Dr. Rita Drummond Olans was an Associate Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in the Pediatric Advanced Track, with a sub-specialty in Adolescent Medicine. She worked at the Institute from 2013-2024, retiring as the current Pediatric Track Coordinator. Her seminal research into the unrecognized yet critical role of nurses in combating multi-drug resistance and infection has positioned her as a nationally recognized nurse leader in antimicrobial stewardship.

She has numerous publications in both the nursing and medical literature and was a contributor to the National Quality Partners Playbooks for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Acute Care, in Post-Acute, and in Long-Term Care. Dr. Olans also served as a technical expert to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Programs for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Acute Care and in Ambulatory Settings. She was a co-author of the ANA/CDC White Paper defining nurses’ roles in antimicrobial stewardship and the limitation of the spread of antimicrobial resistance. She has been invited to speak by The Joint Commission, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Hospital Association, and the National Quality Forum addressing how nurses can contribute to antimicrobial stewardship. She is also a frequent presenter to nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacists, microbiologists, public health officials, and regulatory agencies.

Her current research is on how best to integrate antimicrobial stewardship principles into prelicensure nursing education and how best to broadly educate the public about the global spread of antimicrobial resistance. Dr. Olans’ clinical experiences include managing school-based health centers in Massachusetts public schools, nurse practitioner coordination and HIV/STD/TB clinical practice in the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health, and pediatric nurse practice as an in-patient hospitalist at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, MA. Dr. Olans is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and is a member of their Emerging Infections subcommittee.

  • DNP, Doctorate in Nurse Practice, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
  • MSN, Master of Science in Nursing, Simmons College, Boston, MA  
  • BA, Bachelors of Arts, Thanatology, Boston University, Boston, MA  
  • Diploma, Buffalo General Hospital, School of Nursing, Buffalo, NY
  • Postdoctoral Training: Certificate of Advanced Study. Health Professions Education (HPEd). MGH Institute of Health Professions and Harvard Macy Institute, Boston, MA. 

Antimicrobial Stewardship: 
Dr. Olans seminal research into the unrecognized, yet critical role of nurses in combating multi-drug resistance and infection has positioned her as a nationally recognized nurse leader in antimicrobial stewardship.

Dr. Olans has published numerous papers - some titles are highlighted below. You can view a complete listing of Dr. Olan's publications on Google Scholar or in her CV. 

Nurses: an underused vital asset against drug-resistant infections.

Inaccurate penicillin allergy labeling, the electronic health record, and adverse outcomes of care.

Influences on nurses’engagement in antimicrobial stewardship behaviors: A multi-country survey using the theoretical domains framework.

Florence Nightingale and antimicrobial stewardship.

Implementing an antimicrobial stewardship program in the intensive care unit by engaging critical care nurses.


See Google Scholar Profile


In addition, Dr. Olans regularly presents at conferences and industry events. Please see her CV for a complete list of presentations.

The critical role of nurses in antimicrobial stewardship, and sepsis, too! at the Annual Sepsis Alliance Summit.

Integrating bedside nurses into antibiotic stewardship activities at the Decennial 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Society of Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

Developing stewardship goals and strategies for nurses in antimicrobial stewardship at the Making a Difference in Infectious Diseases (MAD-ID) Annual Conference.

The end of antibiotic miracle-ism: A thoughtful approach to antibiotic use in the 21st Century at the Public Health England and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery Conference on Global Perspectives on Improving Public Health 2019: A Public Health Approach. 

Is the frontline the next frontier of ASP? at the Society of Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Annual Conference. 

Contact Information

Awards and Honors

Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, 2022

Academy Fellows are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and healthcare.

Excellence in Faculty Advising, 2022

MGH Institute of Health Professions

National Academies of Practice-Nursing (FNAP), 2020

Individuals who have spent a significant portion (10 years or more) of their professional career in the practice and direct delivery of health care services. They are judged by distinguished peers to have made enduring contributions in their profession.

School-Based Health Center Champion, 2020

Massachusetts School-Based Health Alliance (MSBHA)

Corless Scholarship and Research Award, 2020

Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI)

DAISY Faculty Award, 2019

First awarded at the Institute in 2016, DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System Foundation. The Foundation established the DAISY Faculty Award® to recognize dedicated nursing faculty who have a profound impact on the future practice of their students through their commitment and inspirational influence.