Role Descriptions

The Rehabilitation Admissions Liaison Nurse

The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) believes the role of the rehabilitation nurse is essential in the continuum of care for individuals with disabilities or chronic illness. ARN aims to promote a high degree of professionalism, in keeping with the established scope and standards of rehabilitation nursing practice ARN has published.

The rehabilitation admissions liaison nurse performs activities and duties related to preadmission assessment screening and admission of clients to services along the rehabilitation continuum of care. 

Scope of practice of the rehabilitation admissions liaison nurse

The goal of the rehabilitation admissions liaison nurse is to identify candidates who meet program criteria and who will benefit from program services. The process typically involves the following steps: 

  • Early identification of candidates/potential clients 
  • Education of clients, family members, referral sources, and external payers regarding the effective and efficient utilization of program services and available resources 
  • Screening of clients through on site and/or record review including telephone review, clinical physical assessment, and collaboration with the physicians, nurses, and therapists directly involved in the candidate’s care.  Family members or significant others are also interviewed to obtain accurate information as to pre-morbid functional status, personal interests, cultural considerations, and discharge plans affecting the rehabilitation admission.
  • Determination of medical stability, readiness for program participation, and ensuring that services recommended are appropriate, reasonable and necessary
  • Coordination of a smooth transition from the referring facility or site to the rehabilitation setting 
  • Recommendations and referral to appropriate care for candidates who are denied admission

Roles of the rehabilitation admissions liaison nurse

The roles of the rehabilitation admissions liaison nurse include, but are not limited to:


  • Performs on-site and/or record review, including telephone preadmission screening and clinical assessment 
  • Completes all required preadmission screening documentation to determine that services are appropriate, reasonable and necessary
  • Provides recommendations as to appropriate levels of care


  • Educates clients, family members or significant others, referral sources, hospital personnel, external payers, and external case managers about rehabilitation program benefits and services


  • Works as the liaison case manager with the internal and external case management team to provide a cost-effective plan for each client 
  • Demonstrates positive communication between customers at all times 
  • Maintains high ethical standards 


  • Serves as a rehabilitation consultant, with attention to rehabilitation potential, therapy progress, discharge plan and feasibility, and special equipment needs 
  • Assists with precertification by providing a plan of care and participating in external payer negotiations


  • Maintains a thorough knowledge of facilities, products, services, and acuity trends 
  • Develops relationships with referral sources 
  • Prepares and submits activity reports 
  • Develops rapport with clients and their family members or significant others 
  • Conducts other duties including exhibiting and providing tours


  • Provides information necessary to facilitate referrals and subsequent admissions


  • Provides referral sources with cost-effective plans for rehabilitation
  • Provides outcome data 
  • Negotiates approval for a client’s stay 
  • If necessary, negotiates rates with payers


  • Serves as a contact person for the rehabilitation team, internal admissions team, clients, and external sources to enhance outcomes


  • Promotes good public relations with patients, healthcare providers, and other involved people 
  • Exhibits professional behavior as a facility representative

Rehabilitation admissions liaison services are provided in institutional, residential, outpatient, and community settings. These settings can include, but are not limited to, facilities for acute care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing, nursing homes, residential or day care facilities, or private residences.

Preferred qualifications

  • Licensure as a registered nurse, preferably with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school 
  • A minimum of 2 years of clinical experience; experience in the rehabilitation of chronically or catastrophically ill or injured individuals 
  • Certification in rehabilitation nursing or a related specialty 
  • Demonstrated expertise in analysis, decision making, time management, oral and written communication, and computer use 
  • Familiarity with the resources available for use in assessing regulations and the parameters of third-party reimbursement 
  • Excellent assessment skills and understanding of the insurance and managed care arenas 
  • Ability to function independently

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