Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Residency Programs

The NSU Physical Therapy Program in partnership with Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital at Delray Medical Center (Delray Beach, FL) is proud to announce we are now accepting applications for the Physical Therapy Neurologic Residency Program.

Nova Southeastern University is recognized in the healthcare community for preparing entry-level physical therapists for clinical practice, providing post-professional training to bridge the baccalaureate or master’s degree in physical therapy to the doctoral level,  and producing post-professional doctors of philosophy in physical therapy who contribute to the profession through scholarly work.  The addition of Residency Programs enhances the continuum of Physical Therapy Education offered at NSU.

Students admitted to the residency program will be licensed physical therapists who are seeking clinical specialty certification in neurologic physical therapy. The residency program would provide advanced post-graduate training for specialty practice in all realms of neurologic physical therapy across the healthcare continuum. The resident will be required to complete both didactic coursework and participate in mentored clinical practice managing the physical people with a wide array of disorders affecting the neuromuscular system.  The curriculum is designed to prepare the resident to successfully complete the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) exam in neurology.  Outlined below are the minimum requirements for successful completion of the Neurological Residency Program.

A clinical residency program in physical therapy is a postprofessional planned learning experience in a focused area of clinical practice. Similar to the medical model, a clinical residency program is a structured educational experience (both didactic and clinical) for physical therapists following entry-level education and licensure that is designed to significantly advance the physical therapist's knowledge, skills, and attributes in a specific area of clinical practice (i.e. Cardiovascular/Pulmonary, Orthopedics, Sports, Pediatrics, etc). It combines opportunities for ongoing clinical mentoring, with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry based on a Description of Specialty Practice (see definition below) or valid analysis of practice for that specific area of clinical practice. When board certification exists through ABPTS for that specialty, the residency training prepares the physical therapist to pass the certification examination following graduation.

For more general information on physical therapy residency programs visit:

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a national professional organization representing more than 80,000 members throughout the United States, established the specialist certification program in 1978. Specialization is the process by which a physical therapist builds on a broad base of professional education and practice to develop a greater depth of knowledge and skills related to a particular area of practice. Clinical specialization in physical therapy responds to a specific area of patient need and requires knowledge, skill, and experience exceeding that of the physical therapist at entry to the profession and unique to the specialized area of practice.

The specialist certification program was established to provide formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these physical therapists.

For more information on physical therapy specialist certification visit:

Neurologic Residency Mission

The mission of the Neurological Residency Program at Nova Southeastern University is to prepare physical therapy residents for advanced practice in the management of movement disorders related to neuromuscular system dysfunction. Residents are prepared for specialty practice as experts in patient/client management of persons with physical neurologic disorders. Residents are trained in evidenced-based principles which guide clinical decision making for differential diagnosis and implementation of physical therapy interventions.  Residents contribute to the physical therapy body of knowledge through scholarly contribution including research and teaching.

Neurologic Residency Vision Statement

Nova Southeastern University will distinguish itself as a premier provider of post-professional neurologic residency education in the United States providing physical therapy education across the continuum.

Neurologic Residency Goals

Upon completion of the Neurologic Residency Program, the Specialist in Neurologic Clinical Practice will:

  1. Demonstrate clinical expertise in the physical therapy management of patients with movement disorders related neurological dysfunction including examination, diagnosis, prognosis, establishment of plan of care, selection and modification of interventions, establishment of discharge criteria and assessment of patient outcomes.
  2. Participate in education/instruction of entry-level physical therapy students in the area of neurologic practice.  
  3. Exhibit leadership in the field of physical therapy through participation in professional organizations, mentorship to others, and collaboration on research projects.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through scholarly contributions to advance the body of physical therapy knowledge.    

Neurologic Residency Objectives

The Neurologic Resident will:

  1. Participate in a minimum of 120 hours of academic preparation through participation in online instruction structured to enhance clinical expertise in neurologic physical therapy practice.
  2. Engage in a minimum of 1,500 independent clinical hours treating patients with physical therapy problems relating to dysfunction of the neuromuscular system.
  3. Participate in a minimum of 200 hours of collaborative, mentored patient care with an American Physical Therapy Board certified neurologic specialist.
  4. Make scholarly contributions to the profession by conducting clinical research and/or development of patient case reports related to neurologic physical therapy practice.
  5. Instruct entry-level physical therapy students in the physical therapy management of patients with neurological dysfunction in academic and/or clinical settings a minimum of 100 hours.
  6. Value membership and participation in physical therapy professional organizations.       

