendon says:

      True words about issues that seem irrelevant to management.

      Yes, … it seems irrelevant to management, but many leaders are caught up in their own complexities and pressures of healthcare as well.
      For nurses, this is a time for each of us to define how we as individual nurses can get past these true words/statements and find our own strength.
      That’s where this connection is so helpful. Thank you for your connection here. pat

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    1. pmcclendon says:

      Welcome. There is a lot happening in nursing, full with possibilities, and we will connect to support our fellow nurses yearning to reach higher nursing.

  3. Elaine Dement says:

    I have been feeling this for years .. It’s so frightening .

    1. pmcclendon says:

      Elaine, Yes, it is frightening when the source of these feelings is unclear and unsaid. Our deeper selves can be released through awareness. And then we can breathe, work and care with more ease, which brings ongoing growth. This turmoil is worth it and we will benefit. Too much is at stake. Nurses and nursing deserves this. You deserve this. Thank you for your heartfelt comment. pat

  4. mo willis says:

    I need a Vulcan mind meld to unload all the frustrations in my brain. I hope to catch even a little bit of your optimism.

    1. pmcclendon says:

      Maureen, ahhh yes, come along with us (Vulcan style or not). The frustrations are real and the path to resolving can be real too. The mind meld comes first by not denying the frustrations. So you are on the right path. I promise that this mind meld path can help unload the frustrations and replace them with deeper connections with self and others. Thank you for starting this connection, pat

  5. Shari says:

    Pat, Thank you for caring about the Nursing profession!! I was cruelly forced out after 40 years by unproven allegations and the power of Human Resource departments these days. But I seriously loved the profession and revelled in the work. I will help anyway I can from the outside to support those of you still doing the work. Keep up the positivity and faith in the persistent possibility of change! (It is the kind constant here,huh?)

    1. pmcclendon says:

      What an inspiring message!! Thank you, pat

  6. Shari says:

    Gather EVERY tool that helps you. When I was a young nurse, working with critically ill newborns aT Stanford, I would dedicate a long run in the redwoods for every baby who died. I considered them akin to saints in that they touched so many lives, were innocent and suffered more than more adults I have ever read about. Also a practice that still helps me is to list everything that is bugging me, pulling my energy. Then I burned it or you can shred it with the words,” I release this energy to God, (angels, universe,whatever resonates with truth for you) to be returned to Earth as pure light and love” It is great to restore your energy to go back out.

    1. pmcclendon says:

      What a beautiful practice. I’m releasing right along with you. Thank you, pat

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