Registered Nurses (RNs)
National Winner - Jeanne Rorke, RN-C, NNP, MSN
(Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC)

Nominated by: Laura Folk, RN, M.Ed

"Despite her advanced degree and designation as a neonatal nurse practitioner, and in addition to her many leadership qualities and initiatives at Georgetown University Hospital, her first love is bedside nursing."

Jeanne Rorke is a truly amazing person. Throughout her time at Georgetown University Hospital, Jeanne has maintained the highest level of practice, assuming increasing responsibility including clinical educator and serving the function of a clinical specialist, both of which she performed concurrently with staff nurse duties. For several years (including 2003) she functioned in both roles, combining her love of research and use of evidence-based practice to restructure procedures and policies, revise teaching methods and distribute the latest information based on what “the research shows.” Despite her advanced degree and designation as a neonatal nurse practitioner, and in addition to her many leadership qualities and initiatives at Georgetown University Hospital, her first love is bedside nursing. She is the clinical expert in our NICU, while serving as a staff nurse. She has coordinated annual review of unit policies and procedures, encouraging junior nurses to expand their expertise and professional development by rewriting and reviewing the procedures.

Under her leadership, the NICU developed a nursing team to insert and manage Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter lines (PICC lines, also known as Percutaneous Central Venous Catheters (PCVCs) in our infant patients. The team not only inserts the lines, but also conducts daily evaluation of the status of the lines, pump pressures and dressing conditions, conducts dressing changes, and in-services the staff on optimal use of the PICC lines. Not content to have established procedures and trained the team, Jeanne continued to pursue methods of improving performance and reducing infection. She co-authored an article which was selected for a poster presentation at the 2003 Pediatric Academic Societies’ Annual Meeting in Seattle Washington. She also is the first author of the chapter “Percutaneous Central Venous Catheterization,” addressing PCVC insertion, which was published last year in The Atlas of Procedures in Neonatology, 3 rd. Most recently, she engineered an ongoing study to evaluate differences in infection rates between PICC lines which are left at full length and those which are cut to length at insertion.
But the PICC/PCVC arena is only a corner of Jeanne’s interesting and talented world. She has the ability to identify an area of concern, analyze the systems that lead to that concern, and work with the staff to have them identify a means to deal with it. She coordinates trials of new products with a view toward maximum safety, ease of use and cost-effectiveness, consistent with evidence-based practice.
Jeanne is the force behind the NICU QI committee. She has championed it and made it into a spectacular interdisciplinary committee, including physicians, nurses, respiratory and physical therapy, pharmacy, and when appropriate, any of the other disciplines that contribute to providing care to our patient population.
She is a Regional Advisor for the Advanced Practice Neonatal Forum Conferences.
She has also been the force behind the Georgetown University Hospital Department of Nursing Shared Governance Performance Improvement and Research Council, serving as its first Chair for a period of three years, and she highlights and celebrates the efforts of other nurse researchers in our organization throughout the hospital.
Jeanne is a terrific teacher and a nurturing mentor. She conducts in-services, teaches at the bedside, encourages others to maximize their talents and demonstrates the best of what should be expected from the clinical leadership community at Georgetown University Hospital. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was awarded the 2003 Georgetown University Hospital Nurse Performance Improvement/Research Award.
Beyond our world of Georgetown University Hospital, Jeanne serves on the Neonatal Quality Improvement Working Group, a Corporate QI initiative for MedStar, the system of healthcare facilities and services that includes Georgetown University Hospital.
Outside the greater Metropolitan Washington area, she serves as a Peer Reviewer for articles submitted to the journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Advances in Neonatal Care.
I believe that Jeanne Rorke is most deserving of recognition for her outstanding performance and service.