Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir

Back to experts
Function: senior researcher
Research Group: Chronic Illnesses


Telephone: 00 +31 88 75 691 16 and +31 6 1007 51 63

Follow on:

Dr. Thóra B. Hafsteinsdóttir, PhD, MScN, BSc, RN, is senior researcher at the Department of Health care for people with chronic illness at the University of Applied Sciences, and at the Department of Nursing Science, Julius Center, University Medical Center Utrecht as well as Professor of Nursing at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland.

Dr. Hafsteinsdóttir was born in Iceland, received her Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in 1984 from the University of Iceland and started her clinical carrier in intensive care nursing. She moved to the Netherlands, received her Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) in 1994. She received her PhD from the University of Utrecht in 2003, entitled Neurodevelopmental treatment in the Early Stage of Stroke. In 2012 she received her Senior Research Qualification: Good Clinical Practice Certification, Faculty of Medicine, University Utrecht and in 2015  she received her Senior Teaching Qualification, both from Faculty of Medicine, University Utrecht. Dr. Hafsteinsdóttir supervises various research and development projects both in the Netherlands and Iceland. One of these projects resulted in the publication of the Clinical Rehabilitation Guideline for Patients with Stroke ( Later her research focused more on depression after stroke. With the collaborative partners in Iceland, Sweden and Finland, she received funding for the development and testing of the ActivABLES, technological applications to support patients with stroke with rehabilitation in the home setting.

During the last years her research is focusing on leadership in nursing. She has received funding for the development and testing of various leadership programs. She is a coordinator of Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research (LMNR) for postdoctoral nurses in the Netherlands. She is also a coordinator of the Nursing Leadership Educational Program for Doctoral Nursing Students and Postdoctoral Nurses in Europe, the Nurse-Lead project, which is a collaboration with seven partners in six European countries. She supervises Master's and PhD students in the Netherlands and Iceland.

Dr. Hafsteinsdóttir also teaches in research courses in the Master of Science in Nursing within Clinical Health Sciences with focus on research, setting up research proposals and conducting systematic reviews and is a course coordinator for a course on conducting systematic reviews within Clinical Health Sciences.

Since 2010, Dr. Hafsteinsdóttir, is the president of the Johanna Diepeveen-Speekenbrink Stichting, whih is a fund aiming to advance nursing scientific research and thereby to improve the quality of care of patients. It awards nurses who have finished their Master of Science degree in nursing or Master of Advanced Nursing Practice for excellent articles based on their final research projects (

Dr. Hafsteinsdóttir is a past president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Rho Chi at Large Chapter in the Netherlands in 2010. She was elected as the first STTI Region Coordinator in Europe in 2011 and was re-elected in 2013. She was elected as a director on the board of directors of the STTI in 2014 and now serves for a 4 year term 2015-2019 . She serves on numerous committees and task forces. Dr. Hafsteinsdóttir has numerous publications on nursing care and management of patients with stroke and leadership in nursing. She reviews manuscripts for various peer-reviewed international journals and gives lectures nationally and internationally.

Chronic Illnesses

Chronic Diseases

About the Research Group