Bio: Dr. Diana Odland Neal is currently an Associate Professor of Nursing at St. Olaf College. Dr. Neal also worked as the Assistant Nursing Education Coordinator at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis before beginning her teaching career in an Associate Degree (AD) nursing program at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) and in the Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) nursing program at St. Olaf College. Dr. Neal is a member of the Minnesota Consortium for Nursing Education Research (MCNER) whose team recently completed a pilot and full-scale study on Enhancing Clinical Reasoning: Teaching Thinking Through Debriefing. Dr. Neal and the MCNER team secured grants including the 2012 Debra L. Spunt from the International Nursing Association for Clinical Learning (INACSL) and the 2013 Sigma Theta Tau Chi-At-Large Chapter Scholarship Award. Dr. Neal received a Faculty Life Committee-Professional Development Grant for simulation research from St. Olaf College as well. Dissemination of the findings included regional, national, and international presentations including podium sessions and half-day pre-conference workshops. Manuscripts related to study findings, developing a multi-site research team, and transferring the findings into nursing education are currently being developed. She is most passionate about caring for children, providing health care in rural villages within Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa, and educating nursing students.

Expertise: Dr. Neal’s areas of clinical expertise are in Pediatrics and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), during which she worked as a staff nurse, transport nurse, and neonatal nurse educator. Her areas of research focus are on developmental care for preterm infants in the NICU and educational strategies related to teaching undergraduate nursing students. Publications include:

  • Neal, D. O. & Lindeke, L. L. (2008). Music as a nursing intervention for preterm infants in the NICU. Neonatal Network® The Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 27(5), 319-327.

  • Minnesota Baccalaureate Psychomotor Skill Faculty. (2008). Caring behaviors demonstrated by baccalaureate nursing students completing the psychomotor skill of blood pressure measurement. Journal of Nursing Education, 47(3), 98-104.

  • Simones, J., Neal, D. O., Schug, V., Blazovich, L. M., Pivec, C., Daniels, J.,… Keller, P. (2014). Student nurses’ reported thinking during medication administration. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(11), 136-146.

  • Forneris, S. G., Neal, D. O. Tiffany, J., Kuehn, M. B., Meyer, H. M., Blazovich, L. M., Holland, A. E., Smerillo, M. (2015). Enhancing clinical reasoning through simulation debriefing: A multisite study. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(5), 304-310.


Other manuscripts, Medication Administration For Advanced Diploma Student Nurses In Tanzania” and “Enhancing Clinical Reasoning: Teaching Thinking Through Debriefing,” are both in progress.

Education: 1983- BS in Nursing: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN;

1988- MS in Maternal-Child Health Nursing and Education: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ;

2008- PhD in Nursing within the Center For Children With Special Health Care Needs and a minor in Complementary Therapies and Healing Practices: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.