ARN Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing

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The specialty of rehabilitation nursing is practiced in multiple settings along the healthcare continuum; the Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing encompasses domains that reflect all competencies necessary to promote rehabilitation nursing in the current healthcare environment.

NEW - Implementation and Adoption Resources

ARN is pleased to make the following resources available to help facilitate the adoption and integration of the competency model. Note that additional resources, specifically those designed to address individual competencies, will be added over time.


An ARN task force comprised of experts representing clinical and academic settings embarked on a journey to develop an evidence-based framework to guide professional rehabilitation nursing practice. Charged by the ARN Board of Directors to accomplish this strategic objective, the panel discussed, debated, and reviewed all facets of modern rehabilitation nursing. The resulting model - validated by member review and comment and approved by the Board of Directors- identified 14 essential role competencies across four (4) distinct domains. The competencies were further defined into three levels of nurse proficiency: beginner (1-2 years); intermediate (3-5 years-CRRN); and advanced (5 years and above in varied roles, including educator, CNS, APRN, etc.).

The Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing is depicted by a circle with the professional Rehabilitation Nurse role at the center surrounded by the four domains and various competencies. The broken lines illustrate the crossover of knowledge and skills that are represented in each domain, representing a holistic practice that rehabilitation nurses espouse.

Since its release in June 2014, the ARN Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing has been downloaded over 700 times, has been presented at national and regional conferences, and is being actively evaluated and integrated into rehabilitation nursing practices in facilities across the country. In addition, the competency model is being used to help inform and shape future educational products and programs from ARN. The next iterations of the Core Curriculum, Professional Rehabilitation Nursing course, etc., will all benefit from the foundation and framework defined by the model.

We welcome your thoughts and comments on the model. Please submit your comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .