Newswise — Chicago, IL (Nov. 18, 2013): The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) presented Kathleen Brewer-Smyth, PhD RN CRRN, with the 2013 ARN Doctorate-Prepared Researcher Role Award. Dr. Brewer-Smyth received her award at the 39th Annual ARN Educational Conference, held October 2-5 in Charlotte, NC.

The Doctorate-Prepared Researcher Role Award recognizes a rehabilitation nurse who is committed to the advancement of rehabilitation nursing through research. Dr. Brewer-Smyth is an Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE, and has been an ARN member for 23 years. As a rehab nursing leader, Dr. Brewer-Smyth has published and presented on topics related to her rehabilitation research, with a focus on neuroendocrinology, behavior and neuroscience nursing.

Dr. Brewer-Smyth’s interdisciplinary research involvement began with the American Epilepsy Society where she served as the first nurse on the Scientific Program Committee and was the first nurse moderator at the society’s national meeting. She has written a variety of publications, including “Neurorehabilitation Nursing Research Behind Bars: The Lived Experience” in the Rehabilitation Nursing journal (2004).

Dr. Brewer-Smyth is also a strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. In her research, she found that since the decrease in long-term rehabilitation and closure of most long-term facilities for individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other neurological conditions, her hypothesis was correct that many who are in need of these rehabilitation services are now housed in prisons. She documented neurological abnormalities in 95% of a random sample of female prison inmates. Many of these women had also been abused during childhood. Because of this, Dr. Brewer-Smyth continues to be a voice in public health, especially for victims of trauma, and interacts with law enforcement and prosecutors.

ARN is a professional healthcare association dedicated to promoting and advancing professional rehabilitation nursing practice through education, advocacy, collaboration, and research to enhance the quality of life for those affected by disability and chronic illness. For more information about ARN, please visit or call 800.229.7530.