Deborah McManus, PhD, MSN, RN
Faculty | 8/28/2023

How Nurses Are the Backbone of Patient Care

By Jennifer Persons

Deborah McManus, PhD, MSN, RN, Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the School of Nursing

Deborah McManus, PhD, MSN, RN
Deborah McManus, PhD, MSN, RN, Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the School of Nursing

In Episode 7 of MCPHS Bicentennial Podcast, The Secret to Living to 200, Dr. Deborah McManus discusses how the nursing profession has evolved over the last several decades.

In the healthcare system, nurses are often at the bedside, experiencing everything their patients go through with them, both the good and the bad. That proximity allows nurses to gather information that could be critical to the patient’s care. 

Deborah McManus, PhD, MSN, RN, has been a nurse for more than four decades and is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Nursing at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). With expertise as both a practitioner and an educator, she prepares her students for the realities they will face in the field and how heavily the effectiveness of patient care relies on them. Dr. McManus is also passionate about her research into how mindfulness and daily spirituality practices may be the key to aging successfully. 

Listen to Episode 7 and every episode of The Secret to Living to 200 on our Bicentennial website or anywhere you get your podcasts.

3 Things to Know About Nursing:

1. Trust between a patient and their nurse is a necessity.

As the person most often at their bedside, nurses are responsible for advocating for their patients to other providers. Dr. McManus believes the first thing any nurse must do is build trust with their patients so they can receive honest, complete information from them about concerns regarding their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. 

2. About 30% of nurses could leave the profession due to burnout.

Many nurses are feeling burnt out in the aftermath of the pandemic. A recent survey found 30 percent of nurses are likely to leave their careers, and career satisfaction among nurses is down to 71 percent, nine points lower than it has been for the previous decade. Dr. McManus is honest with her students about the challenges of the profession and emphasizes the importance of self-care and “unplugging” to deal with the difficult realities nurses face. 

3. There are more opportunities for nurses now than ever before.

In the modern healthcare system, nurses have seemingly endless career opportunities. They can work in a variety of specialties and settings. They can become business owners and hold leadership positions depending on their level of education. Dr. McManus says this is an incredible time to be a nurse, though she still believes a successful career begins at the bedside, practicing both the skills and compassion required of nurses.