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Rehabilitation Nurse

RN Diploma, ASN or BSN

Rehabilitation Nurses help patients with long-term physical disabilities, or chronic illnesses, deal with their limitations and reach their full potential. These nurses work with patients, and their family members, to create a recovery plan and set short and long-term goals—ultimately helping the patient achieve as independent a lifestyle as possible. As a Rehabilitation Nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to form lasting relationships with your patients.

Things You'll Do:

  • Show patients how to adapt to temporary, or permanent, disabilities
  • Prepare patients, and their families for rehabilitation challenges
  • Help patients return to their daily lives

Your job characteristics:

  • Multifaceted
  • Structured
  • Patient-facing
  • Independent

How You'll Get There
  • Get Your
    Nursing Diploma, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Taking courses in rehabilitation and getting an internship at a rehabilitation facility can give you the experience you’ll need to get an entry-level job as a Rehabilitation Nurse.
  • Pass Your
    National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
  • You’ll need to work as a Registered Nurse for at least two years in rehabilitation nursing, or have one year rehab nursing experience and one year of advanced study.
    More about becoming an RN ›
  • Get Your
    Rehabilitation nurse certification from the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB) through the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN)
  • Become a
    Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN)
  • Your certification will need to be renewed periodically (depending on where you work), so you stay up-to-date on the latest practice techniques and research.

More About this Specialty
  • Where You
    Can Work

    • Rehabilitation facilities
    • Home healthcare agencies
    • Long-term acute care or subacute care facilities

    find jobs
  • What Else You
    Can Expect

    • With additional education, you can work as a case manager, researcher, educator, nurse practitioner, or a clinical specialist.
    • You can also further specialize in areas like cardiac rehabilitation, where you’ll help heart attack victims recover.

  • Become an Advocate

    Attending events and getting involved with the Campaign for Nursing’s Future helps fight the nursing shortage.

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