Strategic Plan

Adopted April 2007
Updated April 2010
Updated January 2013


In 2007 the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) engaged in an aggressive Strategic Planning Initiative positioned to create the association's future strategic direction. The Strategic Plan facilitates (a) identification of the future need of ARN members and other identified stakeholders; and, (b) options for satisfying those needs.
Great strides were made in achieving many of the objectives and goals and the plan was updated in early 2010.

In January 2013, the ARN Board of Directors met to review the current strategic plan and plan for the next 3- 5 planning horizon.  The Board members updated where appropriate and provide additional goals and strategies building on the strategic future of ARN.

Below is the strategic planning model used by the ARN leadership and staff to formulate the strategic plan.

Strategy Development

Using the Four Planning Horizon's model above as a framework and group dialogue and deliberation as the information source, ARN leaders created the following:

A set of assumptions about the future of the profession(s) they represent and the professionals that work within;

  • A list of relevant factors in the long-range horizon (10-15 years into the future), core purpose, core values, Big (Hairy) Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a vivid description of future success;
  • Four goal areas that identify where ARN will direct its energy in the next five years. The goal areas focus on outcomes beneficial to ARN and its members. (Note: Long-standing operational programs such as the conference, PRN course, certification program, chapters, web site, publications, and many others are not in the strategic plan below but will continue to be part of the day-to-day operations of ARN.)
  • A set of strategic objectives in each goal area setting measurable direction for the organization to head in to achieve its goals.
  • A set of strategies that identify the actions the organization will undertake in the next 1-3 years in order to achieve each goal area.

The leadership of ARN views the process of strategic planning as ongoing within the association. This is not a "strategic planning project" that is completed and filed away. Adoption of a plan is an affirmation of the general intent and direction articulated by the vision, goals, and objectives. Progress toward achieving the plan's objectives will be assessed annually, and the plan will be updated based on achievement and changes in the needs of the stakeholders served.

10-15 Year Planning Horizon

Core Ideology & Envisioned Future

A core ideology describes an association's consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment. It consists of two elements - core purpose - the association's reason for being - and core values - essential and enduring principles that guide an association. Envisioned future conveys a concrete yet unrealized vision for the association. It consists of a big (hairy) audacious goal (BHAG) - a clear and compelling catalyst that serves as a focal point for effort - and a vivid description - vibrant and engaging descriptions of what it will be like to achieve the BHAG.

Core Ideology

Core Purpose: To advance rehabilitation nursing practice.

Core Organizational Values
Our organization provides visionary leadership reflecting the diverse interests and needs of its members.

We uphold high ethical standards, lead with integrity, and are good stewards of the association's resources. We practice innovation in support of member needs and expectations.

Our diverse community of members will value different perspectives, celebrate its collective accomplishments, and will enjoy the opportunities to pursue success together through member-centered services, effective communication, life-long learning, and the support of research to build and disseminate the science of rehabilitation nursing.

Client Care
The association will uphold our members' commitment to a holistic, collaborative, and evidence -based approach to improving client care and the quality of life for all people.

Envisioned Future

Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)
To transform healthcare by integrating rehabilitation nursing concepts into care for all people.

Vivid Description of the Desired Future
ARN is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the practice of rehabilitation nursing. ARN professional development opportunities provide the latest advances in the field, are available to a wide spectrum of healthcare professionals, and support the sharing of best practices and techniques. ARN public policy and advocacy efforts have been so successful that legislators and regulators routinely turn to ARN for rehabilitation knowledge and expertise. Membership continues to grow and ARN members are energetically engaged in the political process and actively participate in the association's professional development and networking opportunities. The public has a greater understanding of the benefits of rehabilitation and are regularly requesting assistance from a rehabilitation nurse as a result of ARN's public education efforts. Other professional associations turn to ARN for advice and support on issues impacting the future of healthcare. The requests for research funding will exceed the available resources.

As a result of ARN's efforts, nursing school curricula include rehabilitation concepts and state licensing exams include an assessment of rehabilitation knowledge. Research-based rehabilitation concepts are included in every care plan in every setting. Insurance companies and third party payers recognize the importance of rehabilitation and reimburse appropriately for it.

The diverse members of ARN are recognized as experts in a holistic approach to patient well-being, prevention, and management of chronic illness and disability and are routinely consulted on rehabilitation concepts for client care across the continuum. Consumers of healthcare will experience enhanced quality of life as a result of rehabilitation services evidenced by a decrease in complications of disability and illness.

3-5 Year Planning Horizon

Outcome-Oriented Goals and Objectives

The following thinking represents ARN goal areas for the next three to five years. They are areas in which ARN will explicitly state the conditions or attributes it wants to achieve. These outcome statements define "what will constitute future success." The achievement of each goal will move the organization toward realization of its vision. The goal areas are not in priority order. Objectives provide direction and actions on how the association will accomplish its articulated goals. Objectives are considered in the 3-5 year planning horizon.

Goals and Objectives

Goal Area: Leadership

Goal Statement: ARN will be recognized as a leader and preferred partner regarding rehabilitation.

Objective (1): Increase awareness and value of rehabilitation nursing to Department of Defense (DOD) and VA healthcare.

Objective (2): Increase awareness and value of rehabilitation nursing to baby-boomers.

Objective (3): Increase the perceived value of rehabilitation nursing to healthcare executive leadership.

Objective (4): Enhance the collaboration of ARN with national and international nursing organizations.

Objective (5): Achieve the integration of rehabilitation nursing concepts into nursing program curriculum.

Goal Area: Research and Evidence-based Practice

Goal Statement: ARN will lead in the building and dissemination of rehabilitation nursing research and its translation into evidence-based practice.

Objective (1): Distribute a minimum of 75% of the RNF grant monies annually.

Objective (2): Improve the knowledge and skills of the rehabilitation nurse re: Evidence Based Practice (EBP).

Objective (3): Expand the dissemination and translation of rehabilitation research knowledge into practice.

Goal Area: Health Policy

Goal Statement: ARN will impact public policy as a leader in the field of rehabilitation.

Objective (1): Increase members’ knowledge and participation in public policy relevant to rehabilitation nursing.

Objective (2): Strengthen ARN's presence as a recognized partner in public policy.

Goal Area: Professional Development

Goal Statement: ARN will prepare members to be experts and leaders in integrating rehabilitation nursing concepts into all areas of healthcare.

Objective (1): Increase educational opportunities for rehabilitation nurses to translate evidence into practice.

Objective (2): Increase and disseminate evidence-based knowledge that integrates rehabilitation nursing concepts into all areas of practice.

Goal Area: Rehabilitation Nursing Team

Goal Statement: ARN will be the utilized resource for all members of the rehabilitation nursing team across rehabilitation nursing settings.

Objecitve (1): Increase focused resources on post-acute rehabilitation settings outside of the IRF.

Objective (2): Enhance the rehabilitation nurse's role as the care manager on the rehabilitation teaml.

Strategic Plan Update

Tell us what you think.
After reviewing the Plan, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us. Please send your comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thank you for your continued support of ARN.