The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses presented Kathleen Brewer-Smyth, RN, PhD, CRRN, with the 2013 ARN Doctorate-Prepared Researcher Role Award. Brewer-Smyth received the award at the 39th Annual ARN Educational Conference held October 2-5 in Charlotte, N.C.
The Doctorate-Prepared Researcher Role Award recognizes a rehabilitation nurse who is committed to the advancement of rehabilitation nursing through research, according to a news release.
Brewer-Smyth is a tenured associate professor at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del., and has been an ARN member for 23 years. Brewer-Smyth has published and presented on topics related to her rehabilitation research, with a focus on neuroendocrinology, behavior and neuroscience nursing.
Brewer-Smyths 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 societys national meeting. She has written articles for publications, including Neurorehabilitation Nursing Research Behind Bars: The Lived Experience in the Rehabilitation Nursing journal.
Brewer-Smyth also is an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. In her research, according to the release, she found that since the decrease in long-term rehabilitation and closure of most long-term facilities for individuals with traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions, 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 also had been abused during childhood. Brewer-Smyth continues to be a voice in public health, especially for victims of trauma, and interacts with law enforcement and prosecutors.