The purpose of Alabama ARN is to promote the specialty nursing organization of ARN among Alabama rehabilitation nurses. It strives to support the purpose of ARN to promote and advance professional rehabilitation nursing practice, through networking, education, and service among rehabilitation nurses in the state.
ARN are organized in Illinois in 1974 by Sue Novak, and formally recognized as a national specialty nursing organization by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1976. Three years later, then Alabama Chapter president Janet Engstrand lead the petition to ARN, signed by 30 other rehabilitation nurses, to form a charter chapter in Alabama. On October 19, 1979, the charter for “The Alabama Chapter of ARN” was granted, signed by then national president Barbara McHugh, RN and Executive Vice-President Dagney Engle, RN, one of ARN’s founders.
Over the years, many of our leaders from the Alabama chapter have gone on to serve as active members, leaders and mentors of ARN, on a national level. Many thanks to former nursing directors of Spain Rehabilitation Center, Janet Engstrand and Sharon Hamilton; and, Dan Johnson, former nursing director of Lakeshore Hospital, and many others for blazing the trail to bring so many Alabama nurses into the ARN organization and rehabilitation nursing practice.
Most recently, three of our own have served on the ARN Board of Directors or national level committee.
Stephanie Davis Burnett, our current Alabama chapter secretary-Treasurer and past chapter president, became ARN’s national President, serving from 2005-2006, President-Elect, 2004-2005, Conference committee, 2000, Director-at-Large, 1997-1999, and RNCB Chair, 1996.
Karion Waites, our current Alabama Chapter president, was just elected as the President-Elect of the 2017 ARN Board of Directors; past Secretary Treasurer, Director-at-Large, 2005-2009, and RNCB chair, 2004.
Tarina Mabry-Orr, immediate past Alabama Chapter president, served as one of ARN’s Safe Patient Handling Toolkit contributors, 2005; and, chapter resource liaisons.
The chapter publishes a quarterly newsletter to keep its members abreast of current ARN news and events and to keep members linked to the local chapter from all over the state.
The chapter promotes cholarship is several ways. The chapter offers stipends to qualified active members to attend the biennial Regional ARN educational conference (even years), and to the National ARN Educational conference each year. Alabama ARN offers its own biennial educational conference (odd years), typically in the spring time, promoting the talents and expertise of our own Alabama professionals and others.
Quarterly chapter meetings are held on the 2nd Monday at 5pm (March-June-September); rotated among our member facility locations to promote more interest and attention to ARN, offering a light meal and continuing education offering. Volunteers to host the chapter meeting are welcome!
During the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season, chapter members come together for a holiday dinner meeting at a local restaurant to socialize, network, and plan for the chapter’s activities for the upcoming year. The members of Alabama ARN give back to the community by taking this time to give a holiday gift donation, matched by the chapter, to sponsor a selected needy group home, family, or agency as its Christmas project.
Alabama ARN is a small to medium chapter in the ARN organization, but is considered one of its most respected and active chapters. Currently, the Alabama Chapter of ARN has approximately 55 members who live and/or work throughout the state of Alabama and work in a variety of settings: in-patient rehabilitation facilities, sub-acute facilities, out-patient, insurance, and academia. The state of Alabama has approximately 130 current certified rehabilitation registered nurses (CRRNs).
2016-2017 Chapter Officers and Board of Directors:
Karion Gray Waites, DNP RN FNP-BC CRRN, President
Stephanie Davis Burnett, DNP RN ACNS-BC CRRN, Sec/Treasurer
Marsha Tudor, RN, Chapter President-Elect
Board of Directors:
Kim Rutley-Campbell, RN CRRN
Tarina Mabry-Orr, MSN RN CRRN
Cheryl Lane, DNP RN NP CRRN
Lynn Phifer, RN CRRN