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YARNS Transitions Research Project Blog

YARNS Transitions Research Project Blog

Developing a nurse-led intervention to support young adults impacted by brain injury

Welcome to a new member of the team! Masters by Research (Nursing) student, Mrs Carolina Henriquez

In this blog, we are happy to welcome and introduce a new addition to the YARNS Transitions team, the MScR student, Mrs Carolina Henriquez, is a registered nurse working at the NHS Trust Nottingham University Hospitals. Using a Q&A format, Carolina is sharing her background, motivations and expectations of joining the team. She was awarded a full scholarship for the Nursing Master of Science by Research (MScR) as part of our YARNS Transition project funded by Royal College of Nursing Foundation (RCNF) in partnership with Same You.  


YARNS Transitions project is working to develop rehabilitation approaches using the expertise of those with brain injury. It will provide nurses with ways to support and enable young people (18-45) who have experienced a brain injury to progress and adapt through their rehabilitation journey and move on with their lives. Why nurses? Evidence suggests that upscaling the nursing workforce is essential to develop cost-efficient neurological rehabilitation services and improve health outcomes (1). The project builds on previous research (2) that led to the development of the PGCert Neurological Rehabilitation and Care (Online) and promising evidence of its impact on service provision (3,4). The project contributes to nursing workforce development by building research capacity to develop and evaluate needed interventions.  

In May 2023, we advertised a full Nursing MScR scholarship, aiming to recruit a registered nurse who undertakes empirical research focusing on how a psychosocial intervention for young adults after an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) works in various contexts and produces desired outcomes. After a rigorous selection process, Ms Carolina Henriquez received the offer and started her Nursing MScR in September 2023. We have invited Carolina to introduce herself, reflect on her motivations and share her expectations as a new member of the YARNS Transitions team using a Q&A format. 

Carolina, can you tell us about yourself? 

I’m Carolina, and I consider myself an adventurous person because I like challenges in life. Ten years ago, I left my comfortable Chilean life and travelled to New Zealand for the adventure! Not knowing much English and working in new places (picking up kiwis or blueberries), I enjoyed the change and decided to start another adventure, expanding my horizons and moving to the UK. I managed to revalidate my nursing degree here, and I am currently working in one of the biggest hospitals in Nottingham. I feel very proud of all the challenges I have overcome, and the learnings gathered. Now, my new challenge is to manage my personal life, work commitments and studies by getting involved in this inspiring research project.  

I am also a mum of 2, a wife, a working independent woman and now a student! So, you can imagine how busy my life is, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. 


How did you know about the programme and scholarship? 

I had been looking for ways to expand my knowledge. I started browsing for different courses and discussing this with colleagues until one sent me the link to look at this MSc and scholarship. I checked the website, read the programme and found it fascinating, so I applied!   


What did motivate you to apply for the MScR programme and join the team? 

The MScR programme is fantastic; it includes all the essential theory parts to start doing research and the practical component, allowing me to contribute to the YARNS Transitions project. The mix of both makes the programme very interesting, and it is the perfect way to learn.   

The project itself is innovative and will be an excellent nursing contribution to the future. When looking at the literature, interventions for young survivors after ABI are very limited and mainly focused on the elderly population. I’m sure the contribution of this project will advance nursing practice and help many people to receive better and person-centred care. Additionally, I will be able to learn, expand my knowledge, contribute to research and develop my skills, which will impact my personal and professional development. I can’t wait! 


How has your experience been of returning to study? 

I started in September 2023, almost eight weeks ago, and overall, it has been a great experience. Sometimes, I get a bit overwhelmed due to the number of resources and readings, but I think it’s part of the adjusting process until I get into a routine. I love reading and learning new things, and certainly, the theory and specific research language get a bit challenging. The course I am taking is very intense, but it will give me all the basics to start working in research. Plus, the Acquired Brain Injury and Stroke Rehabilitation course, and this has been amazing! I have learned so much, and I can relate it to my current clinical practice, for example, improving my communication skills. I’ve been taking more time to listen to my patients, staying with them and “properly” listening. It may sound like a small change, but I can see how my practice is improving, especially when caring for vulnerable patients. It has been inspiring to discuss with my other colleagues and share experiences every week.   


What are you expecting to be the main challenges for you?  

Now, the main challenges are more related to the research itself and what involves, for example, collecting and analysing data, processing all the information, and then writing my dissertation.  

The other part that I consider essential and also complex is learning how to develop my reflexive and critical thinking. However, I’m confident I will learn these new skills with time and practice. 


What are your expectations about the project?  

I’m so excited to contribute to this project and gain research experience. I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome and being part of the development of this new nurse–led intervention, which motivates me to continue in this area of research. Finally, I’m very grateful to the YARNS Transitions team for their support, and I know that I will learn a lot from them too!   


Carolina will work for us during the next two years as part of the YARNS Transition project. We are delighted to have her in the team, and we wish her the very best!     



  1. L. Tinelli, M. Knapp, C. Policy, E. Centre, and T. London, “Exploring the economic case for investing in advanced practice nurse training : an innovative nursing role to support the delivery of specialist coordinated neuro-rehabilitation services for young adults following a stroke,” 2020. [Online]. Available: file:///Users/lissetteaviles/Downloads/LSE Report 2020.pdf.
  2. A. Holloway et al., “Young Adults Rehabilitation Needs and Experiences following Stroke (YARNS): A review of digital accounts to inform the development of age-appropriate support and rehabilitation,” J. Adv. Nurs., vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 869–882, 2022, doi: 10.1111/jan.15076. 
  3. The University of Edinburgh, “Neurological Rehabilitation and Care (Online Learning) PgCert,” Postgraduate Taught, 2023. (accessed Jul. 23, 2023). 
  4. L. Avilés, A. Holloway, C. Chandler, and S. Malden, “Developing nursing leadership in neurorehabilitation: a qualitative programme evaluation,” in 42nd Annual International Nursing & Midwifery Research and Education Conference, 2023. 

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