Janice C. Palaganas, PhD, RN

Director, Educational Innovation and Development Center for Medical Simulation


Since 2012, Janice Palaganas has been director of educational innovation and development and principal faculty in the Institute for Medical Simulation at the Center for Medical Simulation in the Greater Boston area. She also lectures on simulation and interprofessional dynamics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Palaganas was director of research and development in the Medical Simulation Center at the School of Nursing at Loma Linda University, where in 2012, she earned her PhD. While still a student there, she worked as chief operations officer of the Medical Simulation Center, overseeing its daily functions. She was also on the university’s faculty as assistant professor of nursing; an instructor in the School of Medicine; director of interprofessional education (IPE); and taught in the MBA and physician assistant’s programs. Dr. Palaganas spent a year, from 2009 to 2010, as director of accreditation and certification for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). She began her career in nursing as a trauma research nurse at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, including a master’s in gerontology and adult health care and advanced certificate in home health.

Her primary career focus has been as an educator of educators, bringing her long experience in and passion for IPE simulation to audiences nationwide and abroad. Dr. Palaganas has instructed approximately 4800 professionals, 20 percent of whom have been nurses. Her current students are among today’s leaders in health care education, ranging from department chairs, deans, and directors to postdoctoral research fellows. In her work for the SSH, she developed training and mentoring for all SSH accreditation reviewers.

Dr. Palaganas was editor-in-chief of SSH’s first textbook, Defining Excellence in Health Simulation Programs. She serves as a journal reviewer at SSH, for the NLN’s Nursing Education Perspectives, and for the Journal of Patient Safety. Her original scholarship includes numerous published peer-reviewed articles, many considered seminal pieces, e.g., a history of simulation-enhanced IPE; the first study of co-debriefing; and an updated meta-review of IPE literature.

A winner of multiple honors, she most recently received the President’s Award from Loma Linda, the university’s highest honor for scholastic achievement and community participation; and the Presidential Citation Award from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Her professional service includes membership on the committee that produced a report for the Institute of Medicine on measuring IPE outcomes; contributing content to the NLN High-Stakes Assessment for Nursing Study; in 2012, chairing the Interprofessional Education and Healthcare Simulation Symposium, attended by more than 500 educators, a conference funded by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, the NLN, and SSH. Just this year, Dr. Palaganas received another substantial grant from the Macy Foundation for “Creating an Interprofessional Community of Practice for Health Professions Educators.”




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