Restorative Nursing Assistant (RNA)

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Restorative Nursing Assistant (RNA)

What is a Restorative Nursing Assistant?

A Restorative Nursing Assistant (RNA) is a healthcare professional who specializes in providing rehabilitative care and support to patients recovering from injury, illness, or surgery. RNAs work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and physical or occupational therapists in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities.

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Restorative Nursing Assistant?

  1. Rehabilitative Care: RNAs assist patients with therapeutic exercises and activities designed to improve their strength, flexibility, mobility, and overall function. They work closely with physical and occupational therapists to implement individualized treatment plans for patients.
  2. Basic Patient Care: RNAs provide basic care to patients, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and toileting, while promoting independence and self-care skills.
  3. Mobility Assistance: RNAs help patients with mobility tasks, such as transferring from a bed to a chair, repositioning in bed, and assisting with walking or ambulation, using appropriate assistive devices as needed.
  4. Range of Motion Exercises: RNAs perform passive and active range of motion exercises with patients to maintain or improve joint flexibility and prevent contractures.
  5. Splinting and Positioning: RNAs may apply, adjust, and remove splints or other supportive devices, as well as assist with proper positioning to promote optimal body alignment and prevent complications.
  6. Patient Education: RNAs educate patients and their families on proper body mechanics, positioning, and self-care techniques to promote healing and prevent further injury.
  7. Documentation: RNAs maintain accurate records of patients’ progress, treatment plans, and response to therapy, ensuring that documentation complies with facility policies and regulatory requirements.

Communication and Collaboration

RNAs must effectively communicate with other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, therapists, and physicians, to ensure patients receive appropriate care. They also provide updates on patients’ progress and relay any concerns to the healthcare team.

Work Settings

RNAs work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities. Their work may be physically demanding, requiring them to be on their feet for extended periods and to lift or move patients.


To become an RNA, individuals first need to complete a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program and obtain their CNA certification. Following this, they must complete additional restorative-specific training, which may include classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. After completing the required training, individuals may be required to pass a state-administered certification exam to become an RNA or obtain a specific restorative nursing assistant certification, depending on state regulations.

Continuing Education

RNAs may need to complete continuing education courses or participate in training workshops to maintain their skills and certifications.

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