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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. 

WHO has been engaged in the development of a Rehabilitation Competency Framework since 2017. The Steering Group was formed to review structure and content of the framework. Later this month, Cournan and Vaughn will be joining the Competency Framework Steering Group in Geneva, Switzerland to get back to work on the following. The Group will:

  • provide expert opinion on the competency framework structure, language, scope and content to ensure that it achieves its intended goals 
  • help coordinate the dissemination of drafts for peer review by relevant organizations
  • support the translation of feedback into concrete and meaningful recommendations. 

WHO worked with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) to nominate members to the Steering Group. ICN Vice President and ANA President Pam Cipriano advanced the opportunity through the nursing community, inviting Vaughn and Cournan. 

The two ARN leaders have expressed their enthusiasm to participate in this effort, as Cournan states, "I am so excited for the opportunity to represent nursing and ARN at the World Health Organization. Rehabilitation is an essential component of health care and this effort will establish a framework for rehabilitation professionals worldwide. I look forward to beginning our work with rehabilitation experts around the world." 

Vaughn too, is looking forward to the work to be done, "I am honored to represent ARN in this international endeavor to develop and disseminate a collaborative rehabilitation framework for inter- professional practice that will optimize rehabilitation client outcomes around the world. Our knowledge of the ARN Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing provides Michele and I with an excellent foundation with which to embark on this exciting project." 

In addition to her role as Past-President for ARN, Stephanie Vaughn was the chair of the ARN work group that created the Rehabilitation Nursing Competency Model. Current President Michele Cournan is the ARN liaison to the National Quality Foundation Committee and both participants are instructors of ARN's Online PRN Course.  

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