NCS Prep Program

This self-guided NCS Prep Program is designed to give you the tools you need to pass the test, gain expertise, and elevate the profession — all while earning CEUs.

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of subscribers that studied with the MedBridge Certification Prep Programs successfully passed their board specialization test!

Prepare to take the next step in your career.

Our NCS Prep Program provides all of the tools you'll need to pass the board specialization test, develop your clinical skill set, and elevate your career - all while earning CEUs. With advanced certification, you'll set yourself apart as a distinguished professional equipped to provide an advanced level of care.

We can help you get there faster.

In this program you will study advanced topics taught by the best instructors in neurologic therapy. With over 300 practice questions, this 20-week program will have you well-prepared for success on test day.

Learn From the Best at MedBridge

Learn from the Best

Study advanced topics taught by the top instructors in neurologic therapy.

Identify Your Strengths at MedBridge

Identify Strengths

Analyze your strengths & weaknesses with scores for practice areas.

Personalize Your Plan at MedBridge

Personalize Your Plan

Customize the program to meet your needs. Study in groups or on your own.

Advance Your Career at MedBridge

Advance Your Career

Prepare for the test and earn CEUs—all included in the annual subscription.

Explore NCS Prep Courses

Acute Brain Injury and Disorders of Consciousness: Assessment and Intervention

Presented by Mary Beth Osborne, PT, DPT, NCS

Acute Brain Injury and Disorders of Consciousness: Assessment and Intervention

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This course covers physical therapy patient management at the early stages following brain injury and for people in the disorders of consciousness phase of recovery. Common complications, outcome measures and interventions will be explored. Case studies will provide examples of real life manifestation of many of the common issues experienced during this phase.

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Cognitive Impairments: Executive Function

Presented by Karen L. McCulloch, PhD, PT, MS, NCS(E), FAPTA, FACRM

Cognitive Impairments: Executive Function

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Part of a multiple-part series of courses on cognitive impairments seen in neurologic conditions, the purpose of this course is to review issues relevant to physical therapists related to executive function and self-awareness. Although these cognitive functions are not the direct focus of physical rehabilitation, therapists should be knowledgeable about the effects of executive dysfunction and impaired self-awareness as they relate to safety and prognosis.

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Neuroimaging and Stimulation for Rehabilitation Part 1: Brain Imaging

Presented by Michael Borich, DPT, PhD

Neuroimaging and Stimulation for Rehabilitation Part 1: Brain Imaging

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This course will highlight our current understanding of how advanced brain imaging methods are changing our understanding of how the brain works in both heath and disease. The course will first provide an introduction into current brain imaging methods used both clinically and in research. Next, the ability to characterize brain structure and function will be discussed. Finally, how these techniques are used to evaluate neuroplastic capacity of the brain will be summarized and the relevance to rehabilitation will be highlighted.

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Central Vestibular System: Normal Anatomy and Physiology

Presented by Laura Morris, PT, NCS

Central Vestibular System: Normal Anatomy and Physiology

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This course is part of our NCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge NCS Prep-Program.

Vestibular disorders are a unique diagnostic category, often associated with pathology that affects the peripheral vestibular system. This course highlights the central portion of the vestibular system, including anatomy and normal physiology, as a basis for understanding pathology and management central vestibular disorders.

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Advanced Physical Therapy Examination of Clients with Huntington's Disease

Presented by Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS

Advanced Physical Therapy Examination of Clients with Huntington's Disease

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Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder resulting in complex issues impacting health, function, and participation. Therapists must be equipped to provide care in an ever-changing health care environment. This course provides the therapist with advanced knowledge in examination of the client across all stages of Huntington's disease. Information is presented using a case study example interwoven with evidence-based information. On completion of this course, the therapist will be able to use evidence-based tests and measures for the examination of clients with Huntington's across the full spectrum of the disease.

