Leland Rockstraw

Leland "Rocky" Rockstraw, Ph.D, RN, FNAP


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Dr. Leland "Rocky" Rockstraw 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 health science simulation along with both a national and international reputation as a leader in simulation.


Dr. Rockstraw’s 19 years of simulation expertise include scenario designs and implementation; budget development and lab development. He co-chaired a week-long simulation immersion course, assisting more than 300 faculty with the U.S. and conducted this week-long immersion course in South Africa and India. He has consulted in the design of simulation centers and handheld technology integration. Dr. Rockstraw is Certified in Online Learning and Critical Care. He is also a member of various nursing editorial boards, like Clinical Simulation in Nursing, Holistic Nursing Practice, and Western Journal of Nursing Research.

Classes Taught

Dr. Rockstraw teaches Nutrition and Development Across the Lifespan & Nursing Theory and Research.

Education Background

Dr. Rockstraw earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Nebraska, his Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University, his 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

Dr. 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.

Awards, recognitions, or group affiliations

Dr. 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, and most recently the National Academies of Practice Fellow in Nursing.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Rockstraw is a member of Sigma Iota Epsilon Management Honor Society and delivered the keynote at the UMDNJ Masters Educators’ Guild Spring Symposium in 2012.