Course enhances care for brain injury survivors

Care offered to people recovering from strokes and brain injuries is to be enhanced by a specialist study programme for registered nurses.


A new online course has been developed at the University to help nurses respond more effectively to the effects of neurological conditions – a leading cause of death and disability in the UK.

This part-time postgraduate certificate in Neurological Rehabilitation and Care – which can be studied online from anywhere in the world – supports registered nurses to undertake study, while working clinically.

Brain health

Nearly 1 in 3 people will have an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) at some point in their life. More than 135 million worldwide are living with brain injury.

However, a lack of focus on such brain injuries in health care means the scale of the problem is underestimated, experts say. 

The online course will enable qualified nurses around the world to develop the missing integrated brain body and mind specialist skills urgently needed in neurological rehabilitation.

Funded places

The course has been developed in partnership with the RCN Foundation – part of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Group – and the brain injury recovery charity SameYou, which was set up by actor and activist Emilia Clarke who survived two life threatening brain haemorrhages while working on Game of Thrones.

As the Ambassador for the RCN, Emilia Clarke is committed to enhancing the skills and academic improvement for all nurses.

The new partnership will provide 30 fully funded places on the course.

The RCN Foundation – which supports nursing initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of the public – says the programme is a major development in addressing the growing need for nurses with a specialism in brain injury recovery.

The RCN Foundation is delighted to be funding this innovative and ground breaking education programme in collaboration with SameYou and the University of Edinburgh, which will enhance and improve patient care for young people across the UK with acquired brain injury. “Nurses are at the forefront of delivering excellent care and the investment in this programme demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting and strengthening the profession.

Deepa Korea Director of RCN Foundation

SameYou has, since 2019, supported research and training initiatives that seek to address the unmet needs of people living with brain injuries, and to develop better recovery care and therapies.

Neurorehabilitation is among the most neglected and underfunded areas of healthcare, and it is one of SameYou’s goals to take action to improve this. “We are thrilled to be working in partnership to develop this first of its kind nursing education programme to support the enhancement and training of our nurses to work in neurological rehabilitation.

Jenny ClarkeCo-FOunder and CEO of SameYou

The training focuses on the holistic support of the emotional, physical and cognitive needs of people affected by a brain injury. It will also provide training to better support their families and carers.

A particular emphasis will be placed on assisting the rehabilitation of people 18 to 40 years old – a relatively neglected area in existing teaching programmes.

Course organisers say the programme equips nurses to develop advanced specialist knowledge and skills that can be applied globally.

We are delighted to partner with the RCN Foundation and SameYou to develop this cutting-edge and responsive educational programme. This opportunity will elevate and strengthen the nurse’s role as part of multi-disciplinary, person-centred neurorehabilitation care. As part of our Edinburgh Global Nursing Initiative, this new programme aligns to our vision of advancing the scope of practice and influence of nurses for the purpose of transforming patient health outcomes.

Professor Aisha HollowayHead of Nursing Studies

The University has helped to raise the status and professionalism of nursing since it introduced the first Nurse Teaching Unit at a British university in 1956.

It is also home to the UK's first nursing degree, the UK's first nursing research unit and Europe's first Professor of Nursing Studies. Edinburgh’s undergraduate nursing studies course is ranked top in The Guardian’s University League Table.

Related links

Neurological Rehabilitation and Care 

Royal Collge of Nursing Foundation 


Nursing Studies  

[Image credit - Getty Images/ Nikada]