Ronnie Bowling, RN, CRRN at Frazier Rehab

When Ronnie Bowling was starting his career in nursing 16 years ago, rehabilitation nursing was not on his radar. However, it was through a final clinical rotation at UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute that Ronnie found his direction for his nursing career and his passion for patients needing this specialized care.

Ronnie’s interaction with one of his first patients, a person who had experienced a spinal cord injury, confirmed he was on the right path. His patient saw fear on his face as he entered the room. But taking guidance from the patient, they were able to work together as a team.

In a rehabilitation hospital, such as Frazier Rehab Institute, nurses provide highly specialized inpatient care for patients with complex medical conditions. Nurses must have or develop a wide array of skills to care for patients who have experienced trauma, brain injury, spinal cord injury, transplant, and other chronic health issues. Rehab nurses collaborate with physicians, therapists, and case managers.

Because inpatient stays in rehab care are most often longer, nurses can develop relationships with patients and their families and are able to provide in-depth education and training.

Ronnie would tell you these two aspects – relationships and time with the patients and families – that longtime rehab nurses count as important. “The relationships create a greater sense of compassion and care,” said Ronnie. “And a longer length of stay allows us to see the patient’s recovery and the significance of the work we do.”

Another key skill for rehab nurses is listening. It was Ronnie’s willingness to listen to that first patient that brought success. As a new nurse, Ronnie was not confident about the care needed that day. The patient sensed his concern and told Ronnie he would tell him exactly what he needed to do. Before he left the patient’s room, the man shared, “You are going to be a great nurse.”

Now a nurse manager, Ronnie is proud to be part of nursing team at Frazier Rehab Institute and the renowned, life-changing care provided to patients at the rehab hospital. His goal is to make sure new and experienced nurses alike know about the excellent opportunities available in rehabilitation nursing.

To learn how you can take your first steps to becoming a rehab nurse like Ronnie, visit