Neurologic PT Clinical Residency at Vanderbilt Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute

Co-sponsored by Belmont University

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to prepare the physical therapy resident to be an advanced practitioner in neurologic physical therapy by working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary environment. The resident will demonstrate excellence through evidence based clinical decision making and practice and serve as an educator, clinical researcher and professional role model for others.

Program Overview:

Physical Therapy Residents will participate in a year-long out-patient program that focuses on becoming an expert practitioner in neurologic rehabilitation. Advanced foundational knowledge and skill-based instruction will be delivered using a 1:1 clinical mentoring model. The resident will meet with expert clinicians on average 3 hours per week and will participate in didactic assignments on average 2-4 hours per week.

As part of the didactic requirements, the resident will be expected to participate in webinars and to attend 2 Modules presented by the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium. Tuition will be provided for these educational experiences. However, the resident is responsible for all other travel expenses.

The resident will engage in 30 hours/week of direct clinical care time at the Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institutes state-of-the-art facility. The resident will evaluate and treat a wide range of patients populations. Thsi will include neurologic diagnoses including: Brain Injury,  Stroke, SCI, Multiople Sclerosis, Parkinson's diesease, vestibular disorders, and other degenerative neurological  diseases. Supplemental experiences include pediatrics, acute care (including a level I trauma unit), inpatient rehabilitation, and  expericenses in the Balance Function Center (audiology/vestibular).

In addition, the resident will have the opportunity to participate in several specialty clinics, including Adult Seating and Mobility, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Movement Disorder, and Facial Synkinesis.

The resident will gain knowledge and experience though teaching opportunities at Belmont University's Department of Physical Therapy in the neurologic content areas. Other unique opportunities may be available upon request. These include observation of driving assessments and low vision interventions.

Residents will complete a Scholarly Project during this experience. The program will prepare the resident to sit for the Neurological Clinical Specialist (NCS) examination.

Neurologic Residency Goals and Objectives:

The goals of the program are to:

1. Prepare the resident(s) to become an advanced neurologic physical therapy practitioner.

2. Develop resident(s) who have the highest professional standards.

3. Train resident(s) to advance the evidence-based practice of physical therapy.

4. Engage the resident(s) in Education.

5. Develop the resident's ability to serve as a consultant and advocate.

Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program Application

Requirements for Application

  • Completed the application in ABPTRFE, RF-PTCAS Applicant Website found at:
  • Verification of Professional Licensure in TN is completed in the RF-PTCAS application. Our program will accept applications from new graduates who are scheduled to sit for the license exam during the summer and will be able to obtain their TN license by August for the start of the program.

NOTE: No tuition is required to participate in our program

Additional Information

  • Applications will be accepted October 1 through December 1.
  • Interviews will be scheduled in January.
  • Notification of acceptance February 1.
  • The Residency Program will begin in August.

If you have questions regarding the application process please contact Lorri Bernhardt, Clinical Residency Director at (615) 936-5052 or via email at

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are the requirements for the application to the program?

a. Complete the application in ABPTRFE, RF-PTCAS Applicant Website found at:

b. Must have or be eligible for Tennessee Physical Therapy Licensure found at:
TN Dept. of Health Board of Physical Therapy

2. How much is Tuition?

There is no tuition for this program, only an application fee noted on the ABPTRFE, RF-PTCAS Applicant Website.

3. When does this Residency program start?

Our program runs from August to August.

4. Are new graduates allowed to apply for this program?


5. Is a PT License required to apply?

A valid Tennessee Physical Therapy License is required by the August start date for the program. You may apply to the program prior to obtaining this license.

6. What are the mentoring hours and didactic hours of this program?

Mentoring 1:1  with an expert clinician an average of 3 hours/week. Didactic assignments are an average of 2 hours/week.

7. What makes up the didactic portion of your program?

We use the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium for our didactic training. You are required to attend all webinars and two onsite four-day courses held in California. Tuition for the program is provided by the Residency Program, however the resident is responsible for flight, hotel and food on their own which is not negotiable and required for this program. Please see the website for further information on the clinic and also on the Neurologic Consortium Program found at:

8. Are there any other didactic learning opportunities available in addition to the Neurologic Consortium?

Yes. We have supplemented the Neurologic Consortium with in-house in-services on a variety of topics including TBI, Parkinson's Disease, Movement Impairment Syndromes, Graded Motor Imagery, Seating and Mobility, Cervicogenic Dizziness, among others.

9. Are there any community service opportunities available?

Yes. Each resident is expected to provide an in-service to a Community Group of choice. Additional service opportunities are available pursuant to individual interests.

10. Are there any research opportunities available?

Yes. Each resident will complete a scholarly project as part of the program. This could include a research project, a clinical case study, or a significant portion of an on-going research project.

11. Which specific courses does the Resident assist with at Belmont University's Department of Physical Therapy?

The Resident will participate in the Adult Neurological Rehabilitation Course & lab at Belmont University. There will also be a few Pediatrics Labs.

12. What is the typical salary for the resident?

The salary is a standard PT Level I salary.

13. Is a benefits package included? 

Yes. As a Vanderbilt Employee you are eligible for the standard benefits (health insurance, vision/dental insurance, liability insurance, etc.). As for the continuing education, you are participating in an extensive Neurologic Training Program which includes webinars and on-site modules through the Neurologic Consortium and will attend multiple in-house in-services.

Additional Links:



Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute:

Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital:

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital:

Vanderbilt Audiology:

Contact Information:

Lorri Bernhardt, PT, MPT, ATP

Clinical Residency Director at Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute

1215 21st Avenue South, Suite 9211

Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-5059

Cathey P. Norton, PT, DPT, NCS

Academic Residency Director at Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute

School of Physical Therapy

Belmont University

1900 Belmont Boulevard

Nashville, TN 37212

(615) 460-6715