Dr. Olson began his nursing career in Iowa and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. He worked as a staff nurse from 1986 to 2018. He was an assistant professor at Duke University until 2012 when he relocated to work at the University of Texas Southwestern where he became the first nurse to be promoted to full Professor.

Dr. Olson’s work is focused on developing a more comprehensive understanding of how nursing care contributes to patient outcomes following acquired brain injury. He is co-chair for the Curing Coma Campaign a member of the Southwestern Academy of Teachers. His SCOPUS h-index of 41 builds from over 300 manuscripts, 16 book chapters, and 200 scientific abstracts. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and the co-chair of the international Neurocritical Care Research Network. As an invited lecturer or visiting professor, he has had the pleasure to present his work in 40 US states, 11 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


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Incidence of Poststroke Epilepsy: An Executive Summary.
Dave H, Omburo L, Collins A, Xian Y, Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2022 Dec 54 6 237-239
The Best and Worst of Nursing.
Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2022 Oct
A Case Series of Clinical Limitations to the Clinical Course of Neurogenic Fever.
Chorostecki JR, Schneider NJ, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Ther Hypothermia Temp Manag 2022 Sep
Applying 3-Dimensional Printing and Modeling for Preoperative Reconstruction and Instrumentation Placement Planning in Complex Deformity Surgery.
Caruso JP, Kafka BR, Traylor JI, Wilson RA, El Ahmadieh T, Nassif RB, Caldwell C, Palmisciano P, Al Tamimi M, Olson DM, Dahdaleh NS, Bagley CA, Aoun SG, Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2022 Sep
Feasibility and efficacy of a nurse practitioner-and pharmacist-led hypertension clinic.
Speed S, Schneider N, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Higbea A, J Am Assoc Nurse Pract 2022 Aug
We Are in This Together.
Nichols L, Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2022 08 54 4 144-145
A differential of the left eye and right eye neurological pupil index is associated with discharge modified Rankin scores in neurologically injured patients.
Privitera CM, Neerukonda SV, Aiyagari V, Yokobori S, Puccio AM, Schneider NJ, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, BMC Neurol 2022 Jul 22 1 273
Challenges and Opportunities in Stroke Nursing Research: Global Views From a Panel of Nurse Researchers.
Ramazanu S, Bautista C, Green T, Rhudy LM, Rogado MIC, Baby P, Woon C, Martinez RCKP, von Gaudecker JR, Nydahl P, Mbakaya BC, Said NB, Hayek MF, Sila F, Rahn AC, Minagawa T, Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2022 Jun 54 3 111-115
The Curing Coma Campaign and the Future of Coma Research.
Olson DM, Hemphill JC, Provencio JJ, Vespa P, Mainali S, Polizzotto L, Kim KS, McNett M, Ziai W, Suarez JI, Semin Neurol 2022 Jun
Predictive value of quantitative pupillometry in patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus undergoing temporary CSF diversion.
Lussier BL, Erapuram M, White JA, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Neurol Sci 2022 Jun


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • 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)
  • D-Magazine Excellence in Nursing
    Award for Excellence in Nursing Research (2014)
  • 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)
  • Neurocritical Care Society (2005)
  • Sigma Theta Tau (1997)