Focus on decision-making skills drives McClure to make impact on nursing




Margaret L. McClure, RN, EdD, FAAN, is an adjunct professor at New York University. For almost 20 years, she was the CNO at NYU Medical Center, where she also served as the chief operating officer and a hospital administrator.

She is involved in several national projects, most notably an effort designed to create a seamless educational path for new nurses entering the profession, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.

Early in her career, McClure recognized the importance of making administrative decisions that were right for patient care, and she said it has influenced everything she has accomplished.

For example, in the mid-1990s when lengths of stay began to drop, she established the first residency program for new graduates with the goal of ensuring these nurses would have concentrated and carefully supervised clinical experience before taking positions in more independent practice situations in the community.

McClure is an internationally distinguished nursing leader whose career reflects the tremendous impact she has had on the profession. As a member of a college deans and directors group, McClure was involved in creating the 1985 BSN for entry-into-practice proposal and had the opportunity to work with other renowned nursing leaders and speak about nursing education throughout the country.

She was invited to join the American Academy of Nursing in 1976, and as chairwoman of the academy’s task force, McClure co-authored the groundbreaking study, “Magnet Hospitals: Attraction and Retention of Professional Nurses.” She also served a three-year term on the Commission for Magnet Hospitals, which established Magnet standards and criteria.

“The Magnet hospital program has pushed us to develop evidence-based practices and nursing research, and like a rising tide, it has raised everyone’s practice and standards,” McClure said.

She credits the many mentors who influenced her in making some key professional decisions, such as pursuing patient care services, continuing with advanced degrees and getting involved in organization and policy work.

“With my colleagues and bosses, there was a mutual mentoring relationship, where we knew we could turn to one another for advice and knowledge,” said McClure, who also recalled her parents as great role models. “Certainly, it is important to say to others, ‘Can you give me some help?’”

She recognized the work of RWJF in helping the profession advance, along with the U.S. government for funding that allowed many nurses to pursue advanced degrees and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for giving nursing the opportunity to be in the forefront of healthcare.

McClure served as president of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. As AONE president, she was instrumental in establishing the organization as an independent group of the American Hospital Association. Because of her contributions, she was named a living legend by the AAN in 2007.

Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive.

Editor’s note: In recognition of the 25th anniversary of Nurse.com (Nursing Spectrum), the magazine will celebrate 25 key members of the New York/New Jersey nursing community. Throughout the year, these “pillars” in the nursing community will be recognized for their immense contributions to the profession.


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