Elsa Afonso

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Nursing
Areas of Expertise:
Nursing and midwifery , Global healthcare

Elsa is a registered adult nurse and specialist neonatal intensive care nurse. She has clinical experience in acute and critical care as well as clinical research, clinical education and global health. She joined ARU in August 2020 as a Senior Lecturer in pre-registration Adult Nursing.

[email protected]


Elsa is a registered adult nurse and specialist neonatal intensive care nurse. She has worked as a nurse in different countries and healthcare settings.

Elsa has a specialisation in Neonatal Intensive Care and an MSc in Global Health from Trinity College Dublin. Her dissertation was a qualitative exploration of the healthcare service experiences of immigrant parents of infants admitted to a NICU in central Dublin.

She has worked with Médecins Sans Frontieres in a HIV/AIDS project in rural Zimbabwe and is a core member of the Neonatal Nurses Teaching in Botswana, a Cambridge Global Health Partnerships/ MoH Botswana initiative since 2016.

She is currently a PhD candidate in Ghent University. Her thesis looks at the impact of neonatal late-onset sepsis in the mortality and morbidities of infants admitted to NICU.

Spoken Languages
  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Spanish
Research interests

Elsa's research interests are primarily (as a doctoral student), neonatal outcomes related to NICU admission. Furthermore, she is interested in exploring the impact of nurses’ and student nurses’ education in patient outcomes, as well as the overall impact of migration in healthcare.


Elsa is a personal tutor to Assistant Practitioners Foundation Degree in Cambridge. She also supports teaching across all three years of the BSc in Adult and Child Nursing, both in theory and skills sessions.

As a Safe Medicate tutor for Cambridgeshire, Elsa helps students with the safe calculations and handling of medicines that is required to become registered with the NMC upon completion of the nursing degree.

  • BSc (Hons) in Nursing (Escola Superior de Enfermagem Calouste Gulbenkian – ESEL, Lisbon, Portugal) - 2005
  • PG Dip Tropical Nursing (Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) - 2006
  • MSc Global Health (Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland) - 2009
  • PG Dip High Dependency and Intensive Care of the Newborn (University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, UK) - 2016
  • PhD in Health Sciences [ongoing] (Ghent University, School of Health Sciences, Ghent, Belgium)
Memberships, editorial boards
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Module Lead/Invited Lecturer for Universitat Internacional de Catalunya – Nursing Abroad module.
  • Scientific Committee member for AppIC – an app for Intensive Care Nurses endorsed by the ESICM and ESPNIC.
  • Expert team member for C-19 Space for nurses.
Selected recent publications

Martins, K., Wagg, A., Afonso, E. 2022 Supervision skills in pre-registration nursing through peer teaching: An evaluative survey. Heliyondoi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e11398

Afonso, E., Conoscenti, E., Blot, S., 2020. Combination antimicrobial therapy in Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia. European Journal of Paediatrics, 179(12), pp. 1997-1998. doi: 10.1007/s00431-020-03748-8

Labeau, S. O., Afonso, E., Benbenishty, J., Blackwood, B., Boulanger, C., Brett, S. J., Calvino-Gunther, S., Chaboyer, W., Coyer, F., Deschepper, M., François, G., Honore, P. M., Jankovic, R., Khanna, A. K., Llaurado-Serra, M., Lin, F., Rose, L., Rubulotta, F., Saager, L., Williams, G., Blot, S. I., DecubICUs Study Team, European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) Trials Group Collaborators, 2020. Prevalence, associated factors and outcomes of pressure injuries in adult intensive care unit patients: the DecubICUs study. Intensive Care Medicine, 47(2), pp. 160-169. doi: 10.1007/s00134-020-06234-9

Webbe, J. W. H., Duffy, J. M. N., Afonso, E., Al-Muzaffar, I., Brunton, G., Greenough, A., Hall, N. J., Knight, M., Latour, J. M., Lee-Davey, C., Marlow, N., Noakes, L., Nycyk, J., Richard-Löndt, A., Wills-Eve, B., Modi, N., Gale, C., 2020. Core outcomes in neonatology: development of a core outcome set for neonatal research. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 105(4)., pp. 425-431. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2019-317501

Davis, S., Afonso, E., 2020. Peripherally inserted central catheters: More than location, location, location? Intensive & critical care nursing, 60, 102887. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2020.102887

Afonso, E.., Blot, S., 2019. Late onset sepsis in NICU - are we are all looking through the same lens? Infectious Diseases (Lond), 51(8), pp. 625-626. doi: 10.1080/23744235.2018.1546898

Afonso, E., Lizy, C., Blot, S., 2017. Bridging the knowledge-practice gap: a key issue in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. Contemporary Nurse, 53(6), pp. 713-715. doi: 10.1080/10376178.2017.1416307

Afonso, E., Blot, S., 2017. Effect of gestational age on the epidemiology of late-onset sepsis in neonatal intensive care units - a review. Expert Review in Anti-Infective Therapy, 15(10), pp. 917-924. doi: 10.1080/14787210.2017.1379394

Lizy, C., Afonso, E., Blot, S., 2017. Bacteriuria and Risk Factors for Bacteremia. American Journal of Critical Care, 26(4). pp. 268. doi: 10.4037/ajcc2017736

Afonso, E., Blot, K., Blot, S., 2016. Prevention of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections through chlorhexidine gluconate-impregnated washcloth bathing in intensive care units: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised crossover trials. Euro Surveillance , 21(46), 30400. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.46.30400

Afonso, E., Blot, S., 2017. The value of direct observation to reduce catheter- associated urinary tract infection. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 41, pp. 1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2017.03.013

Afonso, E., Llauradó, M., Gallart, E., 2013. The value of chlorhexidine gluconate wipes and prepacked washcloths to prevent the spread of pathogens - a systematic review. Australian Critical Care, 26(4), pp. 158-66. doi: 10.1016/j.aucc.2013.05.001

Recent presentations and conferences

Afonso, E., 2021. Neonatal Nurses Education Project in Botswana. International Nurses' Day event, East of England Neonatal Network, 12 November 2021.

Afonso, E., 2021. Mortality Associated to Late-Onset sepsis in the NICU. Poster presentation, ESICM Lives 2021, 7 October 2021.