Ellen Olshansky

Professor and Chair, Nursing Department
Contact Information
Department of Study 
PhD, University of California, San Francisco, 1985
MS, University of California, San Francisco, 1979
BSN, University of California, San Francisco, 1975
BSW, University of California, Berkeley, 1972

ELLEN OLSHANSKY serves as founding chair and professor of the new Department of Nursing at USC. She is a women’s health nurse practitioner and a researcher focused on women’s health across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on reproductive health.

Before joining the USC faculty, she was professor and founding director of the Program in Nursing Science at the University of California, Irvine. While at UCI, she chaired the Community Engagement Unit of the Institute for Clinical & Translational Science, funded by the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. She also served as director of the newly inaugurated Initiative to End Family Violence. While at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, where she served as chair of the Department of Health and Community Systems, she developed an interdisciplinary qualitative research group.

Olshansky previously served as a board member of the Orange County Human Relations Council. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from UC Berkeley, as well as a bachelor’s in nursing, master’s in women’s health and PhD in nursing science from UC San Francisco.

Awards and Distinction
Engaged Faculty Award, Engage UCI, University of California, Irvine (2015)
Fellow, Western Academy of Nursing (2014)
Community Nurse Researcher of the Year, University of California, Irvine, Chancellor’s Award (2011)
Who’s Who in America (2005)
Who’s Who in Education (2004)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2003)
CARE Award (Creative Achievement in Reproductive Endocrinology), American Society for Reproductive Medicine in association with Serono Pharmaceutical Company (1994)
Research Award, National Organization of Nurse Practitioners Faculties (1992)
American Nurses Foundation Scholar (1986)
Lifetime Red Cross Nurse Award, American Red Cross (1977)
Nursing Honor Society lifetime membership, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society (1975)
Edward Frank Kraft Prize, University of California, Berkeley (1968)
More awards
Selected Publications

Olshansky, E. (under review). Social determinants of health: A critical component of nursing. American Journal of Nursing.

Phillips, S., Daviss, M., Martinez-Campos, R., Neudorf, N., Centanni, L., Fitzpatrick, C., Tiso, S., Florez, S., Hatch, M., Olshansky, E., Dow, E. & Rousseau, R. (in press). An educational collaboration to promote wellness and health in an underserved, predominantly minority community. Public Health Nursing.

Perry, S.E., Lowdermilk, D.L., Alden, K., Cashion, K. (Eds), Olshansky, E.F. (Associate Ed.) (in press). Maternal-Child Health Care, 6th Ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Guo, Y., Pimentel, P., Lessard, J., Rousseau, J., Lee, J.A., Bojorquez, Y., Silva, M. & Olshansky, E. (2016). A community-based home visitation program’s impact on birth outcomes. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal-Child Nursing, 41(1), 16-23.

Olshansky, E., Zender, R., Kain, Z., Rosales, A., Guadarrama, H.l. & Fortier, M. (2015). Hispanic parents’ experiences of caring for a child who is undergoing routine surgery: A focus on pain and pain management. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 20, 165-177.

Fortier, M., Bunzil, E., Walthall, J., Olshansky, E., Saadat, H., Santistevan, R., Mayes, L. & Kain, Z. (2015). Web-based Tailored Intervention for Preparation of Parents and Children for Outpatient Surgery: Formative Evaluation and Randomized Controlled Trial. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 120(4), 915-922.

Lowdermilk, D.L., Perry, S.E., Cashion, K., Alden, K.R. (Eds/Authors), Olshansky, E.F. (Associate Ed.) (2015). Maternity and women’s health care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Olshansky, E.F. (2015). Women’s health and wellness across the lifespan. Philadelphia: Klower-Wolters.

Olshansky, E.F. & Zender, R. (2015). The use of community-based participatory research to understand and work with vulnerable populations. In De Chesnay, M., Anderson, B. (Eds), Caring for the Vulnerable, 3rd Ed. Jones and Bartlett Publishing Company.

