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ARN President’s Message—October 2020

ARN Is Your Voice Around the World 

Since its founding in 1976, the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) remains the only nursing specialty organization for rehabilitation registered nurses recognized by the American Nurses Association. I am so proud to be your 2020-2021 President! 

ARN members practice a rehabilitation nursing philosophy of care
Having been an ARN member since 1977, I can attest that our association truly believes that rehabilitation nursing is a philosophy of care, not a work setting or a phase of treatment. We base our practice on rehabilitative and restorative principles by:

  • managing complex medical issues
  • collaborating with other specialists
  • providing ongoing patient/caregiver education
  • setting goals for maximum independence
  • establishing plans of care to maintain optimal wellness.

The vision of ARN is "to transform health care by integrating rehabilitation nursing concepts into care for all people." To this end, our members form a community devoted to the advancement and promotion of rehabilitation nursing in every practice setting, including acute care, inpatient rehabilitation units, long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and academia.

We take a holistic approach to meeting patients' nursing, medical, vocational, educational, environmental, social, spiritual, and safety needs. We lead and coordinate restorative and community reintegration for populations across all age groups and ethnicities across the care continuum, from ambulatory care to hospice.

Rehabilitation nurses begin to provide care to individuals—as well as their families and caregivers—soon after the onset of a disabling injury or chronic illness. We continue to provide specialty care, patient and family education, and care transition planning that empowers these individuals to return home, to work, and/or to school. In collaboration with interdisciplinary teams, we provide and lead comprehensive, population-specific care management. We connect patients to the health care services, adaptive technology and equipment, and community resources they need.

Only ARN offers specialty certification for rehabilitation nurses.

Currently, more than 13,000 RNs hold the Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN®) certification. To keep up with the ever-changing needs of health care, ARN formed the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB) more than 30 years ago, and it continues to evaluate and improve the certification and its value.

Leaders of rehabilitation advocacy and standards setting

ARN supports efforts to ensure people with physical disabilities and chronic illness have access to comprehensive, quality care in whichever care setting is most appropriate for them. In keeping with ARN's strategic initiatives, the organization leads in the establishment of rehabilitation nursing standards as well as rehabilitation practice standards by collaborating with other nursing organizations and rehabilitation healthcare providers, and by advocating at the local and national levels to accomplish its goals.

Looking forward

ARN's visionary leadership reflects the diverse interests and needs of our members. We practice innovation in support of member needs and expectations. We uphold high ethical standards, lead with integrity, and are good stewards of the association's resources. We have a diverse community of members and celebrate their collective accomplishments and successes. We will continue to offer a variety of benefits so that each member has the necessary resources to network and develop professionally.

I know our organization is relevant, influential, and leading-edge, and will continue to grow stronger with more members. Our community of registered and advanced practice nurses and other interdisciplinary members who support rehabilitation nursing, share a commitment to grow the specialty, advance within their careers, and create opportunities to advance the vision of ARN!


ARN President, 2020-2021

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