What’s the Role of a Nurse in A Rehabilitation Facility?

Updated on June 10, 2020

If you want to make a marked difference in the lives, you might wonder what a rehabilitation nurse does. These registered nurses care for individuals that are recovering from disabilities. Aside from helping patients recover from serious illnesses and injuries, they also collaborate and coordinate with a team of healthcare professionals from diverse areas of expertise.

Read on to learn more about a rehab nurse’s role in a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility.

Takes Care of Patients

Rehabilitation nurses obviously take care of patients. The patients are those individuals who suffered from disabilities due to an illness or serious injury. Getting the right care goes a long way in helping patients reach their fullest potential for improvement. Rehabilitation nurses can help them achieve their possible maximum independence level. According to a report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, disabilities may be temporary for some patients but can cause permanent life changes to others. Nurses in a rehabilitation facility are so special since they can help improve the lives of people. It’s one of the most rewarding jobs out there.

Collaborates with A Team of Experts

Rehabilitation nurses ensure that families and patients get well-coordinated care throughout the rehabilitation process through excellent assessment skills, effective collaboration with a team of experts, and accurate communication with the rest of their teammates. Yes, they’re part of an interprofessional group of nutritionists, psychologists, therapists, physicians, and several experts working together to provide the best outcomes for patients. 

The team of a rehab nurse significantly contributes to the quality care to the patients who have suffered greatly. It’s essential to note that rehabilitation nurses are the ones who accompany the patient 24/7 to coordinate and ensure the proper execution of the entire treatment or rehab process.

Part of the nurse’s role in a rehabilitation facility is to ensure that the holistic plan of care is correctly followed by all staff. Rehabilitation nurses also make sure that the physicians that are overseeing medical care are informed continually about patient progress to help them come up with the best decisions. Remember that rehab of patients takes place in many settings. It can be at home, on long-term care or skilled care facility, or in an acute rehabilitation unit. That being said, data collaboration is crucial for the success of this process.

Smiling senior man being assisted by female nurse in using walker at rehab center

Helps Patients Learn to Adapt Disability-associated Lifestyle Changes

Rehabilitation nurses find work in several different settings, from hospitals to outpatient care facilities and rehabilitation facilities. According to the Houston Chronicle, for nurses in a rehab facility, a big part of what they do is helping patients learn to easily adapt to the lifestyle changes that may accompany a disability. They teach patients the necessary skills which help them become as independent as possible despite several challenges that come with a life of disability. 

Promotes Successful Living

Rehab nurses also help patients towards successful self-management of prevalent chronic disability or illness. They teach them to become co-managers with their health providers, so it is possible for them to have a good quality of life by maintaining independence.

Nurses in a rehabilitation facility don’t only care for people; they also prevent disability and promote health. Rehabilitation nurses engage in different activities that help communities, families, and patients stay healthy. You might even see rehab nurses proactively helping encourage the wearing of helmets and other bike safety protocols. You can also see them promoting car seat fairs to help keep children safe from injury. Many rehabilitation nurses also join stroke prevention programs by teaching about managing risk factors and community screenings. Those are only some of the activities that rehab nurses perform as part of their job.

The key activity that rehabilitation nurses undertake, however, is facilitating safe care transitions. They have the specialized skill set required to know which care setting is best for a specific patient to move to the next phase. Rehab nurses know how to make the process go smoothly. Numerous errors occur when patients move from one area to another in the healthcare system. Medication errors are only some of them. Nurses in a rehabilitation facility help patients to be successful in navigating these complexities. They make sure that patients get the continuity of care they deserve and need.


Rehabilitation nurses provide specialized care to patients which helps them in restoring and maintaining functionality. They also prevent complications by providing family and patient education, case management, and counseling. For individuals who are suffering disabilities due to illness or injury, a rehab facility is the best way to speed up their recovery.

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