“Sit at the table” (Sheryl Sandberg)
Ismalia de Sousa – EU nurse educated in Portugal, Clinical nurse specialist in stroke, twitterati and classic feminist.
Ismalia qualified as a general registered nurse in Portugal in 2009, after completing a four-year BSc in General Nursing at Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa, including a three month clinical placement in Helsinki (Finland) as part of the ERASMUS program.
In 2009, she moved to London and started working as a staff nurse in one of the newly set-up Hyper-Acute Stroke Units in London. Her nursing experience also includes Acute Stroke units, medical and surgical nursing.
In the last 5 years Ismalia became a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in stroke at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She completed a MSc in Neuroscience Care Advanced Practice at King’s College London, while also piloting a nurse-led prevention clinic for stroke patients discharged home from the units.
In her current role, Ismalia is involved in developing the emergency stroke pathway in the trust, including thrombolysis and thrombectomy pathway. As a CNS in stroke, she assesses patients with a potential diagnosis of stroke or TIA, and is also involved in service development, quality improvement, audit and benchmarking, and education of patients and families. The stroke specific workforce education and development of nurses across the service is also part of her role. Monthly, Ismalia oversees the monthly stroke support group and stroke programmes in the hospital for patients, families and carers.
In 2015, Ismalia joined the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Neuroscience Forum Steering Committee group to improve patient care and raise the profile of stroke nurses across the country. She is a stroke specialist nurse expert adviser for NICE Centre of Guidelines, represents stroke nursing in the National Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party group and co-chairs the National Senior Nurse Thrombectomy group. She has published and is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.
More recently, she has become a Nurse Leader member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
© Ismalia de Sousa, 2018