To be or not to be accountable … that is the question


  • Rosemarian Berni R.N., M.N.

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    • Rosemarian Berni is Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Nursing, Department of Physiological Nursing. In her position as Vice Chairman of the RNI Board of Directors, she is directing the work of defining the body of knowledge for rehabilitation nursing.


The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses' Rehabilitation Nursing Institute has directed to Standards Committee to promote and implement standards in rehabilitation nursing with these actions:

  • 1. begin to identify body of knowledge
  • 2. continue to explore certification based on body of knowledge (investigate levels, specialty tracks, issues)
  • 3. begin to construct study modules (considering levels of practice)
  • 4. do research on available resources (members, their expertise, sources of funding, and published and produced materials)
  • 5. seek information on ways to influence teaching of rehabilitation nursing in basic progra.

The above actions are of major importance and should be the immediate concern of each person who expects to be identified as a credible rehabilitation nurse by the consumer. Today the consumer of the practice of rehabilitation nursing may be an individual client, an institution, a physician, a clinic, an insurance company or other employers. These potential clients/employers are asking how to tell whether or not a nurse is qualified to fill a rehabilitation nursing position. It is our responsibility as members of ARN to be able to answer these inquiries soon or we will not be asked anymore, and we will not have the opportunity to protect the consumer and ourselves from those who are content to practice rehabilitation nursing in name only.

We ask that each ARN member read “To Be or Not to Be Accountable … That is the Question,” complete the Body of Knowledge and Credibility Reaction Questionnaire, and return it to Rosemarian Berni before May 30, 1978.