Leland Rockstraw

Leland "Rocky" Rockstraw, PhD, RN, FNAP, ANEF


BHS 454
Mail Code


Leland "Rocky" Rockstraw, Ph.D. RN, FNAP, ANEF, comes to UNLV School of Nursing from Drexel University, where he served as a clinical professor and assistant dean of simulation. He brings extensive experience in teaching in person, online, and health science simulation, both computerized manikins and standardized patients.


Rockstraw’s 19 years of simulation expertise includes scenario designs and implementation, budget, and lab development. He co-chaired a week-long simulation immersion course, assisting more than 300 faculty within the U.S. and provided this week-long immersion course to health science faculty in South Africa and India. He has consulted in the design of simulation centers and handheld technology integration. Rockstraw is certified in online learning and critical care alumni. He is also a member of various nursing editorial boards, such as Clinical Simulation in Nursing, Holistic Nursing Practice, and Western Journal of Nursing Research.

Classes Taught

Rockstraw teaches in nursing undergraduate, graduate programs, as well as health sciences freshman seminar. Courses taught include:

  • HSC 100 – Introduction to Academia & Scholarship in Health Sciences
  • NURS 140 – Medical Terminology
  • NURS 425 – Complex Care – Clinical Component
  • NURS 706 – Nursing Theory & Research
  • NURS 711 – Informatics and Quality
  • NURS 719R – Health & Public Policy
  • NURS 789 – Educational Theory & Philosophy for Nursing

Education Background

Rockstraw earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University, a second Master of Science in Nursing specializing in Community Health & Wellness from the University of South Alabama, and his Doctor of Philosophy specializing in Educational Leadership Development & Online Learning Technologies from Drexel University

Research or Scholarship

Rockstraw is involved in the resource allocation for technology as well as its integration into nursing education and practice. He also seeks to improve palliative care communication skills and patient safety through simulation research. He also is involved in Interprofessional Education (IPE) and is serving as IPE Project Lead with the Nevada Interprofessional Health Aging Network.

Awards, recognitions, or group affiliations

Rockstraw has received fellowships at the Medical Informatics for Health Professionals - National Library of Medicine, Institute for Medical Simulation - Comprehensive Workshop in Medical Simulation, Institute for Medical Simulation - Graduate Course, the National Academies of Practice Fellow in Nursing, and most recently inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education of National League for Nursing.

Rockstraw is the recipient of the 2012 Hero of the Evolution award from the Simulation Studio, the 2006 Excellence in Research in the Field of Simulation award from the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation Labs, and the 1999 Outstanding Academic Achievement and Leadership Award from Alpha Theta Chi Collegiate Honor Society.  Rockstraw is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and Sigma Iota Epsilon Management Honor Society.