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					Maryland Chapter Association of Rehabilitation Nurses August/September 2009 Newsletter
President’s Message
Current ARN Chapter Officers:
Happy end of Summer beginning of Fall to Everyone! We are just starting to feel the heat of the Summer but it will be over before we know it. Time flies when you are having fun and/or you are older;-) We are always looking to increase our membership and to have current members attend meetings. If you haven't been to a meeting in a while you should come and check us out. With having our new format of 5 meetings per year with educational presentations and a social meeting we seem to be keeping the chapter members that attend satisfied. We are also planning a 1/2 day conference in the Spring. Joining the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses has never been easier. You can encourage peers to join. They can log on to to join both the National and Local Chapter. We have some nice educational presentations coming up at our next few meetings so please mark your calendar for; Wed., Sept. 16 at Sinai 5:30 with a light dinner and then an educational presentation given by Dr. Kevin Crutchfield Wed., Oct. 21 thru Sat., Oct. 24 the National ARN 35th Annual Educational Conference - Soaring to New Heights in Albuquerque, New Mexico I look forward to serving as your President for the Maryland Chapter! As you know the elections were just held and your new officers are listed with a short professional and personal blurb in this newsletter. Thanks to all who took the time to vote and congratulations to the new officers! This was the first year that we tried an electronic way to cast your vote. We had a few more ballots returned than previous years. We will probably continue to offer this method of voting in the future. Please feel free to call or e-mail myself or any of the officers with questions, concerns and/or suggestions. We are here to represent you! Enjoy the rest of your Summer and I hope we see you at the next meeting to start off the Fall with a bang! Char Koller, R.N., C.R.R.N., C.C.R.P., MA Maryland Chapter President

President: Char Koller
Work: 443-923-9131, Home: 410-871-9665, Cell: 410-868-8807 I have been a rehab nurse for 24 years and certified in rehab for 19 years. I have worked as a staff nurse/nurse clinician in 2 different pediatric rehab hospitals. I am currently at Kennedy Krieger Institute as the Orthopaedic Nurse Clinician and I also am the Research Nurse/Research Coordinator II for the Down Syndrome Heart Project as well as other studies. I also am a Certified Clinical Research Professional. I have previously held various positions on the Board of our Local Chapter continuously since 1993 and a member since 1988. I am married with two children in college and two fur children (1 dog and 1 cat). I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Past President Carolyn Sorensen Work: 202-877-1186 Home 301-744-0497 or
The past year had been one of change for me. I've had the opportunity to return to my roots so to speak, moving back into a teaching hospital as part of the nursing education dept, and also back into working with patients as a wound ostomy continence nurse. The WOCN program was a very challenging year long journey with didactic and clinical components and a board exam in each area. However, I can honestly say that I've learned more about Rehab over the past year than I did in graduate school. I've expanded my skill set and learned different ways to manage skin, bowel, and bladder issues. I now share the best of both worlds in educating staff as well as teaching patients.

President Elect Elizabeth Siskey Work :410-554-9378 Home: 410-661-2337 or I have been a rehab nurse for 30 years the majority of my career has been with the State of Maryland Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. I have worked as a primary care nurse, nursing supervisor and currently am a case manager working with our therapy areas. I have been active with the Maryland Chapter for 30 years as well. Continuing to keep the Maryland Chapter active is great importance to me. Secretary Cindy Farquhar Home: 410-308-1326 Cell: 443-604-2298 E-mail: Cindy started her nursing career at Good Samaritan Hospital in

Chapter News
Congratulations to Erusa Onukwubir, RN, CRRN from Laurel Regional Hospital, this year's winner of the MD Chapter scholarship award. This scholarship is awarded in honor of a former member named Shirley Denson. Shirley was a very active member in the local chapter right up until the time of her death. She frequently attended the National Conferences, so what a better way to honor but to give a free registration to the National Conference. The way a winner is chosen is by all names of members who have attended 4 of the 5 meetings during the past year are put into a basket. The lucky winner is drawn each Spring at our planning meeting and attends the National Conference held that Fall. The Maryland Chapter entered the national award competition in two categories this year. Chapter Communication and Educational Program We are proud to announce the chapter placed second in both categories. These awards are given out at the National Conference yearly along with awards for Chapter of the Year and Community Service. Individual role awards are also given. Check the National Web site and consider nominating one of your colleques for an individual award next year.

