One of the world’s leading healthcare simulation education experts, Professor Desiree A. Díaz has spent more than a decade seeking to improve healthcare disparities through simulation education. She believes it is important not just to teach skills and responses, but also to explore the thoughts behind those actions. Her research focuses on combining cutting-edge simulation technology with the human emotion of empathy to foster more culturally competent providers and ultimately improve care for underserved patient populations, including the incarcerated, English language learners and the LGBTQ+ community. Currently, her research focuses on improving maternal and newborn care in ethnically diverse populations. Her research has been widely published and presented, and her creative and innovative simulations have helped establish best practices and revolutionized training, such as the creation of the world’s first correctional nursing simulation van to train prison nurses. Díaz is also committed to global health, and has helped lead several UCF interprofessional medical outreach trips to South America, Africa and the Caribbean.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate, University of Central Florida
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Simulation, Johns Hopkins University
  • PhD, University of Connecticut
  • MSN, University of Connecticut
  • MSEd, St. Joseph College of Maine
  • BSN, University of Connecticut
Selected Editorial Activities
  • Associate Editor, Healthcare Simulation Dictionary
  • Associate Editor, Simulation & Gaming
  • Reviewer, Clinical Simulation in Nursing
  • Reviewer, Journal for Nurse Practitioners
  • Reviewer, Nursing Education Perspectives
Selected Awards & Honors
  • The Beverly Koerner Outstanding Alumni Award for Education in Nursing, University of Connecticut, 2024
  • UCF Luminary Award, 2023
  • Fellow, Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy, 2023
  • Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity Excellence Award, International Nursing Association of Clinical and Simulation Learning, 2021
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, University of Central Florida, 2021
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2020
  • Fellow, Academy of Nursing Education, 2018
Selected Professional Activities
  • President-elect, International Nursing Association for Clinical and Simulation Learning (INACSL)
  • Certification and Accreditation Reviewer, Society for Simulation in Healthcare
  • Regional Conference Committee Chair, INACSL

Expertise & Research

  • Diversity / Equity / Inclusion
  • Global Health
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatrics / Neonatal
  • Population Health: Pediatrics
  • Simulation
  • Telehealth
  • Virtual Reality
Research Areas
  • Simulation, Technology & Modeling
View Research Profile