Teaching Patients How to Manage a Chronic Condition

 Sixty percent of American adults live with at least one chronic condition, according to a Rand study. These conditions range from diabetes and asthma to arthritis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and more—and they require daily management.

We sat down with Crystal Saulsberry, MSN, Assistant Academic Chair for Nebraska in the School of Nursing at Purdue University Global, to discuss how rehabilitation nurses can teach patients how to manage a chronic condition.

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Highlights from the March/April Issue of RNJ

If you are an ARN member or a Rehabilitation Nursing Journal (RNJ) subscriber, you should have received your March/April 2020 issue in the mail. Check out a preview of three great articles that will be gracing the pages of this issue, or visit the journal online to read the full issue. 

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8 Ways to Help Patients With Acute or Chronic Disabling Conditions

 One in four American adults is living with a disability that affects their major life activities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Rehabilitation nurses play a vital role in helping these people live happier, healthier lives.

We sat down with Lisa Riecke, MSN, faculty member in the School of Nursing at Purdue University Global, to discuss how acute care nurses can make a difference in their patients' lives.

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RNCB to Offer Digital Badges to CRRNs

The Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB) is pleased to announce an exciting new feature for CRRN certification—digital badges. Digital badges allow CRRNs to immediately display a secure and verifiable digital badge on social networks, resumes, email signatures, and websites. It will also allow CRRNs to more easily share their certified status with employers.

In today's digital world, professionals want the option to share their credentials online. Digital badges are used in professional and social networking environments to recognize achievements and establish credibility in real time with a single click.

The digital badges—supported by BadgeCert Inc.—are third-party verifiable icons that are packed with information, or "metadata," about the issuing organization as well as when and how the credential was earned and when it will expire. They can represent accomplishments such as knowledge competency, attendance, participation, or the completion of a professional credential.

Learn more about digital badges, including how to share your badge on social, on our "What is Digital Badging?" page.

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ARN Deadlines Extended

In light of the unprecedented public health challenge, ARN has extended deadlines for conference abstract submissions and applications to become a fellow of ARN, as well as waived the late fee for upcoming CRRN renewals.

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Apply for a Scholarship

Do you want to advance your professional development and practice? ARN offers financial assistance scholarships to member nurses who are interested in advancing their education.

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Know an Outstanding Rehab Nurse?

Do you have an exceptional peer who goes above and beyond to advance the practice of rehabilitation nursing and enhance the care of rehabilitation patients? Recognize a rehabilitation nurse by nominating them for an ARN Role Award!

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RNJ Corner: Peer Reviewer and Authors

Peer review is the foundation of publication in scholarly journals. The quality of an article is only strengthened through a rigorous double-blind peer-review process. Double-blind peer review means the reviewers don't know who the authors are, and the authors do not know who the reviewers are. The editor is the only one who knows both the author(s) and the reviewers. Rehabilitation Nursing Journal (RNJ) reviewers number close to 100 and are most likely to be Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) members. In addition there are a fair number of reviewers who are not ARN members who are experts in their fields and volunteer their time to RNJ.

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ARN Annual Conference Call for Abstracts

The 2020 ARN Annual Conference, REACH, will take place October 21–24 in San Antonio, TX. We are accepting abstracts for papers, case studies, and posters, reflective of quality improvement, evidence-based practice, research, education, leadership, and/or program evaluation until May 1 (new, extended deadline).

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5 Top Rehab Nursing Articles in RNJ Right Now

Have you been reading the Rehabilitation Nursing Journal? If not, pick up your copy today to get up-to-date on the industry insights and dynamic data that is influencing the practice of rehabilitation nursing today! ARN Members receive a free subscription.

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ARN’s President’s Message—February 2020

I can't believe it's February already and the groundhog didn't see his shadow, so spring is right around the corner. We've been very busy at ARN!

ARN's 2020 Conference is in the Works

The Conference Planning Committee is well underway developing an exciting and engaging annual conference program for REACH 2020. We hope to include content that many of you have suggested on your past conference evaluations. If you'd like to be a part of the education, please consider submitting an abstract to present a paper, poster, or case study in San Antonio this coming October. The REACH call for abstracts is now open. You are all doing fantastic work in your rehab settings, and presenting at REACH is a great way to showcase your innovative work.

Strategic Planning

Last month, the board, a few members-at-large, and ARN staff met to engage in an energetic and forward-looking strategic planning session led by a nationally renowned consultant, Mary Byers. We participated in 2 days of discussion, exploration, and visioning for our future. We hope to have the final version of the plan available later in the spring and are excited about our opportunities on the horizon. More to follow!

