Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Belmont University

Credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to prepare the physical therapy resident to become an advanced practitioner in neurologic physical therapy by working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary outpatient environment. The resident will demonstrate excellence through evidence-based clinical reasoning, knowledge of neurologic specialty, and as a professional role model.  The resident will also demonstrate leadership and collaboration as an educator, and clinical researcher.

Program Overview:

The physical therapy resident will participate in a year-long outpatient program in neurologic rehabilitation. Advanced foundational knowledge and skill-based instruction will be delivered using a 1:1 clinical mentoring model. The resident will engage in direct 1:1 mentoring for an average 3-4 hours per week – with skilled physical therapist mentors, most of whom are American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Certified Specialists in Neurologic Physical Therapy (NCS).   

Didactic coursework includes continuing education modules, courses presented online, and through 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.

This curriculum is designed to follow the Neurologic Physical Therapy Description of Practice in preparation for the graduating neurologic PT resident to take the ABPTS Neurologic Clinical Specialist examination.

The physical therapy resident will partner with entry-level DTP Physical Therapy Program at Belmont University Belmont University  in providing teaching experiences throughout the year.

Typical Weekly Programming:

  • 25-30 hours per week of direct neurological outpatient care
  • 3-4 hours of mentored clinical practice
  • 2-4 hours of academic modules and web-based instruction
  • 3-4 hours teaching at the Belmont University entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program


The Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute Neurologic PT Resident provides multidisciplinary therapy for a wide variety of diagnoses that include:

  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • CNS neoplasms
  • Cerebellar disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cerebrovascular Accident
  • Concussion (Post-concussion Syndrome)
  • Dementia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
  • Other neuromuscular disorders (ALS, Huntington’s Disease, etc.)
  • Parkinson’s disease/Parkinsonism syndromes
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Polyneuropathy (CIDP, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, etc.)
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Vestibular Disorders


The Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute Neurologic PT Resident will also participate in alternative experiences that include:

  • Acute Neurologic Inpatient
  • ALS Clinic
  • Balance Function Center Clinic
  • Huntington’s Disease Clinic
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Movement Disorder Clinic
  • Muscular Dystrophy Clinic
  • Orthotics/Prosthetics
  • Pediatrics (Inpatient and Outpatient)
  • Seating and Mobility Clinic
  • Trauma Unit (Level 1)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic

Pi Beta Phi Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Belmont University Program Application Process

Requirements for Application

  • Completed application via RF-PTCAS.
  • 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 accepted October through December.
  • Interviews to be scheduled in January.
  • Notification of acceptance on Common Acceptance Date in March.
  • The Neuroconsortium Webinars begin in June (typically Tuesday evenings 7:00-9:00 CST).
  • The Residency Program at Vanderbilt/Pi Beta Phi Rehab Institute will begin in August.

If you have questions regarding the application process please contact Lorri Bernhardt, Clinical Residency Director at (615) 936-5280 or via email at Lorri.L.Bernhardt@vumc.org.

-- 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: https://rfptcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login

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 2-4 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 (or via Webinar during Covid19 restrictions). 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 is required for this program. Please see the website for further information on the clinic and also on the Neurologic Consortium Program found at: http://ptneuroconsortium.org/

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 and monthly journal club on a variety of topics including TBI, Parkinson's Disease, Movement Impairment Syndromes, 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.  The Resident will also participate in the Orthotics/Prosthetics Course & lab at Belmont University.

12. What is the typical salary for the resident?

The salary is a standard PT Level I salary.  Further information will be provided on the Vanderbilt Human Resources website.

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.

Pi Beta Phi Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Belmont University Program Statistics:

Graduation Rate

  • Neurological PT Resident Program Graduation Rate of 100% since the first year of the program in 2012.

NCS Exam Pass Rate

  • Neurologic Clinical Specialty Exam Pass Rates:  100% of graduates have passed the NCS Exam to date (2012 – 2019)

Additional Links:

Neuroconsortium: https://www.neuroconsortium.org/

Entry-Level DPT Program at Belmont University: http://www.belmont.edu/pt/index.html

Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute: https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/program/pi-beta-phi-rehabilitation-institute

Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital: https://www.encompasshealth.com/locations/vanderbiltstallworth

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital: https://www.childrenshospitalvanderbilt.org/


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) 936-5280


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