The Power and Pain of Nursing: Self-Care Practices to Protect and Replenish Compassion

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About the author

Beth Cavenaugh

Beth Cavenaugh, RN, BSN, CHPN, is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse. With over 25 years in internal medicine, short stay surgery, and both home and inpatient hospice, she understands firsthand that compassion in health care can be elusive. In collaboration with Dr. Dominic Vachon, an expert in the science of compassion, and MJ Murray Vachon, a counselor with over 40 thousand hours of experience, Beth helps nurses develop, strengthen, and maintain compassion in their career.​​​​​​​

Compassion, patient autonomy, and transparent communication are at the core of Beth’s care philosophy. Her first book, Some Light at the End: Your Bedside Guide for Peaceful Palliative and Hospice Care, provides personal stories, tender candor, and a touch of humor to help terminal patients understand the dying process.

Beth lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon, where they have (almost) successfully finished raising their three kids. She is also a reiki master, a four-mile hiker, and a resistant tea drinker. Learn more at