Olshansky, E.F. (2015). Overview of grounded theory. In De Chesnay, M. (Ed.), Nursing Research Using Grounded Theory: Qualitative Designs and Methods in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Olshansky, E.F. (2015). Generating theory using grounded theory methodology. In De Chesnay, M. (Ed.), Nursing Research Using Grounded Theory: Qualitative Designs and Methods in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Caizzo, V., Cooper, D., Cramer, S., Galasetti, P., Mulnard, R., Nguyen, D., Ogunseitan, D., Olshansky, E., Pontello, A. & Schneider, M. (2014). The Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at UC Irvine: Building an inquisitive environment where everything is questioned and there is no status quo. Clinical and Translational Science. DOI 10.1111/cts.12177

Lakes, K., Vaughn, E., Pham, J., Tran, T., Jones, M., Baker, D., Swanson, J. & Olshansky, E. (2014). Community member and faith leader perspectives on the process of building trusting relationships between communities and researchers. Clinical and Translational Science, 7(1), 20-28.  

Taylor, D., Johnson-Mallard, V., Berg, J., Olshansky, E., Kostas-Polston, E., Woods, N. & Shaver, J. (2014). A response from the Women’s Health Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 26(6), 290-291.

Olshansky, E., Sando, K., Vaughn, J., Rich, J., Lakes, K. & Cooper, D. (2013). The societal importance of embracing counter-intuitive thought in science: Assisted exercise in preterm infants for long-term health outcomes. The International Journal of Science in Society, 4, 145-152.

Gravem, D., Lakes, K., Rich, J., Vaughn, J., Hayes, G., Cooper, D. & Olshansky, E. (2013). Feasibility of a caregiver assisted exercise program for preterm infants. The Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 27(2), 184-192. 

Shaver, J., Olshansky, E. & Woods, N.F. (2013). Women’s health research agenda for the next decade: A report by the women’s health expert panel of the American Academy of Nursing. Nursing Outlook, 61(1), 16-24.

Olshansky, E. (2013). Assessment and health promotion. In Perry, S.E., Hockenberry, Lowdermilk, D.L., Wilson, D. (Eds), Maternal-Child Health Care, 5th Ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Berg, J., Olshansky, E., Taylor, D., Shaver, J. & Woods, N.F. (2012). Women’s health in jeopardy: Failure to curb unintended pregnancies: A statement from the AAN Women’s Health Expert Panel. Nursing Outlook, 60(3), 163-164.

Hershberger, P.E., Gallo, A.M., Kavanaugh, K., Olshansky, E., Schwartz, A. & Tur-Kaspa, I. (2012). The decision-making process of genetically at-risk couples considering preimplantation genetic diagnosis: Initial findings from a grounded theory study. Social Science & Medicine, 74, 1536-1543.

Olshansky, E. (2012). My daughter (or even my son) the nurse: Jews in nursing and the healing role of nurses. CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly, 59(3), 25-33.

Zender, R. & Olshansky, E. (2012). The biology of caring: Researching the health effects of stress response regulation through relational engagement. Biological Research for Nursing, 14(4), 419-430. 

Olshansky, E., Lakes, K.D., Vaughan, J., Gravem, D., Rich, J.K., David, M., Nguyen, H. & Cooper, D. (2012). Enhancing the construct and content validity of rating scales for clinical research: Using qualitative methods to develop a rating scale to assess parental perceptions of their role in promoting infant exercise. The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, 10(1), 36-50.

Olshansky, E. (2012). Transitions, reflection and welcome. Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(6), 323-324.

Olshansky, E. (2012). What’s wrong with this picture? Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(5), 259-260.

Olshansky, E. (2012). Can we see nursing? Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(4), 199-200.

Olshansky, E. (2012). Nursing as the elusive core of care in hospitals. Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(3), 135-136.

Olshansky, E. (2012). Health care policy debates: Let’s bring back civility. Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(2), 71-72.

Olshansky, E. (2012). Leveraging the strength of nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(1), 1-2.

Hershberger, P.E., Kavanaugh, K., Hamilton, R., Klock, S.C., Merry, L., Olshansky, E., et al. (2011). Development of an informational website for recruiting research participants: Process, implementation and evaluation. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 29, 544-551.

Olshansky, E. (2011). Creating and nurturing academic-service partnerships and educational collaboratives. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(6), 329.

Olshansky, E. (2011). Community/Public health nursing: One way nursing can make a difference. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(5), 265-266. 

Olshansky, E. (2011). Nursing as the most trusted profession: Why this is important. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(4), 193-194.

Olshansky, E. (2011). The myth of the fillers and extenders: Let us clarify the role of nurse practitioners. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(3), 129-130.

Olshansky, E. (2011). Let us transcend “turf” battles and focus on the health of the public. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(2), 65-66.

Olshansky, E. (2011). The future of nursing report: Let’s resolve to keep up the momentum. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(1), 1-2.

Lindell, K.O., Olshansky, E., Song, M.K., Zullo, T.G., Gibson, K.F., Kaminski, N. & Hoffman, L.A. (2010). Impact of a disease-management program on symptom burden and health-related quality of life in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and their care partners. Heart and Lung, 39(4), 304-313.

Courtney, K.L., Lingler, J.H., Person Mecca, L., Garlock, L.A., Schulz, R., Dick, A.W. & Olshansky, E. (2010). Initial impressions of community-dwelling older adults and case managers about community-based telehealth kiosks. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 31, 1-5.

Olshansky, E. (2010). Laurel Archer Copp, 1931-2010. Journal of Professional Nursing, 26(6), 321.

Olshansky, E. (2010). Is there still a nursing shortage? Journal of Professional Nursing, 26(5), 255-256.

Olshansky, E. (2010). In celebration of Florence Nightingale: 2010 as the year of the nurse. Journal of Professional Nursing, 26(4), 197-198.

Olshansky, E. (2010). Improving the education of the nursing workforce: A landmark study from the Carnegie Foundation. Journal of Professional Nursing, 26(2), 67-68.

Olshansky, E. (2010). Welcoming a new decade and reflecting on the “2000s”: Considerations for the discipline of nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing, 26(1), 1-2.

Schlenk, E., Ross, D., Stilley, C., Dunbar-Jacob, J. & Olshansky, E. (2009). Participation in clinical research among older adults with mobility limitation. Clinical Nursing Research, 18(4), 348-369.

Gravem, D., Lakes, K., Rich, J., Tehran, L., Cooper, D. & Olshansky, E. (2009). Maternal perceptions of NICU infant exercise. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 38, 527-533.

Zender, R. & Olshansky, E. (2009). Womens’ mental health: Depression and anxiety. Nursing Clinics of North America, 44(3), 355-364.

Zender, R. & Olshansky, E. (2009). Promoting wellness in women across the lifespan. Nursing Clinics of North America, 44(3), 281-291.

Olshansky, E. (2009). Maintaining focus in a world of distractions. Journal of Professional Nursing, 26(5), 257-258.

Olshansky, E. (2009). Nursing’s role in health care reform. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25(4), 193-194.

Olshansky, E. (2009). National Nurses’ Week: Let’s take time to appreciate our profession. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25(3), 127.

Dunlap, J.M. & Olshansky, E. (2009). Why not become an MD: A perspective of a student nurse on the profession’s image. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25(2), 65-66.

Olshansky, E. (2009). Maintaining optimism despite a challenging social context. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25(1), 1-2.

Bryce, C.L., Zickmund, S., Hess, R., McTigue, K.M., Olshansky, E., Fitzgerald, K. & Fischer, G. (2008). Value versus user fees: Perspectives of patients before and after using a web-based portal for management of diabetes. Telemedicine and e-Health, 14(10), 1001-1009.

Olshansky, E., Sacco, D., Fitzgerald, K., Zickmund, S., Hess, R., Bryce, C., McTigue, K. & Fischer, G. (2008). Living with diabetes: Normalizing the process of managing diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 34(6), 1004-1012.

Chasens, E. & Olshansky, E. (2008). Daytime sleepiness, diabetes and psychological wellbeing. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 29, 1134-1150.

Hess, R., Olshansky, E., Ness, R., Bryce, C.L., Dillon, S., Kapoor, W., Chang, C-C H. & Matthews, K.A. (2008). Pregnancy and birth history influences women’s experiences of menopause. Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, 15(3), 435-441.  

Lawrence, K., Stilley, C.S., Olshansky, E., Bender, A. & Webber, S.A. (2008). Further exploration: Maturity and adherence in adolescent and young adult heart transplant recipients. Progress in Transplantation, 18(1), 50-54.

Zickmund, S., Hess, R., Bryce, C., McTigue, K., Olshansky, E., Fitzgerald, K. & Fischer, G. (2008). Interest in the Use of Computerized Patient Portals: Role of the Provider-Patient Relationship. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(1), 20-26.

Olshansky, E. & Garner, C. (2008). Infertility. In Fogel, C., Woods, N.F. (Eds), Women’s Health. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Olshansky, E. (2008). The use of community-based participatory research to understand and work with vulnerable populations. In De Chesnay, M., Anderson, B. (Eds), Caring for the Vulnerable, 2nd Ed. Jones and Bartlett Publishing Company.

Olshansky, E. (2008). Voting in the presidential election. Journal of Professional Nursing, 24(6), 327-328.

Olshansky, E. (2008). A disaster averted: A wake-up call for the need for global disaster preparedness. Journal of Professional Nursing, 24(5), 261-262.

Girouard, S., Hodge, M., Karshmer, J. & Olshansky, E. (2008). The invisible and unsung heroes: A day of lobbying for nursing and health care on Capitol Hill. Journal of Professional Nursing, 24(4), 193-194.

Olshansky, E. (2008). Development as an important role of a dean. Journal of Professional Nursing, 24(2), 67-68.

Olshansky, E. (2008). Why nurses need to be concerned about the environment. Journal of Professional Nursing, 24(1), 1-2.

Hess, R., Bryce, C., Paone, S., Fischer, G., McTigue, K., Olshansky, E., Zickmund, S., Fitzgerald, K. & Siminerio, L. (2007). Exploring Challenges and Potentials of Personal Health Records in Diabetes Self-Management: Implementation and Initial Assessment. Telemedicine and e-Health, 13(5), 509-517.

Handler, S.M., Perera, S., Olshansky, E.F., Studenski, S.A., Nace, D.A., Fridsma, D.B. & Hanlon, J.T. (2007). Identifying modifiable barriers to medication error reporting in the nursing home setting. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 8(9), 568-574.

Rosenblum, K. & Olshansky, E. (2007). Building families: Diverse pathways to parenthood. Zero to Three Journal, 27(5), 16-22.  

Olshansky, E. (2007). Nursing recruitment: The importance of highlighting the diverse career paths for nurses. Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(6), 323-234.

Olshansky, E. (2007). What do we mean by compassion and caring in nursing and why does it matter anyway? Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(5), 247-248.

Olshansky, E. (2007). Do the right thing. Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(4), 185-186.

Olshansky, E. (2007). We’ve come a long way baby… Or have we? Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(3), 121-122.

Olshansky, E. (2007). Why we need to wage good conflict. Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(2), 71-72.

Olshansky, E. (2007). Nurses and health promotion. Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(1), 1-2.

Chasens, E. & Olshansky, E. (2006). The experience of being sleepy while managing type 2 diabetes. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 12(5), 272-278. 

Hess, R., McTigue, K.M., Bryce, C.L., Fitzgerald, K.R., Zickmund, S., Sacco, D., Olshansky, E. & Fischer, G.S. (2006). A pamphlet’s just a pamphlet. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21(4S), 4.

Hess, R., Bryce, C.L., McTigue, K., Fitzgerald, K., Olshansky, E., Zickmund, S. & Fischer, G. (2006). The Diabetes Patient Portal: Patient perspectives on structure and delivery. Diabetes Spectrum, 92(2), 106-10.

McTigue, K., Hess, R., Bryce, C., Fitzgerald, K., Olshansky, E., Sacco, D. & Fischer, G. (2006). Perception of “healthy” body weight by patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 29(3), 695-697.

Stilley, C.S., Lawrence, K., Bender, A., Olshansky, E., Webber, S.A. & Dew, M.A. (2006). Maturity & adherence in adolescent and young adult heart recipients. Pediatric Transplantation, 10, 323-330.

Watson, K.C., Kieckhefer, G.M. & Olshansky, E. (2006). Striving for therapeutic relationships: Parent-provider communication in the developmental treatment setting. Qualitative Health Research, 16, 647-663.

Ketefian, S., Donaldson, N., Sebastian, J. & Olshansky, E. (2006). The importance of nursing in promoting peace: Implications for nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22(6), 327-328.

Olshansky, E. (2006). Nursing within a global context. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22(5), 263-264.

Olshansky, E. (2006). Athletics as a metaphor for teamwork in academics. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22(3), 143-144.

Olshansky, E. (2006). A new year, a new look. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22(1), 1-2.