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PT Neurological Residency Overview

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Neurologic Physical Therapy (PT) Residency Program partners with Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital (PRH) at Delray Medical Center and Memorial Rehabilitation Institute to provide a comprehensive residency curriculum. A clinical residency program is a post-professional learning experience in a focused area of PT practice. The NSU Neurologic PT Residency Program is designed to advance the physical therapist's knowledge, skills, and attributes in neurologic clinical practice. The program combines opportunities for one-on-one clinical mentoring and didactic coursework based on the American Physical Therapy Association’s Description of Residency Practice in Neurology.  Learning experiences include collaborative patient care experiences, didactic courses focused on contemporary management of people affected by neurological disorders, scientific inquiry, evidence-based projects, and integration of principles of teaching/learning in physical therapy.  It is a 12 month program where residents are physical therapy employees at the clinical partner and are actively involved in teaching/lab assisting in the professional DPT curriculum at NSU.

NSU values diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, philosophy, gender, physical characteristics, socioeconomic status, age, and sexual orientation. It also includes differences in views, interpretations, and reactions, with mutual respect for all. Diversity makes NSU a stronger university and enriches a learning environment focused on preparing individuals to live and work in a global society. NSU is recognized as a Hispanic-serving Institution (HSI), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI).  

The 12 month residency program will begin in August/September. The resident must successfully complete all residency requirements to be eligible to apply for the ABPTS Neurologic Specialist exam. The resident will apply for the specialty exam during the last moth of the residency program and will sit for the exam in following March. 

Academic Coursework: Coursework is provided in a self-directed, continuing education format with courses delivered predominately online using Blackboard. The resident will complete a total of 7 courses focusing on content based on the Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) in neurology.  Courses are between 12 and 21 weeks long and the resident will take 2-3 courses per trimester. Residents can expect to spend an average of at least 5 hours per week on didactic coursework for a total of at least 300 hours during the 12 month residency. See below for an outline of the didactic curriculum. Additional didactic experiences will be assigned on an individual basis as needed.

  • PTCE 0050   Fundamentals of Neurologic Specialty Practice
  • PTCE 0051   Evidence-Based Practice and Outcome Measurement in Expert Practice
  • PTCE 0062   Professional Roles in Expert Practice
  • PTCE 0060   Contemporary Management of Central Nervous System Injury
  • PTCE 0061   Contemporary Management of Degenerative/Demyelinating Diseases
  • PTCE 0071   Special Topics in Neurorehabilitation
  • PTCE 0072   Independent Study: Research Project

Clinical Practice: Residents will be employed 32 hours per week at Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital or Memorial Health System and are expected to carry a full patient caseload consisting of neurologically impaired patients. Clinical mentorship is provided by residency program faculty, at least 3 hours per week. Clinical mentoring may include collaborative patient care and discussion of patient cases between mentor and resident.  

  • Minimum of 1500 hours over 12 months of which 150 are mentored hours
  • 32 hours per week independent clinical practice of which 3 are mentored hours

Teaching/Scholarship:  Residents are expected to participate in teaching/instruction of basic neurologic skills for entry-level physical therapy students at NSU as part of their academic coursework. Residents are also responsible for providing physical therapy related education to peers and staff at the hospital. Residents will complete a scholarly project such as a pilot research study, clinical case report or faculty driven research project in the area of neurologic physical therapy which may be presented and/or published in a peer reviewed format.

  • Total of 100 hours of teaching responsibilities over 12 months

Evaluation of Learning

Resident learning will be evaluated using a variety of methods including:

  • Multiple choice tests/quizzes
  • Completion of case studies
  • Research article critique/analysis
  • Practical examinations to evaluate clinical skills
  • Completion of a research project/case report  
  • Feedback from clinical mentors

Requirements for Successful Completion of the Program

Requirements for successful completion of the neurological residency program include:

  • Residents will consistently meet or exceed standards required for employment at Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital during the residency program.
  • Residents must complete a minimum of 1,500 hours in direct patient care with patients with neurological diagnoses
  • Residents must successfully complete all courses with an 80% or better, including written and live patient practical examinations
  • Residents will complete a comprehensive exam
  • Residents must complete a scholarly project with plan for dissemination

Minimum requirements for eligibility:

  • Currently hold or be eligible for physical therapy licensure in the state of Florida1
  • Graduated from a CAPTE accredited physical therapy program2
  • Must be eligible for employment at Pinecrest Rehab Hospital
  • Submit a complete RFPTCAS application by published deadline
  • Participate in an interview with admissions committee (for selected candidates)
  • Must have access to a computer which will support required components of Blackboard (ie. Javascript, cookies, Java Runtime Environment)

1Prospective residents who will be new graduates at the start of the residency program may apply for acceptance to the neurologic residency program pending sitting for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), however, admission to and participation in the residency program will be contingent on obtaining FL licensure.

2New graduates (defined as a physical therapists practicing in the clinic for less than 1 year) applying to the neurological residency program will need to provide transcripts to demonstrate a high level of academic achievement. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or above in entry-level PT coursework is preferred.  