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Considerations of Cognition: Mobility and Relation of Exercise to Cognitive Function

Presented by Deb Kegelmeyer, PT, DPT, MS, GCS

Considerations of Cognition: Mobility and Relation of Exercise to Cognitive Function

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Mobility is a complex and high-level activity involving both motor and cognitive skills. This course describes the interrelationship of cognition, mobility and exercise. Cognition plays a role in overground walking and in complex walking environments. This course reviews the current evidence regarding the role of different cognitive domains and mobility. The course then examines the assessment and treatment of mobility issues, incorporating cognitive interventions such as dual-task training. Finally the course examines the current evidence for the use of exercise to improve cognition and describes evidence-based interventions to improve cognition in healthy older adults and those with pathologic conditions such as dementia.

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Treatment Maneuvers for BPPV

Presented by Jeff Walter, DPT, NCS

Treatment Maneuvers for BPPV

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Video Runtime: 73 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 33 Minutes

The course will review canalith repositioning maneuvers utilized to treat horizontal and posterior canal BPPV. Instruction will emphasize proper performance of the treatment maneuvers. Treatment-related management guidelines will be reviewed. Training in the following treatment maneuvers will be included: modified Epley maneuver, liberatory (Semont) maneuver, Gufoni maneuver, and cupulolith repositioning maneuver. Demonstration of maneuvers and case-based videos will be utilized to reinforce teaching objectives. The course will include a BPPV treatment-related question-and-answer session with neurotologist Michael Teixido, MD. The course is appropriate for audiologists and occupational/physical therapists and assistants.

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Identification and Management of Unilateral Vestibular Disorders

Presented by Jeff Walter, DPT, NCS

Identification and Management of Unilateral Vestibular Disorders

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Video Runtime: 101 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 36 Minutes

The course will review the features of unilateral vestibular dysfunction (excluding BPPV, which is reviewed in detail in other courses). Common pharmacologic agents utilized in the management of vestibular-related symptoms and associated rehabilitative implications will be discussed. Stable and unstable/progressive unilateral disorders will be reviewed along with appropriateness of vestibular rehabilitation. Content will include a detailed discussion of vestibular neuritis, anterior vestibular artery ischemia, labyrinthitis, Meniere's disease, vestibular schwannoma, and superior canal dehiscence. The course will also include a question-and-answer session with Michael Teixido, MD. Indications for further medical management/diagnostic investigation will be reviewed. The course is appropriate for audiologists and occupational/physical therapists and assistants.

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Track Your Strength

The NCS Prep Program is developed in alignment with the Neurologic Description of Specialty Practice (DSP). Over 300 test questions are mapped to the DSP so participants can track their strengths and weaknesses to prepare for the exam.

  • Strength Examination, Evaluation and Diagnosis at MedBridge
  • Strength Anatomy and Pathophysiology at MedBridge
  • Strength Intervention Techniques at MedBridge
  • Strength Degenerative Disorders at MedBridge

See your strength in over 12 categories! Begin the NCS program today.

Practice Exam

Case Excerpt:

A 76-year-old male is admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital 20 days after a left middle cerebral artery ischemic cerebrovascular accident (CVA). He underwent tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) treatment, but his hospital course was complicated by the emergence of shingles on his left flank, and MRSA in his urine. His past medical history includes atrial fibrillation, degenerative joint disease, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), coronary artery bypass graft x2, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, and a history of smoking 1 pack per day for many years. He currently has a 2-cm unstageable ulcer on his right heel. He lives with his wife in a 2-story home and has 2 sons who live in a neighboring town. He is a retired police officer. Prior to his stroke, he walked with a cane and was able to walk 10-15 minutes before tiring. He enjoys puzzles of any kind—crossword, word search, jigsaw, etc. His wife is 10 years younger than he is, works part-time at a discount store, and is in good health.


An initial examination of this patient’s ambulation reveals the following:
  • assistance required: minimal
  • HR changes: 72–96 bpm after 100'
  • distance at which motor components of gait begin to deteriorate: 100'
  • walking speed: 0.3 m/s
  • qualitative analysis: lack of R push-off and reduced R foot clearance during R swing phase; R hip flexion and mild knee hyperextension during R stance phase; asymmetrical step length R > L
Impairment in which muscle group is the most likely contributor to this patient’s slow walking speed?
Correct! Incorrect! Subscribe to access over 300 more questions like this one.

