Dr. Palaganas is the Founding Director of the IHP Center of Excellence in Healthcare Simulation Research and Professor in the Health Professions Education Department. She previously served as Associate Chair of the department. She also served as an advisor to Continuing and Professional Development in the development of online interprofessional education and the School of Nursing with simulation integration. Prior to joining IHP full-time, Dr. Palaganas split her time between helping launch the IHP PhD in Health Professions Education Program and leading educational innovation at the Center for Medical Simulation.

Dr. Palaganas is also Principal Investigator of the Research on Experiential-based Education lab (REBEL Lab) where she directs three research priorities: (1) cognitive neuroscience of healthcare simulation methods, (2) cognitive neuroscience of feedback conversations, and (3) generative AI using healthcare simulation for assessment.

Dr. Palaganas has developed a passion for teamwork from her background as an emergency nurse, trauma nurse practitioner, director of the emergency and critical care services, and faculty for schools of medicine, nursing, allied health, management, physician assistant studies, and emergency medicine. As a behavioral scientist and former clinical nurse and hospital administrator, Dr. Palaganas’ passion is in using health care simulation as a platform for interprofessional education. She served as a committee member of the Institute of Medicine's report on measuring the impact of interprofessional education on practice.

Dr. Palaganas’ primary role is to develop health professions educators in an IPE setting. She previously led CMS’s Instructor Course educating educators in simulation globally. Dr. Palaganas has shaped the field of simulation, leading the development of the Society for Simulation’s Accreditation and Certification Program. She is Editor-in-Chief in two award-winning textbooks: Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs, as well as Mastering Simulation. She urged the development of the recently released Society for Simulation dictionary, authored seminal articles, and co-authored field-changing research, including the National League for Nursing study for the high-stakes assessment using simulation. She is the founding co-director of the Healthcare Distance Simulation Collaboration which brings together 33 simulation international societies to conduct research in distance simulation. She has been an invited keynote speaker in over 30 countries.

  • BSN, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • PhD, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
  • Research Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. Palaganas has published numerous papers - some titles are highlighted below. You can view a complete listing of Dr. Palaganas' publications on ResearchGate or in her CV. 

How do you learn? Come join me.

Closing the gap: A call for a common blueprint for remote distance telesimulation.

Factors of engagement in synchronous online learning conversations and distance debriefing: A realist synthesis review.

Cultural considerations in debriefing: A systematic review of the literature.

Perspectives of engagement in distance debriefings.


See ResearchGate Profile


In addition, Dr. Palaganas regularly presents at conferences and industry events. Please see her CV for a complete list of presentations.

Making a contribution to the research team as a novice SOS (Simulation Operations Specialists) at the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) SimOps Annual Conference.

Continuing health professions education online at the Philippine Nurses Association New England Annual Conference.

Awards and Honors

Book of the Year Award, American Journal of Nursing, 2021

Author of most valuable texts of 2020, as chosen by AJN’s panel of judges.

Honorary Recognition Award, Society for Simulation in Healthcare Credentialing Commission, 2018

For dedication as the first Vice Chair of the Credentialing Commission.

Presidential Citation Award, Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 2017

As a pioneer in the field of healthcare simulation, directing the development of the accreditation and certification programs and interprofessional education using simulation as a platform.

Debra L. Spunt Lecture Award, 2016

Demonstrating nursing impact in the field of healthcare simulation and nursing education.

President’s Award, Loma Linda University, 2013

Highest university-wide award in recognition of scholastic achievement, and active community participation, within the framework of Christian commitment.

Emergency Nurses Association, San Diego Scholar, 2007

For doctoral students and leadership excellence

Marion O. Ware Award, University of Pennsylvania, 2002

Excellence in graduate research and scholarly writing