Dr. Nielson graduated from the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo in 1985 with honors. His pre-optometry years were at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton where he grew up.
He qualified as a member of the national optometric honors society, Beta Sigma Kappa 1981-1985, while in optometry school. He received his Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agent Certification from North Eastern State School of Optometry in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 1993.
Dr. Nielson is very involved in church and community events, and enjoys waterskiing, boating, and squash. He is a husband and father of 4 children, and now a grandfather of 12 grandchildren. Along with enjoying life in Calgary he also likes to travel abroad to foreign and exotic destinations. In January 2015, he and his wife, Ann, spent 10 days in Jamaica with a team of eye doctors to provide humanitarian eye exams and glasses. More recently, Dr. Nielson and his wife, at their own expense, went to Fiji, (but this time for six months) to once again provide free eye exams and glasses to those very needy people in the remote villages around the different islands in the Fiji area.