Jim Nelson is an attending neurosurgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, formerly Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital and Seattle Grace Hospital.


Derek's Time OffEdit

When Derek stopped showing up for work after Jen Harmon died, Jim offered to take over one of his surgeries. ("I Will Follow You Into the Dark")

John DoeEdit

When John Doe's post-op CT showed a re-bleed, Derek said he'd have Nelson take care of it so he and Meredith could go get married. However, Derek ended up doing the surgery himself. ("Now or Never")

Hospital MergerEdit

Jim was involved in a meeting with the attendings regarding the merger. Cristina later tried to flirt her way onto one of his surgeries, but he knew that she was into cardio. ("Tainted Obligation")

Brain TumorEdit

Nelson had a patient with a brain tumor that Meredith Grey diagnosed. He was going to let her debulk the tumor, but Derek took the case for himself. ("Suicide is Painless")

Derek's HandEdit

When Derek's hand went numb in surgery after his plane crash injuries, Nelson stepped in to take over. ("Going, Going, Gone")



He is not well-known amongst his colleagues. Mark didn't remember him even though they'd been introduced three times before. At the end of the day, Jim invited Mark to get a drink, but Mark declined. ("I Will Follow You Into the Dark")


Dr. Nelson was the interim head of neurosurgery before Derek was hired.

According to Callie, he is a good surgeon, publishes a lot of research, but because he isn't Shepherd and Richard's golden boy, he falls to the sidelines frequently, so much so that Richard does not actually consider him for any of Derek's surgeries when Derek "leaves". Mark has also failed to notice him in the time he's been working at Seattle Grace, despite Jim working there for more than 10 years. Amelia once called his work sloppy.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • In his first appearance, he was credited as Dr. John Nelson.
  • Although his last appearance was in season six, he has been mentioned a couple of times in later seasons, indicating he's part of the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
  • It's possible Jim got to step up as the hospital's best neurosurgeon when Derek started consulting on the Brain Mapping Project. However, that was only briefly as Amelia Shepherd, who's nearly as good as her brother, joined the hospital staff before Derek joined the Project full-time.




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