Masters in Nursing Clinical Nurse Rehabilitation
There are not a large number of nursing schools that offer rehabilitation as a specialty for clinical nurse specialists, but it is growing as an area of medical expertise in part because of the many typed of rehabilitative services that are required by senior citizens. A Masters in Nursing for Clinical Nurse Rehabilitation specialization offers a RN the opportunity to develop management and planning skills required to provide well rounded rehabilitation programs for patients. To the degree that these careers are centered on elderly patients, they may be jobs in long term care facilities or in assisted living centers. A rehabilitation nurse helps the support staff work with a patient to define the rehabilitation that may be needed after a stroke or some other cardiovascular event, and take steps to implement it.
The range of rehabilitation experts that work with seniors and other patients who have a functional disability of some sort include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and in some cases mental health counselors. A rehabilitation clinical nurse specialist may work in collaboration with a physician in developing a basic plan, and then work with the therapists themselves on the specifics of the treatment. In many situations the therapists are better able to diagnose and recommend treatment than a physician. In time a CNS in rehabilitation may develop those specialized skills as well. Generally advanced nurse practice graduates with a clinical specialization supervise nurses. In this instance the graduate may end up supervising rehabilitation therapists.
Rehabilitation nurses also work with families or spouses of a patient who has suffered a debilitating injury or illness and faces a rehabilitation regimen. Educating family members and engaging their support may be crucial to the success of a rehabilitation program; much of the success depends upon the will of the patient and that requires a supportive environment for most people. The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses offers a certification program for nurses in the field; a RN must have two years' experience to take the exam and a Masters in Nursing Clinical Nurse Rehabilitation specialist must have one year of experience. This career can develop in many types of care and treatment facilities, or with a service agency that provides rehabilitation services in home.