Smiling parents holding young children at beach

Specialized nursing for stroke survivors

May 31, 2016 | Patricia Harriman
Nurse with patient at bed

Innovations in acute care have increased stroke survival rates in recent years. However, most hospitals still are not equipped to provide those survivors with the leading edge intensive care necessary to improve their chances of long-term survival and an acceptable quality of life.

UCI Health has not only achieved the highest stroke center designation available for its Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center, the nurses in its neurosciences intensive care unit are also committed to the highest standards of stroke care.

More than 20 nurses who treat stroke patients at UC Irvine Medical Center have earned advanced credentials in neuroscience, stroke care and critical care to ensure patients receive the highest-quality care.

Neurological nursing requires in-depth knowledge

“Neurological nursing is a specialized branch of nursing, requiring skills and expertise beyond that of an already skilled RN,” says Janice White, nurse manager for neurosciences ICU at the UC Irvine Medical Center.

“Board-certified nurses have taken an extra step to gain more in-depth knowledge of this specialty, and continue learning in order to renew their certifications.”

Our nurses already know how to provide excellent care for their patients and the certifications keep a nurse’s knowledge about stroke care current, White says. The certification also instills greater confidence among patients and families in the nurse’s ability care for them with the latest knowledge and advanced expertise.

Specialty certifications & patient benefits

The specialty certifications earned by UCI Health Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center nurses include:

  • Stroke Care Registered Nurse® credential, in recognition of the necessary skills, knowledge and experience unique to the practice of stroke care
  • Certified Neurological Registered Nurse® credential, in recognition of excellence in nursing care for the patient with a neurological condition
  • Critical Care Registered Nurse® certification, in recognition of advanced skills to care for patients who are critically ill and at high risk for life-threatening problems

The Stroke Care and Neurological credentials were established by the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing, and the Critical Care certification was established by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

“Stroke patients require a variety of special services for their care,” says Adelina Linares, RN, who has held the Neuroscience and Critical Care advanced certifications for many years. “I want to provide the most advanced, effective and world-class care.”

“There is a unique relationship between the nurse, the patients we serve and their families,” says Solomon Cua, RN, who recently earned the Stroke Care credential. “The patients we care for are in their most fragile condition, and I want to deliver the best, most compassionate care.”

Staying current

When serving in such a specialized field, it is very important to stay current in the latest development in knowledge and advances in patient care. The Stroke Care and Certified Neuroscience credentials are valid for five years, and the Critical Care credential is valid for three years. Nurses maintain their certifications through specialized continuing education.

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