Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

Female nurse holding a tablet and talking with a male patient Female nurse holding a tablet and talking with a male patient

Nursing Concepts in Continence Care

An integrated approach to continence care

Move beyond healthcare and grow your knowledge

Program Overview


This course explores the subject of continence and incontinence from a nursing perspective. It may, however, also be valuable for other healthcare professionals. Please see the 'Who Should Take This Course?' section below for more information. 

Incontinence is a growing healthcare concern affecting the lives of millions of people worldwide. It carries an enormous stigma and is one of the most neglected areas in healthcare. Urinary and fecal incontinence are both manageable and often treatable. Frontline care providers in all care settings (community, acute, rehabilitation, geriatrics and long-term care) have an important role to play in the promotion of continence and prevention of incontinence. Understanding the contributing factors and how to eliminate or manage them to help enhance the quality of life for patients with fecal or urinary incontinence is a key focus of this course.

Nursing Concepts in Continence Care, offered by McMaster University Continuing Education in affiliation with the Faculty of Health Sciences (School of Nursing), is an introductory course designed for healthcare providers interested in better understanding and addressing the issues related to continence and incontinence in their care settings. This 4-unit academic course is spread out over two terms and runs from September 21 to March 31.


  • Earn 4 units of academic credit
  • Convenient online platform
  • Learn from experienced instructors
  • Connect with health professionals across various disciplines ​ 
  • Pre-screening is required to enrol​


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Integrate knowledge of bladder and bowel function into clinical reasoning and nursing judgments that inform and guide assessment and management related to bladder and bowel care.
  • Provide a holistic approach to the assessment of bladder and bowel incontinence.
  • Identify contribut​ing factors and appropriate nursing interventions.
  • ​​Gain in-depth knowledge of behavioural and educational interventions used in the management of incontinence.
  • Integrate nursing research (evidence-informed decision making) as the basis of practice where applicable. Provide rationale for nursing-specific interventions using scientific knowledge.
  • Understand the impact of incontinence on the client's well-being and quality of life.​


Who Should Take This Course?

This ​course is designed for licensed healthcare providers (e.g., RPN, LPN, RN, NP, PT, OT, SW) working in the community with an interest in making a difference in the way incontinence is addressed in their settings, such as:

  • Acute care
  • Geriatric
  • Rehabilitation
  • Long-term care

Prior to enrolling in the course, please contact Jennifer Skelly RN, PhD at to discuss your background and eligibility. Please include your resume and proof of registration with your professional licensing body.