Baltimore. She has used her nursing skills at Shock Trauma and in home/hospice care. She recently accepted a position with Heartland Hospice. She enjoys networking though ARN as well as attending the educational programs. Treasurer Jane Oakjones Home 410-866-8674 I am a staff nurse/charge nurse on the Spinal Cord and General Rehab unit at Good Samaritan Hospital. I have worked at Good Samaritan and in rehab for 35 years and have been a CRRN since 1995. I have been a member of ARN since 1990 and have served on the Board of Directors and am the current Treasurer for the Maryland Chapter. I also coordinate a Helping Hands and Health Care Ministry Committee at St. Michael’s Parish in Overlea. Board Members at Large Elizabeth Martin Work: 410-532-4707 Home: 410-521-3307 Bet is rehabilitation Nurse Consultant at JHH Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has work as a Rehab Nurse Consultant for the last 15 years. Bet states “Nursing is rewarding career and I enjoy my career” Bet would like our chapter to sponsor the CARF review course within the next 2-3 years. She would like the chapter to increase our membership by 5 next year. Board Member at Large Erusa Onukwubiri, RN CRRN Home: 301-805-5734 E-mail: Erusa currently works on the Rehabilitation Units at Laurel Regional Hospital and Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland. She joined the chapter to be a part of the team promoting Rehabilitation Nursing. Erusa states “My goal is to promote better patient outcomes and growth of the organization.” Board Member at Large Debra Self, RN, CRRN Home: 301-577-4201 E-Mail: I joined the Maryland Chapter of ARN in 2000 and have been an active member in the group helping with many planned events. I became a certified Rehabilitation Nurse in 2001 and work on the Rehabilitation Unit at Laurel Regional Hospital. I enjoy attending the National Conferences as a way to network with other Rehabilitation Nurses.

CHAPTER CALENDAR NOVEMBER 18,2009 TOPIC AND FACILITY ARE IN THE PLANNING STAGES JANUARY 20,2010 KENNEDY KRIEGER INSTITUTE GO TO MEETING FORMAT IN PLANNING STAGES More information to come. MARCH 17, 2010 Laurel Regional Hospital Wound Assessment Carolyn Sorensen MAY 19,2010 Annual Dinner and planning meeting CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW CRRN’S Bonnie Bergstrom Marie Saunar Pamela Ciriacy Mylene Monteverde Coretta Cyrille Beaulah Kelly Maria Isabel DelRosario Chijioke Ihegihu

News From the National Rehabilitation Association
As you know, the ARN Board of Directors embarked on a significant strategic planning process in early 2007. The ARN strategic plan contains the major focus areas of leadership, government relations, professional development and research and contains a number of objectives and strategies designed to bring ARN closer to realizing its envisioned future. Visit for more information about the ARN strategic plan. The strategic planning process led the board to examine other important aspects of governance and infrastructure including a move toward the current trend of knowledge-based decision making in associations, identification of the leadership skills needed to move ARN toward the envisioned future stated in the strategic plan, an update of financial policies, and more. The new focus led the board to revisit the question, “What board structure would best position ARN for the future and position the organization to accomplish its strategic goals?” The ARN Board of Directors felt that a competency-based board would allow ARN the flexibility to attract and elect future leaders with the most appropriate abilities to advance the organization’s goals. In 2008, the ARN Board of Directors appointed a task force to develop a recommendation for moving ARN from its current geographic/regional director representation to creating at-large director positions to allow a more competency-based board. Long-time ARN members know that this idea has been discussed in the past. However, the board felt that governance models have changed quite a bit in the past 10 years and it was time to revisit this question. The task force made recommendations to the board which they reviewed and affirmed. An important part of the task force’s proposal was to communicate the recommendations conscientiously and allow an opportunity for feedback from key ARN constituencies. So far, the ARN Board of Directors has met by conference call with the ARN Council of Leaders, ARN Chapter Presidents, the RNCB, Nominating Committee, RNJ Editorial Board and Chapter Support Committee and has made some adjustments based on their feedback. Now we feel it is time to share the recommendations with all ARN members and get your feedback.

