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

Evaluation of a New Catheter for Simultaneous Intracranial Pressure Monitoring and Cerebral Spinal Fluid Drainage: A Pilot Study.
Olson DM, Atem F, Busch DR, Neurocrit Care 2019 08 31 1 225-226
Clinical Effectiveness of Direct Oral Anticoagulants vs Warfarin in Older Patients With Atrial Fibrillation and Ischemic Stroke: Findings From the Patient-Centered Research Into Outcomes Stroke Patients Prefer and Effectiveness Research (PROSPER) Study.
Xian Y, Xu H, O'Brien EC, Shah S, Thomas L, Pencina MJ, Fonarow GC, Olson DM, Schwamm LH, Bhatt DL, Smith EE, Hannah D, Maisch L, Lytle BL, Peterson ED, Hernandez AF, JAMA Neurol 2019 Jul
Correlation of Objective Pupillometry to Midline Shift in Acute Stroke Patients.
Osman M, Stutzman SE, Atem F, Olson D, Hicks AD, Ortega-Perez S, Aoun SG, Salem A, Aiyagari V, J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2019 Jul 28 7 1902-1910
Response to: Assessing sexual dysfunction in men with epilepsy: A need for specific tools!
Olson DM, Dawson EA, Stutzman SE, Hays RS, Epilepsy Behav 2019 Jul 106278
Common Data Element for Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysm and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Recommendations from Assessments and Clinical Examination Workgroup/Subcommittee.
Damani R, Mayer S, Dhar R, Martin RH, Nyquist P, Olson DM, Mejia-Mantilla JH, Muehlschlegel S, Jauch EC, Mocco J, Mutoh T, Suarez JI, Neurocrit Care 2019 06 30 Suppl 1 28-35
The Cue-Response Theory and Nursing Care of the Patient With Acquired Brain Injury.
Olson DM, Ortega-Pérez S J Neurosci Nurs 2019 Feb 51 1 43-47
Of Zombies and Evidence.
Olson DM, Bazil JC J Neurosci Nurs 2019 Feb 51 1 7
Development and Testing of an Electronic Multidisciplinary Rounding Tool.
Gunter EP, Viswanathan M, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Aiyagari V, AACN Adv Crit Care 2019 30 3 222-229
Inconsistency in Reporting Variables Related to Intracranial Pressure Measurement in Scientific Literature.
Samudra NP, Park SM, Gray SE, Sebai MA, Olson DM J Nurs Meas 2018 Dec 26 3 415-424
Differentiate the Source and Site of Intracranial Pressure Measurements Using More Precise Nomenclature.
Olson DM, Ortega Peréz S, Ramsay J, Venkatasubba Rao CP, Suarez JI, McNett M, Aiyagari V Neurocrit Care 2018 Sep


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)