Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Jane Bleasdale

Second Advisor

Daniela Dominguez

Third Advisor

David Donahue


This dissertation investigates how prelicensure nursing students are prepared to address healthcare disparities with transgender patients, specifically through simulation scenarios at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions Simulation Center.

A critical review of current literature reveals how microaggressions against transgender communities create and sustain barriers to equitable healthcare. The qualitative study was designed to explore the lived experience of prelicensure nursing students who are actively seeking to understand the healthcare needs of transgender patients in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This was a qualitative research study including data that suggests that using simulation scenarios featuring transgender patients can improve student’s sensitivity to these patients’ concerns. The exposure through simulation improves students’ knowledge of, clinical skills, and attitudes towards transgender communities in healthcare settings.

The study is an invitation to faculty to re-evaluate their pedagogical practices and choice of content to include more diverse patient populations with unique medical needs, as well as an opening for prelicensure students to own their learning process.