Neurologic Residency Outcomes

Upon completion of the Neurologic Residency Program the resident will:

  1. Demonstrate clinical expertise in the area of neurologic physical therapy practice by successfully passing the American Board of Physical Therapy Neurologic Specialists Certification Examination.
  2. Disseminate results of at least one scholarly project in a neurological physical therapy topic area through peer-reviewed presentation or publication within 2 years of graduating from the residency program.
  3. Design and implement at least one classroom or clinical activity aimed at instructing entry-level physical therapy students in the physical therapy management of neurological patients.
  4. Demonstrate membership to at least one physical therapy professional association during residency.   


Eligibility and Application Process

To be eligible for acceptance applicants must:

  • Be eligible for physical therapy licensure in the state of Florida
  • Provide evidence of interest in neurological physical therapy specialty practice via essay
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation from professional references
  • Submit a resume and application
  • Participate in a formal interview process with both academic and clinical programs
  • Exhibit leadership qualities, effective communication skills and evidence of motivation, accountability and self-directed behavior
  • Membership to the APTA preferred

New graduates (defined as a physical therapists practicing in the clinic for less than 1 year) applying to the neurologic 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.  Prospective residents who will be new graduates at the start of the residency program may apply for acceptance to the neurologic residency program pending the completion of their Florida licensure exam, however, continued participation in the program will be contingent on passing the licensure exam.  

The 12 month residency program will begin in August. 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 exam during the last moth of the residency program and will sit for the exam in following March. 

Academic Coursework: Residents will receive didactic preparation for the APTA Board Certification exam for specialty practice in neurological physical therapy. Coursework is delivered in online modules. Content is based on description of specialty practice in neurologic physical therapy.

  • Total of 200 hours over 12 months
  • Resident can expect to spend about 4 hours per week completing coursework

Clinical Exposure: Residents will be employed 32 hours per week at Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital and are expected to carry a full patient caseload with neurologically impaired patients. Clinical mentorship is provided by residency program faculty, at least 4 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 200 are mentored hours
  • 32 hours per week independent clinical practice of which 200 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 conducting a pilot research study, developing a case report or have involvement in faculty driven research project in the area of neurologic physical therapy which will be presented and/or published in a peer reviewed format.

  • Total of 100 hours of teaching responsibilities over 12 months

Requirements for Successful Completion of Neurologic Residency Program:

Requirements for successful completion of the neurological residency program include:

  • Resident must complete a minimum of 1,500 hours in direct patient care with patients with neurological diagnoses
  • Resident must successfully complete all courses with an 80% or better, including written and live patient practical examinations
  • Resident must complete a research project/case report with plan for dissemination

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




Residents will have access to NSU resources including:

  • Interactive Blackboard academic delivery platform
  • Innovative teaching technology
  • University and Health Professions online and on campus library services

Residents will be completing clinical experiences at PRH/DMC where they will have access to current technology and equipment such as:

  • Body weight supported treadmill training
  • Bioness electrical stimulation walking system
  • Balance Master posturography equipment and software
  • Saeboflex upper extremity training system
  • Wheelchair pressure mapping system
  • Wheelchair seating and positioning clinic
  • Medilinks electronic documentation system.

PRH/DMC is a level I trauma medical center which provides the continuum of care for people with neurological dysfunction from neurological ICU to inpatient rehab to outpatient care to community support programs.  Residents will have the opportunity to experience both mentored and independent patient care in a team approach in all of these areas of the continuum.

PRH/DMC holds the following designations:

  • Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
  • Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center through the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) 
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Designated Brain and Spinal Cord Program through the state of Florida’s Department of Health

Visit PRH/DMC’s website at:



We are now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 residency cycle. Please fill out the application and provide 2 professional references using the form found below. Also, provide a copy of your current resume. You may fill out and sign the form electronically and e mail all application materials to  All application materials must be received by no later than June 15, 2014. Applicants may be contacted to set up an interview.    

 Residency Application Checklist:

  • Application
  • Resume
  • 2 professional references

 2014 Neuro Residency Application

 2014 Professional Reference Form