Neurologic PT Residency
Advancing clinical competency and patient care
Kessler Institute is a leader in the field of medical rehabilitation. It offers this unique program to physical therapists interested in expanding their knowledge and specialization in neurologic rehabilitation.Our expert faculty and team of dedicated rehabilitation professionals - many of whom are American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Certified Specialists in Neurologic Physical Therapy (NCS) - foster opportunities for residents to develop advanced, evidence-based skills and clinical expertise in neurologic practice and become leaders in the physical therapy profession.
The goals of this residency in neurologic physical therapy are to prepare graduates to:
- Practice advanced clinical decision-making skills, with emphasis on complex neurologic patient management through the patient’s lifespan.
- Provide superior neurologic clinical practice and highly developed therapy skills that are progressive, evidenced-based and fiscally responsible.
- Demonstrate their participation in a multi-disciplinary team which fosters an environment of staff engagement and a culture of learning and growth.
- Collaborate with the Neurologic Residency program to ensure a consistent clinical learning experience.
- Become a resource to the organization and community by educating others via professional speaking, clinical teaching and program development.
- Contribute to advancement of the physical therapy profession through research, education and leadership skills
The Kessler Institute NPT Residency program consists of multiple components. All are designed to advance the specialized skills and clinical expertise of the resident. The elements of the program include:
- Program year: An annual 13-month residency program that begins the first week of June and runs through June 30 of the following year.
- Rotations: The program consists of rotations to four departments across our hospital campuses introducing residents to a range of patients with unique neurologic injuries or diseases. Each inpatient rotation will focus on a specific, core diagnostic category at one of our campuses:
- Stroke – Kessler Institute - Saddle Brook
- Brain Injury – Kessler Institute - Chester
- Spinal Cord Injury – Kessler Institute- West Orange
In addition, the resident’s outpatient rotation at Kessler will target diagnoses such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and vestibular dysfunction.
- Billable treatment time: The resident participates in billable treatment time averaging 24 hours per week with a focus on evaluation and treatment of patients in varied diagnostic categories outlined in the APTA Neurologic Description of Specialty Practice (DSP)
- Mentored time: The resident receives more than 150 hours of 1:1, patient-centered mentored time with the program’s experienced physical therapy residency faculty.
- Didactic: Kessler's Residency Program has partnered with the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium. This coursework offers didactic education that assists the resident in successful completion of the program and in preparation for specialty certification in neurologic physical therapy. The consortium includes two, four-day live courses, a 26-part webinar series and participation in journal clubs. In addition, the resident will participate in specialty clinics, grand rounds, interdisciplinary observations and be exposed to state-of-the-art equipment and technology as well as in-services and lectures provided by faculty.
- Teaching opportunity: The resident serves as a teaching assistant, lab instructor and guest speaker to doctoral physical therapy (DPT) students at two local universities in their respective neurologic physical therapy courses. The resident also has a range of speaking opportunities at Kessler across all rotations.
- Research: The resident will have the opportunity to participate in research during the residency year. This may include participation in a current research project with a member of the Kessler Foundation, research collaboration with a member of the residency faculty or development of a novel research project.
The Kessler Institute Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy admits two residents annually. Candidates must be current Kessler therapists with less than two years of experience. The application process includes a two-part interview held in February/March and residents are notified of their selection by April 1 of the program year. There is no application fee
Graduates of the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency program complete the program in June and are eligible to sit for the exam the following March. The program has graduated 16 of 17 recruited residents. 14 of the 15 graduates who have taken the NCS exam passed on their first attempt. (Note: The 2022 residency class takes the exam in 2023; current residents take the exam in 2024.)
All of our residency graduates elected to stay at Kessler Institute full-time for at least two years following graduation from the program.
In addition, after completing the program, all Kessler graduates have participated in advanced-level activities, including teaching, conducting research, returning to school for advanced degrees, and presenting at regional, national and international meetings and conferences.
The Residency Program has created a culture of excellence within the Institute. Prior to Program inception, only 10 staff members had obtained board certification. Since inception of the program, an additional 47 staff members have become either NCS or GCS-certified while employed by Kessler.
For more information about the residency program or application process, please contact Program Director Arielle Resnick at: [email protected].
To apply for employment as a therapist at Kessler Institute and become eligible for the Neurologic Residency program, contact Michelle Davis Bey at [email protected].