Jill Sanko

Contributing Faculty
College of Nursing
Ph.D. Nursing

Jill Sanko holds several degrees including Bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Nursing, a Master’s of Science in Nursing, and a PhD in Nursing with a concentration in patient safety. She has worked in a teaching and research role for over 2 decades across several diverse organizations. Currently, she serves in a role of contributing faculty at Walden University. She began her career in simulation-based education at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center as the founding Associate Director of the Simulation and Patient Safety Program, while also serving as a clinical research nurse and Nuclear Cardiac NP.

In 2008 she moved back to Miami and joined the team at the University of Miami (UM) – Jackson Memorial Center for Patient Safety as a Simulation Education and Research Specialist. In 2015 she transitioned to the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies as an associate professor where she worked across programs utilizing her expertise to educate the next generation of healthcare providers and research ways to leverage simulation-based education for the betterment of the healthcare system. The culmination of these experiences is the depth of expertise in teaching and research which she brings to each endeavor.

She holds several certifications which assists in maintaining relevance and significance across related areas including, board certification as an Acute Care NP, as an Advanced Certified Simulation Educator, a Friday Night at the ER Team Learning Simulation Leader, and a Fellow of the Society for Simulation Academy.

 Her research interests include the intersection of simulation-based inter-professional team education to improve patient safety and the incorporation of systems thinking and systems-based practice in healthcare settings and education.  She has been involved in teaching and researching the impacts of simulation-based education on patient safety, teamwork, communication, and systems thinking for almost 2 decades and has over 40 articles, book chapters and other publications in these areas. She has presented her work nationally and internationally and has won multiple awards for her work including co-authoring two Articles of Influence in the field of simulation, recognition as a Frontline Simulation Champion, and a Hero of Healthcare Simulation. Her research efforts have also garnered awards from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare for her work Exploring the Relationship Between Team Cohesion and Team Performance, Simulation to Improve Situational Awareness, Simulation to Test a Hand Hygiene Reminding System, Simulation as a Means to Improve Adverse Event Reporting, and Exploration of Systems Thinking on Patterns of Adverse Event Reporting.


BA, University of Florida

BS, Rush University

MS, University of Maryland

PhD, University of Miami

Awards / Honors

Fellow of the Academy of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare , Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 2018

Frontline Simulation Champion Award, International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning , 2017

March of Dimes Nurse of the Year, March of Dimes of Miami-Dade County, 2014


Sanko, J., Matsuda, Y., Salani, D., Tran, L., Reaves, R., Gerber, K. (2021). A comparison of learning outcomes from two poverty simulation experiences. Public Health Nursing

Sanko, J., Gattamorta, K., Young, J., Durham, C. F., Sherwood, G., Dolansky, M. (2021). A Multisite Study Demonstrates Positive Impacts to Systems Thinking Using a Table-top Simulation Experience. Nurse Educator

Shekhter, I., Rosen, L., Sanko, J., Everett-Thomas, R., Fitzpatrick, M., Birnbach, D. (2012). A patient safety course for preclinical medical students.. The clinical teacher

Presti, C. R., Sanko, J. (2019). Adaptive Quizzing Improves End-of-Program Exit Examination Scores. Nurse Educator

Sanko, J., Kim, Y., McKay, M. (2018). Adverse event reporting following simulation encounters in accelerated and traditional bachelor nursing students. Nurse Education Today

Sanko, J. (2004). Aspiration assessment and prevention in critically ill enterally fed patients: evidence-based recommendations for practice.. Gastroenterology nursing : the official journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates