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

Neuroscience Nursing Research Center Is a Hub for Fostering Translational RN Research.
Perera A, Stutzman SE, Venkatachalam AM, Olson DM, Can J Nurs Res 2020 May 844562120925936
Investigation of Pupillary Changes After Carotid Endarterectomy and Carotid Stent Placement Using Automated Pupillometry.
Weerakoon SM, Stutzman SE, Atem FD, Kuchenbecker KS, Olson DM, Aiyagari V, J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2020 May 29 5 104693
The Dangers of Echo Chambers in Healthcare.
Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2020 Apr 52 2 43
Efficacy of Using Available Data to Examine Nurse Staffing Ratios and Quality of Care Metrics.
Carlisle B, Perera A, Stutzman SE, Brown-Cleere S, Parwaiz A, Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2020 Apr 52 2 78-83
Reflections on Nursing Ingenuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Newby JC, Mabry MC, Carlisle BA, Olson DM, Lane BE, J Neurosci Nurs 2020 Mar
Blood Pressure measurements are site dependent in a cohort of patients with neurological illness.
Siaron KB, Cortes MX, Stutzman SE, Venkatachalam A, Ahmed KM, Olson DM, Sci Rep 2020 Feb 10 1 3382
Providing Stroke and Hypertension Education in Amharic for Ethiopian Persons Living in Dallas, Texas, United States.
Gebreyohanns M, Onuigbo CC, Ali A, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Creat Nurs 2020 Feb 26 1 66-73
The Future of Neurocritical Care Research: Proceedings and Recommendations from the Fifth Neurocritical Care Research Network Conference.
Hocker S, Shah S, Vespa P, Provencio JJ, Calvillo E, Olson DM, Venkatasubba Rao CP, Hemphill JC, Helbok R, Human T, Kamel H, Madden LK, Nyquist P, Bentho O, O'Phelan K, Lewin JJ, Alexander S, Ziai W, Chou SH, Rincon F, McNett M, Ko N, Zink B, Rhoney D, Diringer MN, Stevens R, Robertson CS, Sampaio G, Shutter LA, Ling G, Rehman M, Mahmoud SH, Yeager S, Livesay S, Suarez JI, Neurocrit Care 2020 02 32 1 311-316
Behind Closed Doors.
Olson DM, J Neurosci Nurs 2020 02 52 1 1
Exploring Provider Cultural Competence and Patient Mood in an Outpatient Apheresis Unit.
Bennett E, Stutzman SE, Hicks AD, Olson DM, J Transcult Nurs 2020 Jan 31 1 22-27


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)