Rehab Insights is a weekly blog written by Burke Rehabilitation professionals to offer practical information for patients, families and the community. Its goal is to educate the reader on relevant topics in rehabilitation, general health and wellness.

Preparing the Next Generation of Rehabilitation Nurses

October 7, 2014
Marie Spencer, Ph.D., CRRN

Nurse with Stroke Rehabilitation PatientWhen I was a teenager, I worked at a local hospital. Due to my eagerness to learn, the doctors and nurses at the hospital soon took me under their wing and helped me rise up the ranks. Because of this, I have tried to “pay it forward” throughout my own career and help groom the next generation. This is a philosophy shared by the entire administrative staff here at Burke.

In particular, the Burke nursing staff has embraced the opportunity to help prepare future generations and has implemented assistance to achieve this goal. Among the many initiatives developed to assist us are the CRRN Prep program and the HELP Program.

Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) certification is a generalist certification for professional rehabilitation nurses. The certification is important because it encourages continued growth and development in our area of expertise—plus, it fosters a sense of pride and professionalism in the individual.

In 2007, there were four certified nurses at Burke. Today, all nursing administration/nursing management nurses have CRRN designation. In total, Burke currently employs more than 50 CRRN staff members.

To help further the education of Burke nurses, in the spring of 2008, Burke offered its first CRRN Review Course. This three-day course is given by various disciplines discussing topics in their areas of expertise. It offers professional nurses a chance to learn and prepare for, or maintain, their CRRN Certification. The next course is scheduled for October 29 and 30, 2014. (Click here for more information.)

Having the CRRN certification gives our nurses a sense of accomplishment and dedication to their practice, which helps create better patient outcomes. And this, in turn, helps facilitate a better overall patient experience—something that all of us at Burke hope to achieve.

Summer “HELP” program
College students seeking assistance in making a career choice in the health care field may elect to participate in our Health Experience Learning Program (HELP). The program, which has been offered at Burke since 1976, is designed to provide the student- intern an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of a patient care delivery system using the team approach.

The goals of HELP are two-fold: to offer the college student exposure to various careers within the health profession through hands on experience and to provide the student with the background to make a realistic career choice. These goals are met by requiring each student to attend a comprehensive nursing attendant orientation, composed of a classroom and clinical learning experience.

Following orientation, each student is assigned to one of six specialty units, including stroke, surgical orthopedic, brain injury, spinal cord injury, cardiac, pulmonary and amputee. Throughout the internship, the student can gain insight into the behavior of patients during illness and the effect a disability has on a family unit. The student can also be involved in health teaching as well as learning, thanks to lectures provided by speakers who are specialists in different health care professions.

This past summer, Burke employed 21 students. Here’s some of what they had to say about their experience:

“Burke has been a wonderful place to gain further knowledge and experience in the medical field. I will take many lessons from my time here in order to treat my future patients with the same level of care with which I saw the patients treated here.”  —Marie M.

“I never could have imagined how much a summer experience could help me to know so firmly that I want to commit myself to a medical profession. The staff at Burke has been nothing but supportive and welcoming in my experience.” —McKenna K.

“I have gained knowledge that I could not get elsewhere as an undergraduate. This summer position will be a strong talking point in my medical school interview.” —Jacob W.

“Not only did I learn an incredible amount, but the staff all welcomed me with open arms and I can’t express how grateful I am for that.” —Matthew A.

“I appreciate that you gave me the opportunity to take on significant responsibility, which provided [me] with a depth of knowledge I would not have gained in the classroom alone.  Looking back on the summer, I learned a great deal, not just about patient care, but about myself too.”  —Matthew S.

For more information on the CRRN Course or the HELP Program, please call nursing administration at 914-597-2383.

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Burke's Rehab Insights blog is intended to provide general information about rehabilitation and other health care topics. It should not take the place of medical care. Burke staff cannot comment on individual medical cases or give medical advice.

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