Leadership Development

We are also re-energizing the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, led this year by our past-president extraordinaire, Michele Cournan. We are striving to implement leadership development for those elected and create a leadership pathway for those interested in getting more involved with ARN. If you are looking to get more involved with ARN, keep an eye out for the annual call for nominations and volunteer opportunities later this year. Our current committees are underway. With the new strategic plan, new committees or volunteer opportunities may arise. We want to ensure we utilize our best resources–you, our members, to reach our goals.

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Gain Recognition for Your Hard Work—Become a Fellow of ARN

ARN is excited to invite submissions to the 2020 Fellow Designation program—the most distinguished level of membership and a public hallmark of professional esteem!

This honor can be achieved by nurses who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in rehabilitation nursing, provided notable contributions, have notable service to ARN, and demonstrated commitment to the specialty of rehabilitation nursing.

Applications are being accepted February 1 through July 1, 2020 (new, extended deadline). The 2020 FARN class will be honored at the ARN REACH Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX, October 21–23.

Learn more about the qualifications for Fellow status and apply.
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Preview the Revised Methodology for Rehabilitation Hospital Ranking

A recent U.S. News & World Report's Second Opinion blog post has provided an update about key changes introduced in this year's upcoming Best Hospitals for Rehabilitation rankings, in which they plan to debut objective quality measurement of rehabilitation. This post previews the methodology for the rankings that will be published July 28, 2020.

U.S. News and its data contractor, RTI International, invite feedback from hospitals, professional associations, and other stakeholders. As noted in the blog post, stakeholders are welcome to submit comments or recommendations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 10, 2020. While they may not be able to provide detailed responses, RTI will acknowledge and carefully review with U.S. News all feedback received.

The final methodology and embargoed rankings will be disseminated to hospitals via the U.S. News Dashboard on July 9, 3 weeks before publication of the 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings on usnews.com. U.S. News & World Report will also share the final methodology via email with key rehabilitation associations at that time. 

Read the full blog post on the U.S. News website.

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Enhancing Rehabilitation Nursing Alongside ARN

Encompass Health recently announced a new membership with the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN), and I couldn't be more excited about the opportunities this will bring to our nurses. Not only does it allow us to provide ARN membership to individual nurses at each of our hospitals across the country, as well as attendance to the 2020 REACH conference, the alliance of our organizations shows commitment to enhancing the expertise of rehabilitation nursing.

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reCAPTCHA Security for Your Protection

Are you a robot? Tomorrow, December 5, ARN is adding reCAPTCHA security to ARN payment screens. 

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RNCB Announces the 2019 RNCB Advocacy Award Winner

CHICAGO (November 27, 2019): The Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB) announced the recipient of the very first RNCB Advocacy Award at REACH 2019, ARN's Annual Educational Conference, held November 6 - 9 in Columbus, OH.

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National Quality Forum Hospital Quality Star Rating Summit

The National Quality Forum (NQF) was founded with the goal of improving care for every person, and from our founding, transparent measurement has been recognized as a powerful lever to advance patient-centered care and empower consumers. Our mission and vision rely on collaboration to address priorities common to diverse stakeholders. Bringing all voices together at the same time to discuss key issues is central to driving measurable health improvements. 

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ARN Releases 8th Ed. of The Specialty Practice of Rehabilitation Nursing: A Core Curriculum

CHICAGO (November 6, 2019): The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) just released the 8th edition of The Specialty Practice of Rehabilitation Nursing: A Core Curriculum. The latest edition of the Core has 25 chapters of content from across the breadth of the specialty compiled and reviewed by 66 experts. There is no more comprehensive reference on the specialty of rehab nursing.  

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Title VIII Nursing Workforce Bill Passes to Senate Floor

The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee for advancing S. 1399, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019, out of committee and to the Senate floor. The bipartisan bill strengthens the profession of nursing by aligning Title VIII with current trends and ensures that important programs addressing nursing workforce demand, including education, practice, recruitment, and retention, have a five-year authorization. The Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 296 et seq.]) are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration.

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CARF medical rehabilitation director honored by ACRM and AMRPA: Chris MacDonell receives both Coulter Award and National Leadership Excellence Award

The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) awarded Chris MacDonell, CARF International's managing director of medical rehabilitation and international aging services/medical rehabilitation, with the 2019 John Stanley Coulter Award. As the award recipient, Chris will present the award plenary, An Around the World Perspective: Moving the Needle on Rehabilitation Medicine and Research on November 5 during the opening session of the ACRM Annual Conference in Chicago. 

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ICN confirms Howard Catton as permanent CEO

The International Council of Nurses' Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Howard Catton as the ICN's permanent Chief Executive Officer.