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses Educational Conference Make plans now to attend the 35th Annual Educational Conference, October 21-24, 2009, in Albuquerque, NM. This is a great opportunity to meet your colleagues from across the country and learn about new rehabilitation clinical discoveries and how to translate them back into your daily practice. Attendees may earn up to 19.75 nursing contact hours. Educational sessions will address topics such as: Polytrauma CARF Accreditation Intimacy and Sex Team Building Case Management Spiritual Needs Diabetes ARN is also pleased to offer several preconference sessions addressing wound care, the rehabilitation and reintegration of US Army veterans, and documenting rehabilitation nursing interventions. For the first time, ARN is offering a 2-day leadership course ARN Essential Leadership: You Are the Future of Rehabilitation Nursing. This course is designed to give participants the insight and skills necessary to become a leader within ARN and help improve the future of all rehabilitation nurses. ARN membership is required. In addition to excellent educational content, the conference also offers opportunities to network with your colleagues at the opening reception, regional meetings, special interest groups, and the ARN 35th Anniversary Celebration. The ARN conference is the don't-miss rehabilitation nursing event of the year. It will leave you refreshed and recharged and ready to face the challenges of rehabilitation nursing. You will be equipped with greater knowledge, an energized sense of empowerment, and applicable skills and resources to provide optimal care and lead those affected by disability and chronic illness to better living. You can register for the conference at Get involved with CRRN certification Volunteering with the Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) program is a great way to meet other rehabilitation nurses and learn more about rehabilitation nursing while supporting the certification program. To get involved, go to ARN's Web site (,) and follow the links to the Volunteer Identification Program (member login - V.I.P, ARN membership is required). Once you've entered your member login, you will be able to select the committees on which you are interested in serving. Please be sure to indicate any areas of expertise as well.

The major recommendations for changes to the ARN governance structure are as follows: ARN Board of Directors/RNF Board of Trustees Move the board toward a more competency/knowledge-based board rather than a representative board. Change the current regional board representation for Directors to all at-large positions. Reduce the number of Directors from eight to six serving three-year (instead of the current two-year), non-renewable terms. Limit directors to a maximum of one, three-year term to allow more members to participate on the board over time. A member who has served as a director on the board would not be eligible to run for that position again in the future but may run for another office such as Secretarytreasurer or President-elect. Currently, many directors run for a second term because they are just beginning to feel that they understand the organization. Three year terms would give them enough continuity to make contributions and feel confident in promoting the ARN vision. Maintain the RNF Chair as a member of the ARN board and appoint the incoming RNF Chair to the ARN board. Both would be voting members of ARN and RNF Boards. The incoming RNF Chair is appointed for one year to overlap with the current RNF Chair then continues with a twoyear term of service for the RNF Chair. Use technology (such email communication with survey links for member feedback) to enhance communication to members on the process for getting involved and volunteering in ARN, provide background on certain board decisions, and to create an opportunity for greater input from members prior to significant board decisions. Create a process for implementing an informal opportunity for the board to assess its performance after every board meeting. Because terms are increasing to three years, it will be even more important to ensure board members are actively involved and performing at a high level. Annually, ask the members for feedback on how the board and organization as a whole is progressing toward the strategic plan goals. The CRRN Exam Committee is responsible for ensuring that the content of the CRRN examination reflects current rehabilitation nursing practice. The committee consists of five members representing the diversity of rehabilitation nursing practice. A board liaison participates as an active sixth member of the committee. The committee members are appointed to reflect the diversity of rehabilitation nursing practice. A variety of practice settings, nationwide representation, and a range of demographic characteristics, including racial/ethnic diversity, is sought. Members are appointed to two-year terms by the RNCB chair. Committee members must be CRRN certified, be current members of ARN, and hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree. The CRRN Item Development Committee is responsible for the development of new examination items. The committee consists of 9-12 members representing the diversity of rehabilitation nursing practice. The committee fulfills its purpose through development of new test questions (items). A variety of practice settings, nationwide representation, and a range of demographic characteristics, including racial/ethnic diversity, is sought. Members are appointed to two-year terms by the RNCB chair. Committee members must be CRRN certified and current members of ARN. The CRRN Audit Panel is responsible for auditing a percentage of CRRN renewal applications to ensure compliance with renewal requirements. Panel members must be current CRRNs. Committees are generally appointed in the fall to begin work in January. Committee members are selected to represent the diverse range of rehabilitation nursing practice. Volunteers may also be needed for special projects that may come up during the year. CRRN Examination Dates Be sure to let your colleagues know that the next opportunity to take the Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) examination will be December 2009. The application deadline is October 15, 2009. The application is available at 2009 points of credit renewal applications and expiration dates Renewal applications have been sent to CRRNs whose certification will expire in 2009. If your certification will expire in 2009 and you have not received the application, please call 800/229-7530 to request an application. The application is also available at

