size practical application, uniting hand skills and intuitive knowledge with the precision of mathematics and the physical sciences. This blending of the practical and the theoretical was beneficial to good, practical engineering. Sometimes this creative kind of union of the practical and theoretical appears in individual persons, and sometimes it comes about mainly through design teams.
Future rehabilitation engineers who provide service to clients probably will need either education at least to the master's level in engineering, dual education in engineering and in a rehabilitation specialty (e.g., Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Prosthetics or Orthotics, etc.), or specialized advanced degrees in rehabilitation science and engineering. Research in rehabilitation engineering will be led largely by engineering doctorates, doctorates dually educated in engineering and in rehabilitation (e.g., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or Occupational Therapy), or those with advanced degrees in rehabilitation science. Education programs will also need to have counterpart programs that foster the development of technical personnel in the rehabilitation field. Much of the practical day-to-day aspects of rehabilitation technology can be sustained by highly skilled people with appropriate technical backgrounds.
Professional schools of nursing prepare nurses for general practice in a variety of settings including the community. Graduates receive a baccalaureate degree from colleges or universities whose nursing program(s) is accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN). Advanced practice nurses (clinical specialists, nurse practitioners) complete requirements for a master's degree in a given clinical area such as rehabilitation nursing (accredited by NLN). Doctoral nursing programs prepare nurses in theory and research to increase the body of nursing knowledge and practice.
In addition to the academic requirements for the levels of nursing practice, nurses may sit for a certification exam in rehabilitation. The Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) certification program was developed by the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and is directed and implemented by the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board. The CRRN certification program has grown every year since its inception in 1984, and more than 12,400 rehabilitation nurses hold the CRRN credential. The goals of the CRRN program are to promote expertise in rehabilitation nursing, provide a standard for recognizing qualifications, and validate specialized knowledge to enhance the care of people affected by disabling conditions and chronic illness. Registered nurses with a minimum of 2 years of work experience as a registered profes-