ICN Board President Annette Kennedy, announcing the decision, said, "The Board and I are delighted with Howard's appointment. He has the vision, tenacity and commitment to maximise the opportunities ahead for the ICN, its members and partners, not only in 2020, the Year of the Nurse, but for the years to come. Howard has been a great support for me during my presidency and a wonderful colleague for many years, and with him, ICN will have stability and a really great future."

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Alcohol and Drug Addiction as a Co-morbidity in Rehabilitation

Alcohol and substance use disorder has been around for centuries, but is a growing concern in the United States today with significant effects on economic, social, and healthcare systems. The estimated cost of addiction to illicit drugs alone in the U.S. is over $600 billion per year (Herman & Roberto, 2015). Short term use can cause changes to blood pressure, heart rate, and mental status, while cardiac arrest or stroke has been known to occur even after just one use (NIDA, 2017). Not everyone who partakes in alcohol or drug use will become addicted, but when addiction does occur, it is due to changes in normal brain activity which ultimately leads to long-lasting drug-induced neuroplastic changes. 

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Discover Columbus at ARN's Annual Conference!

This fall, November 6-9, rehab nurses from across the globe will convene in Columbus, Ohio to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and the 35th anniversary of the CRRN certification! 

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Thrive, Don’t Just Survive!

ARN is partnering with Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation. Start preparing now to participate in Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation to lead into lots of fun activities at the ARN annual conference, REACH 2019!

There's more than one way to avoid burnout. One approach to burnout prevention is ensuring that your personal agency never drops to a low level. For the purpose of this blog, personal agency is defined as your ability to get things done. Burnout is the perception that you cannot change your environment, thus you have no personal agency.

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ARN Leaders Participate on World Health Organization Rehabilitation Competency Framework Steering Group

The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) – Past-President Stephanie Vaughn, PhD RN CRRN FAHA, and current ARN President Michele Cournan, DNP RN ANP-BC FNP CRRN – have been asked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate as the only designated nurse members of WHO's recently organized Competency Framework Steering Group. 

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Stress Reduction Tactics Every Nurse Should Try

ARN is partnering with Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation. Start preparing now to participate in Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation to lead into lots of fun activities at the ARN annual conference, REACH 2019!

You spend so much time caring for others that you put yourself last. Your mind and body deserve some me-time.

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PCORI Reauthorization Bill Introduced

H.R. 3030, the "Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Extension Act of 2019" was introduced into the House last week by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). This bill would reauthorize Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for another 10 years. 

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In recognition of Pride Month – Affirming and Inclusive Care of Transgender Patients

Recently, my 11-year-old son and I visited an Urgent Care about what I suspected was a urinary tract infection. The doctor asked my son basic questions related to his symptoms, including something about pain in his testicles. My son looked at me quizzically and I explained to the doctor that my son doesn't have testicles. He's transgender, born with female anatomy. To my great relief, the doctor nodded his acknowledgment and continued the conversation. My son, too, breathed a sigh of relief. We'd gotten through the tricky part. 

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IRF Prospective Payment System for FY 2020

Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid releases prospective payment system proposed rules for various healthcare settings, including all post-acute care (PAC) settings. 

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Use of Apps in the Cognitive Rehabilitation Process

Tune into ARN's next live webinar, Essential Steps in Using & Training Apps, on June 13. Michelle R. Wild, MA, will show you how apps can be used as a cognitive resource in rehabilitation, as well as how to use apps to conduct systematic instruction training.

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Why Are You A CRRN?

For many, it was a manager or colleague who introduced you to rehabilitation nursing certification and your first thought might have been, "Why would I want to spend the time or money to get certified?" Your life was busy with family, work, friends—who needs another "to do?" Eventually, you succumbed to encouragement and cajoling, and then took the exam. When you passed, you felt a sense of pride and accomplishment because CRRN certification is a tangible validation of your professional standing as an experienced rehabilitation nurse with a documented level of knowledge and a commitment to patient care.

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RNCB Announces CRRN Certification Advocacy Award

During the first quarter of this year, the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB) announced the RNCB Advocacy Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize healthcare organizations that advocate for certification for rehabilitation nurses, providing support to and recognition of certified staff. 

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During Stroke Awareness Month, ARN Recognizes Barbara J. Lutz, for Stroke Caregiver Readiness Model

In recognition of Stroke Awareness Month, ARN wants you to know about President-Elect Barbara Lutz, PhD RN CRRN PHNA-BC FAHA FNAP FAAN, for the Stroke Article of the Year Award she received at the American Heart Association International Stroke Conference, in Hawaii, in February earlier this year!

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