The correct answer is "weak right plantarflexors"

The neurologic clinical specialist is expected to be familiar with common gait deviations and their causes post- stroke, as well as musculoskeletal contributions to slow vs. faster walking speed. Ankle plantarflexors are important for forward propulsion and paretic leg weakness in these muscles is a common occurrence after stroke. This patient exhibits decreased push-off, consistent with such weakness. Further, plantarflexor weakness is associated with slow walking in both healthy individuals and those poststroke. The quadriceps do contribute to forward progression during gait in healthy individuals but these do not appear to be significantly weak in this patient since the knee is stable in stance phase. Muscle tightness represents a passive restriction rather than an active muscle contraction and, therefore, would not be a likely contributor to reduced walking speed.

Meet Our Instructors

Karen McCain, PT, DPT, NCS

Dr. McCain received a BS in physical therapy from UT Southwestern in 1992 and a doctorate in physical therapy from Regis University in 2006. She is board certified by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist. She has been teaching at the university level since 1998 and recently retired from a position as Associate Professor in a DPT program where she taught for 13 years. She has always practiced in the area of neurology and has published research in the areas of stroke rehabilitation and the use of orthoses in the neurologic population. She has presented continuing education courses across the United States and is a frequent reviewer for scientific publications including Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, and American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She continues to teach courses around the country and provide consultative services.

Jeff Walter, DPT, NCS

Jeff Walter, DPT, NCS, is the director of the Otolaryngology Vestibular and Balance Center at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. His clinical practice focuses on vestibular diagnostic testing and vestibular rehabilitation. He is an assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the Neuroscience Institute at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. He is an associate faculty member at Misericordia University's Department of Physical Therapy and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. Jeff attained competency certification in vestibular rehabilitation and vestibular function test interpretation and has a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Scranton. Since 1999, Jeff has lectured at professional conferences, universities, and continuing education courses for audiologists, physicians, and therapists involved in managing patients with dizziness and imbalance. His clinical research interests are on Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Superior Canal Dehiscence and Vestibular Schwannoma. Jeff developed a comprehensive online vestibular course series in collaboration with MedBridge. Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn

Mary Beth Osborne, PT, DPT, NCS

Mary Beth Osborne earned both her BS and DPT in physical therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a board-certified specialist in neurologic physical therapy. She is currently an assistant professor in residence at the University of Connecticut in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and involved in teaching courses in the neurologic rehabilitation and health/wellness domains. She is also the associate director of clinical education. She previously served as the codirector of Duke University Health's neurologic PT residency program and worked as an outpatient neurologic PT, where she provided care to individuals with a variety of neurologic conditions, including concussion, stroke, degenerative diseases, and vestibular dysfunction. She worked as an adjunct faculty member at UNC Chapel Hill for five years, assisting with courses covering neurologic PT and evidence-based practice content areas. She has held several positions with the Academy of Neurologic PT, including chair of the Brain Injury Special Interest Group and member of the practice committee, and is currently a nominating committee member for the Residency and Fellowship Special Interest Group. She is co-chair of the Connecticut APTA Neurologic Special Interest Group. She has presented at local and national conferences on a number of topics in the neurologic PT realm.

Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS

Anne Kloos received her physical therapy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master's and doctoral degrees in biology/neuroscience from Cleveland State University. Dr. Kloos is currently a professor-clinical in the physical therapy division at The Ohio State University, where she teaches adult neurorehabilitation and neuroscience courses and conducts research on balance and gait interventions and fall prevention in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. She is a board-certified neurologic physical therapy specialist and has more than 25 years of clinical experience, including working as a consultant physical therapist in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and at The Ohio State University Movement Disorders Clinic. Dr. Kloos has presented her research both nationally and internationally and has numerous publications. Currently, she serves as codirector of The Ohio State University Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program and as an associate editor for the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. Her past service has included being the chair of the Degenerative Diseases Special Interest Group and of the Neurologic Residency Curriculum Task Force for the American Physical Therapy Association.

