Spending time with Dr. Margaret L. McClure

By: Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, Regional Nurse Executive, Nurse.com
Jan Lynch, RN

Jan Lynch, RN

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary at Nurse.com, we are speaking with nurses of excellence who have made significant contributions to the profession over the past 25 years. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Dr. Margaret L. McClure. She is a humble and amazing person who possesses grace and a warm sense of humor. Let me tell you a little about this wonderful nurse!

Dr. McClure is an adjunct professor at New York University. For almost 20 years, she was the chief nursing officer at New York University Medical Center, where she also served as the chief operating officer and hospital administrator.

She is currently 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, Dr. 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-nineties when lengths of stay began to drop, she established the first residency program for new graduates with the goal of assuring that these nurses would have carefully supervised clinical experience before taking positions in more independent community settings.

As a member of the College Deans and Directors group, she was involved in creating the 1985 legislative proposal and had the opportunity to work with other renowned nursing leaders and speak about nursing education throughout the country.

Dr. McClure was invited to join the American Academy of Nursing in 1976, and as chairperson of the academy’s taskforce, McClure coauthored the ground-breaking 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,” she said.

Dr. McClure credits the many mentors who influenced her in making 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. Certainly, it is important to say to others, ’Can you give me some help,’” she said. Dr. McClure also remembers her parents as great role models in her life.

Because of her remarkable contributions, she was named a living legend by the academy in 2007. She is a great nurse among us who continues to make remarkable contributions, and I am so grateful to Dr. McClure for all that she has done for us!

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