Ismalia de Sousa, RN MSN



Doctoral Student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Areas of interests: stroke care; health inequities; stroke survivorship; health care service delivery; critical theory; critical pedagogy; Black nurses history; racism and discrimination in healthcare

Ismalia De Sousa is a Doctoral Student in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (UBC) since September 2019, under the supervision of Dr. Sally Thorne, Dr. Sandra Lauck and Dr.Thalia Field. She is also a Teaching Assistant in the School of Nursing and a Research Assistant in the Vancouver Stroke Program at Vancouver General Hospital/UBC.

Ismalia earned her Bachelor’s Degree (with honours) in Nursing from Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa (Portugal). During this time, she had the opportunity to participate in a three month practicum in Helsinki (Finland) as part of the ERASMUS program, an European Exchange program.

Ismalia holds a Master’s Degree in Advanced Practice Neuroscience Care from King’s College London (United Kingdom). She worked as a Registered Nurse and later as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Stroke in the Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London, UK) for 10 years. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Nurse, Ismalia’s role included the advanced assessment and education of patients with a potential or confirmed stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack; service development, quality improvement, audit and benchmarking. Ismalia was involved in developing the emergency stroke pathways (thrombolysis and thrombectomy) while leading the stroke specific workforce education and development of Registered Nurses and Allied Healthcare Professionals in the service. She oversaw monthly the stroke support group and stroke programs for patients, families and carers, and maintained close relationships with the Stroke Association UK.

From 2015 to 2020, she was a committee member of the Royal College of Nursing Neuroscience Forum and led the development of the first Career Framework for Stroke Nurses in the United Kingdom. Ismalia represented stroke nursing in the National Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party group chaired by Prof. Anthony Rudd (2017 – 2019) and served as co-chair of the National Senior Nurse Thrombectomy group (2018 – 2019) in the United Kingdom. She is an editorial board member of the British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and a board director of the After Stroke British Columbia.

In September 2020, Ismalia co-founded the Coalition of African, Caribbean and Black Nurses in British Columbia, a grassroots nurse-led organization to address anti-Black racism and discrimination in healthcare in British Columbia. More recently, she was part of the BC Stroke Standard Development Committee, providing consultancy in the development of the first Stroke Quality Standards in British Columbia. Ismalia is also the Chair of the Communications & Marketing Committee in the Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses.

© Ismalia de Sousa, 2021