Contact Us and People


Joanne Olson, PhD, RN, FAAN



About Me


  • PhD (Nursing), Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (1993)
  • MS (Public Health) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1975)
  • BSN Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, (1972)

My clinical expertise is in the area of community health nursing. With past community health experience in rural, suburban, and urban settings in the US and Canada, I continue to maintain a part-time clinical practice as a faith community (parish) nurse. Previous academic positions were in St. Louis, Missouri and London, Ontario. Recent administrative positions include Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs; Director, Quality Assurance & Enhancement. 


Research has focused mainly on nurse-client communication, spiritual aspects of nursing and health care, and nursing and interdisciplinary education. I am a member of the Nursing Education Area of Excellence (AOE) in the Faculty of Nursing. I am currently involved in two Programs of Research. The Overall Goals of these Programs of Research are as follows: 1) The development of effective, evidence based teaching/learning strategies for healthcare professional education and 2) The development of interventions to enhance spiritual wellbeing including the promotion of resiliency in individuals and families. 

Current Grants

  •  Park, Paul, Olson, Sadowski, King, Wilson-Keates, Davidson, Charrois. Simulation learning with nursing and pharmacy students: A demonstration project. $19,829, University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing Simulation Learning Research Grant, September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018. (Research strategy: Demonstration Project that followed an earlier funded pilot project)
  • Paul, Olson & Spiers. We are in this together: Learning in an online cohort PhD program. $42,568, University of Alberta Teaching and Learning Enhancement fund (TLEF), April 1, 2016 – May 31, 2018. 
  • Olson, King, Bremault-Phillips, Olson, Metz. Intervention to improve perinatal outcomes following the 2016 Alberta wildfires: Administration, effectiveness and community implementation. Operating Grant, Health Effects of the Alberta Wildfires. $500,000, Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018. (Research strategy: Qualitative and quantitative analysis of data provided by pregnant women in online expressive writing/journaling following forced evacuation of 88,000 community residents during a massive community wildfire)


Courses taught include: nurse-client interaction, family health, community health, health promotion, nature of nursing (NURS 502), teaching & learning, nursing knowledge development (NURS 600), faith community (parish) nursing, and spiritual assessment in the promotion of health (INTD 577).