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What is Neuroscience Nursing?

Neurological Article   (25,514 Views | 2 Replies | 583 Words)
by dianah dianah, ADN (Admin) Writer Expert Nurse

dianah has 45 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology.

2 Followers; 9 Articles; 68,045 Profile Views; 2,734 Posts

Neuroscience Nursing, a highly sophisticated and challenging specialty of nursing, demands equally high-skills and a sophisticated knowledge base in order to provide nursing care to patients that can affect recovery and management of neurological conditions.

What is Neuroscience Nursing?

Skilled and dedicated nurses, helping patients using their knowledge and skills of Neuroscience Nursing, make an important difference to vulnerable patients of all ages who have neurological disorders. In the highly-specialized area of Neuroscience Nursing, nurses from RNs to FNPs care for patients with TBI (traumatic brain injury), CVAs, disorders of the brain and spinal cord, neurovascular disease, tumors, CNS disorders, Alzheimers, chronic pain and epilepsy, chronic pain, migraine pain control and seizure disorders, to name only a few conditions.

Neuroscience RNs may provide direct patient care to critically ill patients in a hospital setting, using sophisticated monitoring technologies and highly developed assessment skills and knowledge. Nurses will collaborate with other disciplines to organize, oversee and provide holistic care for patients with various acute or chronic neurological conditions.

RNs may participate in research areas, long-term or rehabilitation care areas, become Clinical Nurse Specialists or Unit Educators. Excellent communication, assessment and clinical skills, patience, and a commitment to remain current with advances in Neuroscience Nursing are just a few hallmarks of a Neuroscience Nurse.

Practice Setting

The Neuroscience RN may practice in an acute or long-term inpatient setting, or in a clinic or office following patients with chronic neurological conditions. Some may work in the OR, assisting with complex neurosurgeries, or assisting with procedures in Neurointerventional Radiology. Neuroscience Nurses may participate in research areas, spearheading changes in evidence-based practice, screening patients for participation in clinical research studies and providing patient information and education about clinical research studies.

Neurology Clinical Nurse Specialists can work closely with neurologists, following patients in inpatient and outpatient settings, and serving as a resource for direct patient care nurses. They may perform patient assessments and organize conferences and Neuroscience presentations.

Possessing a strong clinical background, they will see patients in an inpatient setting and often follow them as well, as patients progress, in an outpatient clinical setting.


After passing NCLEX, RNs may obtain employment in an acute care unit (either ICU or stepdown) or a long-term care area. After a 12-month Neurosciences Nurse Practitioner Fellowship, a FNP may become a Neurology Nurse Practitioner.


Salaries vary by location and education level. Neuroscience RNs may conservatively earn $58,000 per year or more, and up to $86,000 per year or more, depending on education level and certification.


To be obtained through the AANN, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses)

CNRN - Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse

To become eligible to take the CNRN exam, the candidate must possess a current RN license and have been working in a neuroscience area, directly or indirectly, for two years within the past five years.

SCRN - Stroke Certified Registered Nurse

To become eligible to take the exam to become a SCRN, the candidate must possess a current RN license and be working in some aspect of stroke care.


American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing

Neuroscience Nursing Foundation - committed to raising funds to support profesional growth in neuroscience nursing

The World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses ..."an international neuroscience nursing organization dedicated to the promotino and development of neuroscience nursing throughout the world."

CA girl, born in Hawaii, raised in Northern CA, live in So. Cal last 35 yr.

2 Followers; 9 Articles; 68,045 Profile Views; 2,734 Posts

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Dachshund9 has 19 years experience and specializes in Neurology, Med/Surg, Orthopedic, Telemet.

7 Posts; 549 Profile Views

I am an RN and have been working on a Neurology unit for close to 18 years. It does take a lot of patience, more on some days than others. It's can definitely be a very sad specialty to work in, seeing young adults in there early 20s being admitted for a stroke or one of many neurological diseases. It can also be rewarding to have a patient that has very little residual from a stroke they had or the surgeon was able to remove the entire brain tumor, or the patient that has a full recovery from a neurological chance mentation, etiology unknown. I think Neurology is very interesting, even after 18 years:)

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14 Posts; 1,178 Profile Views

This article sounds like an administrator or manager's voice - not a "nurse in the trenches" voice. I think it would be useful if this article mentioned the unique day-to-day stress and challenges of working in Neuro, like the confused patients who are pulling out catheters and other lines, and patients who are aggressive, throwing feces, or otherwise require 1:1 and how that pulls CNAs from the floor, thereby putting more work on other staff. Articles like this are nice, but I need nurses on the floor to tell me how it is. I'm grateful for the Allnurses forum!

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