Definitions and Scope of Practice
Rehabilitation nursing is a specialty practice area within the scope of professional nursing. It involves the diagnosis and treatment of human responses of individuals and groups to actual or potential health problems resulting from altered functional ability and altered lifestyle.
The goal of rehabilitation nursing is to assist individuals with disabilities and chronic illness in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health. The rehabilitation nurse is skilled at treating alterations in functional ability and lifestyle resulting from injury, disability, and chronic illness.
Rehabilitation nurses provide comfort, therapy and education, promote health-conducive adjustments, support adaptive capabilities, and promote achievable independence. Rehabilitation nurses provide holistic, comprehensive, and compassionate end-of-life care, including promotion of comfort and relief of pain.
Rehabilitation nursing practice occurs in many settings and involves a variety of roles.
Home Health Nurse
Clinical Nurse Specialist
General hospital with or without rehabilitation unit
Long term care facility
Private company/private office
Community agency/home health agency
Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center