The School of Nursing Alumni Association (NAA) is pleased to announce the selection of Patricia L. McFarland RN (’84), MS (’85), FAAN, as the 2017 recipient of the Jane Norbeck Distinguished Alumni Award. McFarland was presented with this special honor at the Nursing Gala Dinner on April 8, 2017, at the Fairmont Hotel. Awarded annually since 1984, the award was named in honor of Jane Norbeck in 2003. Norbeck was a graduate of both master’s and doctoral programs at UCSF and dean of the School of Nursing from 1989 to 1999. The award recognizes alumni who have made contributions to the nursing profession and/or health care and who have demonstrated continuous or sustained service and/or leadership that have contributed to the growth and development of the School.
McFarland is a vibrant mentor and nurse advocate, supporting many organizations whose missions include positioning nurse leaders to create and influence the future of health care and furthering research to optimize patient care. Currently, McFarland leads the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) as chief executive officer (serving in this capacity since 1995) and the California Nursing Students’ Association (CNSA) as administrative manager. Before joining ACNL, McFarland worked in both the clinical and administrative fields for Mercy Healthcare Sacramento, California.
An esteemed colleague, McFarland is renowned for her leadership and advocacy. Several faculty from the School worked with her as partners in the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes (CALNOC), where McFarland’s clinical nurse specialist and clinical leadership expertise has been integral since the CALNOC’s origins in 1996. In the CALNOC roles McFarland has held, she has used her expertise and true sense of partnership at each new challenge, and is in large part responsible for the growth of the organization to over 300 hospitals in the Western Region. She continues to support the CALNOC program and is a member of the board.
McFarland is a frequent presenter at local, state, and national meetings as a content expert and is an articulate representative of quality improvement. According to UCSF School of Nursing Clinical Professor Mary Foley PhD, RN, FAAN, and San Francisco Health Service System Executive Director Catherine Dodd PhD, RN, FAAN,
“We have both been members of the nurse support group that Pat has assembled to mentor student leaders, and we continue to be impressed by her passion for bringing the next generation of student into the profession with the right values and set of behaviors. As Pat role-models the best of nursing collaboration, respect, and cooperation, students and faculty are afforded the opportunity to learn from clinical, educational, and administrative leaders who are honored to be part of the student–professional network.”
McFarland is both a state and national leader in the Future of Nursing work in California. She has been a tireless advocate of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report and has been an active leader and committee member of the CA Action Coalition since the launch of the report in 2010. She has embraced the recommendations of the full report (practice, education, diversity, and leadership) but it is her passion, and creativity around mentorship in nursing that has been exceptional. McFarland launched a mentoring program in CA that is now a national model and continues to recruit cohorts of mentors and mentees.
American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) presented McFarland with the 2014 Mentor Award for her exemplary work in furthering the professional development of nurses in leadership roles. In a YouTube video posted by AONE from the event, McFarland called on viewers to commit to mentoring current and future nurse leaders. The School’s 2016-17 MEPN students most recently witnessed McFarland’s commitment to students through a rousing speech she delivered at the June 2016 White Coat Ceremony. McFarland is also the recipient of the 2004 Diane F. Cooper Lifetime Achievement Award from Nurse.com.
McFarland’s many achievements in nursing, leadership, mentorship, and impact on advocacy illustrate the personal qualities and professional achievements that are signified by this award. The School looks recognizes her during the UCSF Alumni Weekend events April 7 – 9. The School honored her distinction as the 2017 Jane Norbeck Distinguished Alumni Award at the April 8 Nursing Gala event. More on Alumni Weekend activities here.