Dr. Olson joined UT Southwestern in 2012.  He worked as a staff nurse from 1986 to 2018. His work is focused on developing a more comprehensive understanding of how nursing care contributes to patient outcomes following acquired brain injury. He is a member of the Southwestern Academy of Teachers, a Fellow of the Neurocritical Care Society, and director of the Neuroscience Nursing Research Center. His SCOPUS h-index of 48 builds from over 400 publications. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and the co-chair of the international Curing Coma Campaign. As an invited lecturer or visiting professor, he has had the pleasure of presenting his work in 40 US states, 12 countries, and 6 continents.


Scott Community College (1986), Nursing
Teikyo Marycrest University (1997), Nursing
Graduate School
University of N C-Chapel Hill (2007), Nursing

Research Interest

  • Curing Coma
  • Impact of nursing care on outcomes for neurocritical care patients
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring
  • Research methodology


Door to needle time trends after transition to tenecteplase: A Multicenter Texas stroke registry
Rodriguez N, Prasad S, Olson DW, Bandela S, Gealogo Brown G, Kwon Y, Gebreyohanns M, Jones EM, Ifejika NL, Stone S, Anderson JA, Savitz SI, Cruz-Flores S, Warach SJ, Goldberg MP, Birnbaum LA Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases 2024 Aug 33
Guidelines for Seizure Prophylaxis in Adults Hospitalized with Moderate–Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Clinical Practice Guideline for Health Care Professionals from the Neurocritical Care Society
Frontera JA, Gilmore EJ, Johnson EL, Olson DW, Rayi A, Tesoro E, Ullman J, Yuan Y, Zafar SF, Rowe S Neurocritical Care 2024 Jun 40 819-844
The Presence of Blood in a Strain Gauge Pressure Transducer Has a Clinical Effect on the Accuracy of Intracranial Pressure Readings
Nairon EB, Joseph J, Kamal A, Busch DR, Olson DM Critical Care Explorations 2024 May 6 E1089
Nursing and the Art of Making It Happen
Olson DM Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 2024 May 56 65-66
Implementing a Critical Thinking Tool to Evaluate Educational Needs for Inpatient Rehabilitation Nurses
Hill C, Stutzman SE, Nairon EB, Vashisht A, Olson DM Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 2024 May 56 75-79
Validation of a Novel Neurologic Assessment Test for Healthcare Staff
Doyle BR, Von Gaudecker JR, Techan AK, Nairon EB, Olson DM Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 2024 May 56 86-91
Dissemination Beyond the Edge of the Page
Olson DW Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 2024 Apr 56 31
Multicenter exploration of tenecteplase transition factors: A quantitative analysis
Prasad S, Jones EM, Gebreyohanns M, Kwon Y, Olson DW, Anderson JA, Savitz SI, Cruz-Flores S, Warach SJ, Rhodes CE, Goldberg MP, Ifejika NL Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases 2024 Apr 33
Neuromonitoring of Pediatric and Adult Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Patients: The Importance of Continuous Bedside Tools in Driving Neuroprotective Clinical Care
Tabet M, Custer C, Khan IR, Sanford E, Sharma J, Choe R, Singh S, Sirsi D, Olson DM, Morriss MC, Raman L, Busch DR ASAIO Journal 2024 Mar 70 167-176
Prospective study examining the impact of cerebral angiography on quantitative pupillometer values in the interventional radiology suite
Nguyen B, Marshall JL, Rana C, Atem FD, Stutzman SE, Olson D, Aiyagari V, Ray B BMJ Open 2024 Feb 14


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Honors & Awards

  • D-Magazine Excellence in Nursing
    Award for Excellence in Nursing Research (2021)
  • Excellence in Nursing Award
    D-Magazine. Dallas TX. (2021)
  • The World Federation of Critical Care Nurses 2020 Best Paper Award
    "Lack of standardization in determination of intracranial pressure.” Published in CONNECT: The World of Critical Care Nursing. (2020)
  • Visiting Professor
    Queensland University of Technology in Kelvin Grove Australia (2019)
  • Presidential Citation
    Neurocritical Care Society (2018)
  • Southwestern Academy of Teachers
  • Suzanne Smith Mentoring Award
    London, England (2016)
  • Fellow, Neurocritical Care Society
  • Presidential Citation
    Award for recognition from the Neurocritical Care Society (2013)
  • North Carolina Great 100
    Recognition for top 100 nurses in N.C. (2011)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses (1990)
  • American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (2007)
  • American Heart Association (2009)
  • International Association of Nurse Editors (2015)
  • Neurocritical Care Society (2005)
  • Sigma Theta Tau (1997)
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine (2002)