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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Ph.D. student receives national grant funding

Connell News

Connell School of Nursing doctoral student Teresa Connolly was awarded a research grant from Neuroscience Nursing Foundation, a national funding arm of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) to continue her study, “The Transitional Experience of Post Stroke Survivors in the first 48 Hours after Going Home: A Pilot Study.” 

Study Abstract


The purpose of this pilot study is to describe the transitional experiences of post stroke survivors (PSSs) within the 48 hours after discharge home. More than half of PSSs are discharged home, of which many complain of stress, fatigue, and anxiety that can lead to poor health outcomes (Casper, Nwaise, Croft, & Nilasena, 2008; Green & King, 2010). Neuroscience nurses need to understand what is occurring immediately after the transition home to adequately address possible concerns for post stroke discharge care. However, there is a gap within current post stroke literature that identifies the experiences of PSSs during the first 48 hours after discharge home.

Research design

This is an exploratory qualitative descriptive pilot study of PSSs who are discharged from

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Participants will be post ischemic stroke patients and recruited from two neuroscience floors at MGH. Semi-structured telephone interviews will be conducted within the first 48 hours after being discharged home from the hospital.

Data analysis

All the interviews will be categorized with descriptions of each category supported by individual participants’ phrases. An in-depth analysis of memos, field notes, and interviews will be completed to refine methods for future research. The findings from this study will provide a framework to support evidence based discharge care for PSSs.

About Connolly

Teresa Connolly has been a neuroscience nurse for over 7 years at Massachusetts General Hospital.  From the start of her career as a neuroscience nurse she was excited and challenged by the neuroscience patient population.  She wanted to further her education in neuroscience to enhance her patient care, so she decided to become a certified neuroscience nurse in 2006.  However, she quickly realized she wanted to impact the neuroscience community more, so then she decided to get her Ph.D. in nursing at Boston College.  Her dissertation is on understanding post stroke survivor’s experiences within the first four weeks after discharge home from the hospital.  Her goal is this research will aid future neuroscience nurses in understanding the care required during critical transitions for stroke patients, such as hospital to home. 

About the Neuroscience Nursing Foundation

The Neuroscience Nursing Foundation was established in 1996 by the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN). The Foundation exists to advance the science and practice of neuroscience nursing by identifying and promoting research and evidence-based practices that optimize patient-centered outcomes for patients with neurological conditions. Learn more >>