Dr. Olson began his nursing career in Iowa and obtained his PhD 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 now 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. In this endeavor, he has published over 250 manuscripts, 16 book chapters, and 150 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 39 US states, 10 countries and 5 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

Q-15 Minutes Vital Sign Documentation Is a Poor Surrogate for Assessing Quality of Care After Acute Ischemic Stroke.
Stone S, Zhao H, Nyancho D, Schneider NJ, Shang T, Olson DM, Dimens Crit Care Nurs 2021 Nov-Dec 01 40 6 328-332
Quantitative pupillometry in patients with traumatic brain injury and loss of consciousness: A prospective pilot study.
Traylor JI, El Ahmadieh TY, Bedros NM, Al Adli N, Stutzman SE, Venkatachalam AM, Pernik MN, Collum CM, Douglas PM, Aiyagari V, Bagley CA, Olson DM, Aoun SG, J Clin Neurosci 2021 Sep 91 88-92
Association of External Ventricular Drain Wean Strategy with Shunt Placement and Length of Stay in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Prospective Multicenter Study.
Chung DY, Thompson BB, Kumar MA, Mahta A, Rao SS, Lai JH, Tadevosyan A, Kessler K, Locascio JJ, Patel AB, Mohamed W, Olson DM, John S, Rordorf GA, Neurocrit Care 2021 Sep
Admission Glasgow Coma Scale Score as a Predictor of Outcome in Patients Without Traumatic Brain Injury.
Li A, Atem FD, Venkatachalam AM, Barnes A, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Am J Crit Care 2021 09 30 5 350-355
Exploring the Face Validity of the Pain Numeric Rating Scale Among Healthcare Providers.
Link P, Venkatachalam AM, Aguilera V, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2021 Aug
Nurses Do Not Need an Order to Assess the Patient.
Olson DM, McNett MM, J Neurosci Nurs 2021 Aug 53 4 158-159
Proceedings of the First Curing Coma Campaign NIH Symposium: Challenging the Future of Research for Coma and Disorders of Consciousness.
Claassen J, Akbari Y, Alexander S, Bader MK, Bell K, Bleck TP, Boly M, Brown J, Chou SH, Diringer MN, Edlow BL, Foreman B, Giacino JT, Gosseries O, Green T, Greer DM, Hanley DF, Hartings JA, Helbok R, Hemphill JC, Hinson HE, Hirsch K, Human T, James ML, Ko N, Kondziella D, Livesay S, Madden LK, Mainali S, Mayer SA, McCredie V, McNett MM, Meyfroidt G, Monti MM, Muehlschlegel S, Murthy S, Nyquist P, Olson DM, Provencio JJ, Rosenthal E, Sampaio Silva G, Sarasso S, Schiff ND, Sharshar T, Shutter L, Stevens RD, Vespa P, Videtta W, Wagner A, Ziai W, Whyte J, Zink E, Suarez JI, Neurocrit Care 2021 Jul 35 Suppl 1 4-23
The Curing Coma Campaign: Challenging the Paradigm for Disorders of Consciousness.
Olson DM, Hemphill JC, Neurocrit Care 2021 Jul 35 Suppl 1 1-3
Citing Relevant Literature Should Include Nursing Literature.
Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2021 Jun 53 3 115
The impact of virtual meetings on a hospital system.
Fernandez RB, Aguilera V, Wyatt DA, Olson DM, Nurs Manage 2021 06 52 6 34-38


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • 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 Heart Association (2009)
  • American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (2007)
  • Neurocritical Care Society (2005)
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses (1990)