My Scope of Practice: A Shining Star in Incontinence Care
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Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness— great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy. – Jim Rohn
Jeannine McCormick, RN, MSN, CRNP, is the 2010 recipient of The National Association For Continence’s (NAFC) premier Shining Star Award. Supported by the NAFC and funded by Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals, the award acknowledges contributions in research, education, and the advancement of clinical practice — in Jeannine’s case, 9 years of dedication to patients dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of urinary and fecal incontinence.
Jeannine earned her associate’s degree in nursing in 1992 from Wallace State University (Hanceville, AL). She started her nursing career in med-surg and 6 months later she was working 7 on/7 off in the hospital’s emergency department. She decided to pursue her bachelor’s in nursing degree at the University of Alabama (Huntsville, AL), doing most of her clinical hours on her “off” week. After completing her BSN, she worked at a regional medical center; in 2 years, she became an Assistant ED Director and the Education Director for the Department. She also was a part-time clinical instructor at WSCC’s nursing program.
Although teaching was fulfilling, Jeannine decided to further her education and pursue a master’s in nursing. “It was not long before I realized I wanted to get back to the bedside,” she says. “I obtained my degree in May 2000 to become a family nurse practitioner. I was not immediately sure what to do. One of the physicians I worked with suggested a company performing continence management in the nursing home setting. After one day of shadowing in the nursing home, I knew this was what I wanted to do.” Jeannine has been working with patients with incontinence since 2001. “I never dreamed I would be a pee and poo nurse, but I love it,” she says. “It is the second greatest job I have ever had — right after being a mother.”
Eventually, Jeannine was recruited by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Continence Clinic, located in the Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham, where she has worked for nearly 6 years. The clinic was founded in 1992 to evaluate and treat men and women with urinary and fecal incontinence and to conduct research to improve care for these patients. The clinic provides a multidisciplinary approach that includes nursing, behavioral medicine, geriatrics, urogynecology, colon and rectal surgery, urology, radiology, and gastroenterology. Treatment options range from behavioral therapy to the latest in robotic surgical procedures. Ongoing research protocols, as well as those that have been completed, are advancing the field. For Jeannine, this facility comprises the perfect combination of clinic, research, and teaching.
Jeannine’s job description and duties have evolved over the years. Advancing her education and gaining invaluable experience allow her to function as collaborator, educator, facilitator, patient advocate, researcher, clinician, and behavioral interventionist. Monday through Thursday, Jeannine devotes most of her time to patients. “Our staff consists of two physicians, myself, one medical technician, and a scheduler,” she says. “I handle all nurse calls for myself and the two physicians that have clinic a ½ day a week. I am the primary pessary fitter for our practice. I precept WOCN students, interns, residents, and fellows.