Desiree Díaz, PhD, RN-BC, CNE, CHSE-A, ANEF

One of only 35 certified advanced healthcare simulation educators worldwide, Dr. Díaz’s research combines the cutting-edge technology of simulation with the deeper human emotion of empathy to improve the care for underserved patient populations. For Díaz, it is about blending the aesthetic side of nursing with the medical necessities to foster an environment of well being. Díaz believes it is important to not just teach the skills and proper responses to situations, but to unveil the inner thoughts and critical thinking of the person behind those actions.

Her research, which has been widely presented and published, focuses on training healthcare providers to more effectively care for underserved patient populations, including correctional healthcare and limited English proficient patients. 

While at UCF, Díaz plans to continue her research in correctional healthcare using simulations to improve team communication during events such as attempted loss of life, acute cardiac crisis and crisis interventions. She has served as a simulation mentor for the International Nursing Association Simulation Clinical Learning, and previously was associate clinical professor and director of clinical simulation and resource laboratories at the University of Connecticut. She earned her BSN, MSN and PhD from the University of Connecticut, and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University working with nationally renowned simulation expert Dr. Pamela Jeffries.


Funded Research:

  • Principal Investigator, Creation and Validation of a Pediatric Sepsis Early Recognition Simulation and Checklist, Sigma Theta Tau International Theta Epsilon Chapter ($632).

  • Principal Investigator, Virtual versus High-Fidelity Patient Simulation (HFPS) on Student Outcomes for Acute, Low-Frequency, High-Risk Pediatric and Obstetric Scenarios, Laerdal Foundation, Acute Medicine Grant ($20,000).

  • Principal Investigator, Mobile TeamSTEPPS and Simulation Training Intervention to Improve Healthcare Worker Education and Communication in a Correctional Health Environment, International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning ($1,000).

Selected Publications

  • Díaz, D., Maruca, A., Hoyt, E., Gonzalez, L., Stockmann, C., & Blackwell, C. (2017). Simulation design: Addressing care of a transgender patient. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 13(9), 452-459.

  • Díaz, D., Maruca, A., Gonzalez, L., Stockmann, C., & Hoyt, E. (2017). Using simulation to address care of the transgender patient in nursing curricula. BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(2), 65-69.

  • Díaz, D., Pettigrew, C., Dileone, C., Dodge, M., & Shelton, D. (2017) Pilot test of communication with a ‘Rapid Fire’ technique. Journal for Evidence-based Practice in Correctional Health, 1(2), 140-151.

  • Leflore, J., Bond, M., Anderson, M., Baxley, S., & Díaz, D. (2017). Interprofessional education: Graduate students' perspectives. Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education, 7(1), 1-11.

  • Stockmann, C., & Díaz, D. (2017). Students’ perceptions of the psychological well-being of a transgender client through simulation. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(12), 741-744.

  • Maruca, A., Díaz. D., Stockmann, C., & Gonzalez, L. (2018). Using simulation with nursing students to promote affirmative practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population: A multisite study. Nursing Education Perspectives, 39(4), 225-229.

  • Díaz, D.A., & Allchin, L. (2017). End of life scenario with Limited-English-Proficiency patients. In S.H. Campbell & K. Daley (Eds.), Simulation scenarios for nursing educators: Making it real (3rd ed., pp. 335-342). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

  • Díaz, D.A., Miller, R., & Polifroni, E. (2017). School/summer camper health and dietary considerations. In K. Leighton (Eds). Simulation exemplars in nursing practice & clinical specialties, Chapter 19. In C. Foisy-Doll & K. Leighton (Eds.). Simulation champions: Courage, caring, and connection. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

  • Díaz, D.A., & Kuhnly, K.E. (2016). The use of simulation in case-based learning: Setting the stage, Chapter 21. In S. Bellini & M. Whalen (Eds.). Neonatal advanced practice nursing: A case-based learning approach. Philadelphia, PA: Springer.

  • Díaz, D.A., Reagan, L., Barta, W. & Shelton, D. (2016). Psychometric validation of satisfaction with simulated clinical learning experience evaluation – corrections (SSCLEE-C). International Journal of Sciences 3(1), 58-62.

  • Delaney, C., Barrere, C., Roberston, S., Zahourek, R., Díaz, D.A., & Lachapelle. L. (2015). Pilot testing of the NURSE stress management intervention. Journal of Holistic Nursing. Advance online publication.

  • Maruca, A., Kuhnly, J., Díaz, D.A., & Jeffries, P. (2015). A content analysis of the simulated ostomy experience in undergraduate nurses. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(6), 367-371.

  • Díaz, D.A., Maruca, A.T., Kuhnly, J.E., Jeffries, P., & Grabon, N. (2015). Creating caring and empathic nurses: A simulated ostomate. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 11(12), 513-518.

Professional Organizations

  • Sigma Theta Tau International

  • Society of Simulation in Healthcare

  • Hispanic Nurses Association

  • International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning

  • National League of Nursing

  • National Coalition Ethnic Minority Nurses Association

  • American Nurses Association

  • Connecticut Nurses Association

  • Connecticut League for Nursing

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  • Assistant Professor