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ARN Recognizes Dr. Michele Cournan, DNP RN CRRN FARN ANP-BC FNP, as ARN’s Distinguished Service Award Winner


The ARN Board of Directors selected Dr. Michele Cournan, DNP RN CRRN FARN ANP-BC FNP, as the 2021 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. This award acknowledges her service and contribution to rehabilitation nursing and to the organization. This award also recognizes her leadership and commitment to the field through her active participation in ARN events and activities.

Outstanding contribution to rehabilitation nursing and to the organization 

Michele has demonstrated leadership within ARN in many ways. Notably, she has served on the ARN Board of Directors, including as President-Elect and President from 2017-19. She has been a member of the Rehabilitation Nursing Journal editorial board from 2015-17 and continues to serve as a peer reviewer, and she has been a long-standing member of the Health Policy committee. She also represented ARN on the World Health Organization (WHO) Rehabilitation Task Force in 2018. Her work with the WHO task force led to the development of the WHO Rehabilitation Competency Framework and the WHO 2030 Rehabilitation Initiative to "draw attention to the profound unmet need for rehabilitation worldwide".

Michele exemplifies and supports ARN's organizational philosophy and goals in her practice and by her engagement with ARN. In her leadership position at Sunnyview she works with nursing staff to implement best rehabilitation nursing practices. She also teaches DNP students online in the principles of rehabilitation nursing. She is a strong and active advocate for rehabilitation nursing in policy discussions within ARN and in other organizations regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Michele has dedicated her career to promoting a positive image of rehabilitation nursing in all arenas. She has served in multiple roles in the Northeastern New York ARN Chapter since 2001 including secretary; President-Elect, President; and Board Member.

She is knowledgeable in all things related to rehabilitation and rehabilitation nursing. She is passionate about providing high-quality care to patients who have rehabilitation needs, and she works to promote the profession of rehabilitation nursing in all her professional endeavors. She has several publications promoting rehabilitation nursing including being a chapter author for the ARN Core Curriculum and in Evidence-Based Rehabilitation Nursing: Common Challenges and Interventions, as well as publishing several articles in RNJ. She is also a frequent presenter at the ARN and AMRPA annual conferences.

Michele became a CRRN in 1993 and has been an active member of ARN since 1994. She is a strong and vocal advocate for the needs of rehabilitation patients and for the profession of rehabilitation nursing.

For all the years of outstanding service and commitment, ARN would like to extend its congratulations to Dr. Michele Cournan, DNP RN CRRN FARN ANP-BC FNP, for being the 2021 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. We are honored to have served alongside you and thank you for your outstanding contribution to rehabilitation nursing and incredible leadership within ARN.

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