Preferred attributes include:

  • Completion of at least 1 clinical internship in a primarily neurological setting
  • Exhibit leadership qualities, effective communication skills and evidence of motivation, accountability and self-directed behavior
  • Display strong written and oral communication skills
  • Effective use of critical thinking in clinical situations using sound rationale for choices
  • Demonstrate experience participating in research (ie. case reports, faculty guided research, data collection, data analysis, etc.)
  • Evidence of high academic achievement (for new graduates)
  • Membership to the APTA and American Academy of Neurologic PT

Application Process:

All candidates must apply through the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (RFPTCS) 

 

Year
Graduation Rate 
Ultimate NCS Board Pass Rate 
2021-2022 100% 100%
2020-2021 100% 66.7% 
2019-2020 100% 100%
2018-2019 100% 100%
2017-2018 100% 100%
2016-2017 100% 100%
2015-2016 100% 100%
2014-2015 100% 100%

NEUROLOGIC PT RESIDENCY MENTORS

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Rania Margonis, PT

Neurologic Residency Coordinator

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Shilpa Gaikwad, PT, MPT, PhD

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Donna Tadena, PT, NCS

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Jennifer Canbek, PT, PhD, NCS

 

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Kim Smith, PT, DPT, NCS

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Anna Castaneda, PT, DPT

 

2022-2023 NEUROLOGIC PT RESIDENTS


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Taylor Berlin

Hello everyone! My name is Taylor Berlin, and I am a Floridian, born and raised. I completed my Bachelor’s in health sciences and my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Outside of work, I enjoy going on adventures, trying new foods, and watching scary movies. Most of my mornings start with a lift in the gym - just don’t ask me to go for a run. My passion for the neurological population began during physical therapy school when I fell in love with learning about the brain, spinal cord, and everything neuro. During clinical experiences, I quickly saw how difficult it could be for both patients and their families to navigate a neurological diagnosis. I knew that I wanted to be a part of improving their function and lives. Additionally, my motivation to become a physical therapist stemmed from observing care delivered to a family member and my love for physical activity and healthcare. I am beyond excited for this experience and to expand my knowledge and management of individuals with neurological conditions.  

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Marisa Kastner

Hello everyone! My name is Marisa Kastner and I am from Delray Beach, Florida. I am a proud “triple gator” – I graduated with my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Florida, where I previously received my undergraduate and master’s degrees in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.  I have always had an interest in working with people with neurological conditions, however, my passion for neurorehabilitation was ultimately reinforced by my clinical rotations and work experience in an outpatient physical therapy clinic for patients with neurodegenerative disorders. These experiences have inspired me to pursue a residency in neurological physical therapy so that I may continue to treat patients with neurological conditions and to restore patients’ function and quality of life through movement. I am excited to be a part of the Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program here at Nova Southeastern University as I take this next step to progress my knowledge and clinical reasoning in neurorehabilitation. Outside of work, my interests include reading, cooking, exercising, spending time with family, and enjoying all of the outdoor activities that South Florida has to offer!

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Kayleigh Sherbutt

Hello, I am Kayleigh Sherbutt. I am originally from Michigan, but I moved to South Florida in 2014 after receiving my undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Michigan. I spent six years teaching and working within the AmeriCorps in Detroit, MI, and Miami, FL, before returning to school to receive my Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree at Florida International University in 2021. I knew neurological physical therapy was the right career path for me upon entering PT school. It tied in with my passions for helping others, utilizing movement as medicine, and my love for all things neuroscience related.  I am grateful to be a resident in a neurological residency program to gain the mentorship, knowledge, skills, and experiences essential to becoming a neurologic PT specialist. Outside the residency program, I enjoy exploring the various restaurants, beaches, venues, and parks South Florida offers, lounging around with my 9-year-old Miniature-Pin mix Brodie, riding my peloton, and traveling.

 

 

NEUROLOGIC PT RESIDENCY ALUMNI

2021-2022 Graduates 


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Melinda Geisel, PT, DPT

 

 

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Shyra Dehner, PT, DPT

 

2020-2021 Graduates 

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Jessica Zanon, PT, DPT

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Alexandra Adams PT, DPT 

2019-2020 Graduates

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 Christina Cyprien, PT, DPT, NCS

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Tamika Hawkins, PT, DPT

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Franline Destin, PT, DPT, NCS  

2018-2019 Graduates

Jason Berlongieri, PT, DPT, NCS

Laurianne Dib, PT, DPT, NCS

Syeda Ahmed, PT, DPT, CSCS, NCS

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Pictured L-R: Rania Margonis, Residency Coordinator; Jason Berlongieri, Graduate; Laurianne Dib, Graduate; Syeda Ahmed, Graduate; Melissa Tovin, Residency Director

2017-2018 Graduate

Paul Colbert, PT, DPT, NCS

 

2016-2017 Graduate

Breanna Holliday, PT, DPT, NCS

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Pictured L-R: Melissa Tovin, , Residency Dir NSU; Breanna Holliday, Graduate; Jennifer Canbek, Neuro Residency Coord.

2015-2016 Graduate 

Kara Scnake, PT, DPT, NCS

2015-2016

Pictured L-R: Kara Schnake, Graduate; Graduate; Jennifer Canbek, Residency Dir NSU

2014-2015 Graduates

Donna Tadena, PT, NCS

Jennifer Lombardi, PT, DPT, NCS

2014-2015

Pictured L-R: Cheri Archer-Silveria, Administrative Dir. PRH; Teressa Dykeman-Diaz, Rehab Dir. PRH; Donna Tadena, Graduate; Jennifer Lombardi, Graduate; Jennifer Canbek, Residency Dir NSU

 

Apply Now

Nova Southeastern University Post-Professional Physical Therapy Residency Programs comply with applicable federal, state, and local regulations including non-discrimination, privacy, confidentiality policies, and equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations. NSU admits residents of any race, color, religion or creed, sex, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, nondisqualifying disability, age, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, military service, veteran status, political beliefs or affiliations. 

Visit the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RFPTCAS) to apply.

*Note: Admissions and enrollment decisions are made on a rolling basis.   

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