ARN Nominating Committee Expand the role and change the name of the current Nominating Committee to Nominating and Leadership Development Committee. The committee will have the responsibility of creating and recommending a slate of candidates for elections and assist with identifying and developing future association leaders for the board and other volunteer work groups (committees, task forces, etc.). Nominating Committee structure and additional responsibilities will be:   Immediate Past ARN President will continue to serve as chair. Two members appointed by the Board and two elected by the membership. (Currently one appointed, three elected.) Committee members serve three-year, staggered terms. Committee participates in ARN strategic planning process.

ARN member benefit - FREE CE Are you an ARN member? If so, be sure to visit the ARN Web site to earn free continuing education contact hours. Up to 6 hours are available each year. Questions? If you have any questions about your certification or the CRRN program, please feel free to contact us at 800/2297530 or email at

Visit our updated website at Hope to see you on September16, 2009, at Sinai for our fall kick off meeting. MARYLAND CHAPTER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF REHABILITATION NURSES COME JOIN US FOR THE FALL KICK OFF MEETING TOPIC: MILD HEAD INJURY SPEAKER: KEVIN CRUTCHFILED, MD PLACE: SINAI HOSPITAL MIROWSKI BUILDING Brain and Spine Injury Conference room on 3rd floor Time: Light Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Speaker at 6 p.m. Business meeting to follow speaker.

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General/Membership Develop educational opportunities for ARN members to help prepare them for possible future leadership roles. (ARN is offering a new Leadership Course immediately preceding the 2009 annual conference in Albuquerque.) Consider offering a “Town Hall” meeting annually at the ARN conference to bring together Chapter Presidents to discuss issues of strategic importance for the association and the chapters. Consider a conference call with the chapter leaders midyear. Why the Change? Changing the ARN Board of Director’s structure can assist the association in becoming more efficient and effective in accomplishing its longterm strategic plan.  Creates greater possibility for enhanced focus on overall vision and strategy for the association and the profession. Increases the flexibility for obtaining the skills and knowledge necessary on the ARN board to respond to the changing needs within the profession.



Increases the chances to find the board members with the right skills that are needed at a particular moment to support the growth and success of ARN.




Electing board members from within specific geographic boundaries limits ARN’s ability to find the specific skills needed for specific times. Allows opportunity to expand the board’s overall diversity (skills, practice settings, job positions, etc.) Emphasizes the importance of strategic thinking and what is best for the association and/or the profession rather than an identified geographic area. Aligns ARN with current best practice as association boards are moving away from geographically-based representation. Adding leadership development as part of the responsibilities of the Nominating Committee will enhance the development of future ARN leaders. Produces greater/more consistent opportunities for member involvement on the national level. Provides the opportunity for a more outwardly (profession) focused board to better support the profession overall.

Directions: From the east take Northern Parkway west turn left on Greenspring Avenue From the west take Northern Parkway east turn right on Greenspring Avenue.



Building is across from the Emergency Department.





We Want Your Feedback We’d like to hear from you whether you support these changes, have concerns, or just have questions and need clarification about the recommendations. Please let us know by participating in a special members’ survey. Simply click on the link below to access the short two question survey. This survey is not an official vote but an opportunity for the board to hear from you about the proposed new structure. Any vote to change the bylaws to incorporate any of these changes would be conducted separately. Thank you for your continued support of ARN and commitment to the specialty of rehabilitation nursing. Sincerely, ARN Board of Directors


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