Working in rehabilitation nursing means a deeper relationship with patients and a more direct impact on victories both large and small that patients achieve each day. If you’ve chosen to pursue rehabilitation nursing, becoming a CRRN not only sharpens your skills in the rehabilitation setting, but can increase confidence and open doors for new opportunities.

CRRN stands for certified rehabilitation registered nurse and is the credential for nurses who assist individuals with disabilities and chronic illness to restore, maintain and promote optimal health. Sue Bolyard, RN, CRRN, WCC, nurse manager at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Morgantown, shares the top five reasons she became a CRRN.

1. Increased confidence in your field

The American Journal of Nursing found that certified nurses reported feeling more confident in their ability to detect early signs and symptoms of complications and to initiate early and prompt interventions for such complications. 

“Having more advanced knowledge of stroke, spinal cord injury and other conditions gives me added when confidence when I talk to patients,” Bolyard said. “Patients will say the explanations I give them are better than what they heard from their neurosurgeon. That gives you so much confidence.”

2. A greater sense of pride in your accomplishments

Not only does certification come with increased confidence on the job, it brings a sense of pride as well, Bolyard said, as it’s a sign to the outside world that she is committed to being among the best clinicians in her field.

“I take pride in wearing my badge and letting patients know what it means,” Bolyard said. “Patients and their families—even co-workers and therapists—come and ask me questions.”  

3. A lasting commitment to the field of rehabilitation

If you’ve chosen a career path as a rehabilitation nurse, you know firsthand the rewards that rehabilitation brings− a deeper, more personal relationship with patients, a greater impact on their positive outcomes and the sense of pride and joy you feel when a patient reaches a goal they once thought was unattainable.

“In rehabilitation, we get to see them improving,” Bolyard said. “If you love rehabilitation, you know our rewards are not our paychecks. It’s seeing your patients walk out of here. You don’t see that end of the continuum of care in other settings.”

A CRRN certification demonstrates outwardly your commitment to compassionate care that contributes positive patient outcomes every day.

4. Open doors and expand your career

Not only does a CRRN certification potentially expand opportunities for career growth up the ladder, but it also lends itself well to mastering other fields.

Should you decide to pursue a career as a liaison or a case manager, the skills you gain as a CRRN will give you a leg up in the field.

“From a liaison level, you’re able to look at a stroke patient a little differently. You can examine that particular stroke, and know the patient’s potential and what level of care is best,” Bolyard said. “As a case manager, you have the knowledge that with this particular diagnosis, a patient will receive so many days, and you’re able to strategize from the very beginning.”

5. Why not?

Encompass Health offers reimbursement for exam fees and certification renewal, a one-time bonus, as well as recognition at the hospital level.

Encompass Health also holds a series of CRRN exam preparation courses at no cost to the employee (travel costs are determined at a local level). These courses break down course material into manageable parts, share tips and tricks, and provide real-life examples of cases to assist pupils in recalling challenging subjects.

“It’s essentially free education,” Bolyard said. “It’s a win-win situation.”

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