Herb Karpatkin, PT, DSc, NCS, MSCS

Herb Karpatkin, PT, DSc, graduated from the physical therapy program at Boston University's Sargent College in 1989 and received his doctoral degree in neurologic physical therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. He is a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and a board-certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association. Before starting his own practice, he worked at Rusk Rehabilitation, the Beth Abraham Center, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, and the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice. He specializes in the treatment of persons with neurologic impairments, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, brain injury, and cerebral palsy. His particular area of expertise is in multiple sclerosis. He has published and presented extensively in the field of MS and is a nationally recognized authority on multiple sclerosis and exercise.

Susan Stralka, PT, DPT, MS

Susan W. Stralka, PT, DPT, MS, is a licensed physical therapist with many years of experience treating both musculoskeletal and neurovascular consequences of injury. She earned her bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, Tennessee (UTHSC). She has a strong clinical background in treating neurological and musculoskeletal consequences of injury. Susan has presented nationally and internationally in upper and lower extremity dysfunctions as well as pain management. Susan has written articles on a wide variety of topics related to physical therapy for many national publications and health journals. Her most recent publications are "Graded Motor Imagery" in the Journal of Hand Therapy 2011 and a chapter on "Thoracic Outlet Syndrome" in the book entitled Neck and Arm Pain Syndromes by Elsevier in 2011. In 2009, Susan was recognized by the Arthritis Association as Volunteer of the Year. With the goal of providing the best rehabilitative care to patients, Stralka continually recruits and supports innovative clinical programs to benefit future patients.

Karen L. McCulloch, PhD, PT, MS, NCS(E), FAPTA, FACRM

Karen L. McCulloch is a professor in physical therapy in the Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Health Sciences, School of Medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has taught entry-level and advanced-level students in neurorehabilitation since 1993. She has served in multiple roles within the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, including the inaugural Director of Education, and has been honored with the Service to the Section Award and the APTA Lucy Blair Service Award. Karen has cared about individuals with traumatic brain injury since beginning as a PT in clinical practice, extending from moderate to severe brain injury to a recent focus on military and sports concussion. Her research has focused on developing outcome measures and interventions to improve active movement, balance, and functional mobility, with the aim to improve quality of life. She developed the Arm Motor Ability Test (for upper limb recovery following stroke) and the Walking and Remembering Test (for dual-task performance in older adults and individuals with acquired brain injury). Her current research efforts are focused on military mild traumatic brain injury, developing performance-based testing that incorporates dual- and multitask activities, stemming from the Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance project but now being validated in more clinically applicable forms. She is also a collaborator on studies that examine acute exercise testing post concussion and exercise intervention, and she promotes practice-based evidence analysis of multidisciplinary rehabilitation in military mild TBI. She was the colead of the APTA sponsored group that developed the clinical practice guideline for physical therapy management of concussion, and she is involved in intervention studies that address treatment for sports and military concussions. She is active in the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine mTBI Task Force. Funding support for her research has come from the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, National Football League, and Department of Defense. As an active member of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, she has received awards for service and is a Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Deb Kegelmeyer, PT, DPT, MS, GCS

Dr. Kegelmeyer has more than 30 years of clinical experience and is currently a professor of health and rehabilitation sciences at The Ohio State University. She has extensive clinical expertise, having worked in acute care and outpatient therapy, and spent 10 years as director of physical therapy at a skilled nursing facility. Currently she works as a consultant at the Movement Disorders Clinic at Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University. She studies mobility and fall prevention in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases and in the elderly. Her publication titles include "Reliability and Validity of the Tinetti Mobility Test for Individuals With Parkinson Disease" and "Video Game Play (Dance Dance Revolution) as a Potential Exercise Therapy in Huntington's Disease: A Controlled Clinical Trial." She is also one of the coauthors of the textbook Neurologic Rehabilitation: Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity in Physical Therapy Practice.

What's Included in the Program

Advanced Courses

Choose from over 50+ online, video-based courses taught by the experts

Practice Questions

Study with over 300 practice questions and recommended journal articles

Group Study

Prepare on your own or with others sitting for the exam

Structured Program

Improve your expertise with this 20-week program designed specifically for the NCS exam

Advance your knowledge with exclusive content from industry leading instructors

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