Ann L. Butt, Ed.D, RN, CHSE portrait
  • Executive Director Simulation & Experiential Learning, College Of Nursing
  • Associate Professor (Clinical), College Of Nursing
  • Co-Director Center for Interprofessional Simulation-Based Experiential Learning

Research Summary

While my appointment is primarily in teaching, my research interests lie in using the power of technology and the Metaverse in education. We have much to learn about using extended reality (XR), including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to help educate healthcare providers of the future.


  • EdD, Curriculum & Instruction, Boise State University. Project: Exploring the usability of game-based virtual reality for development of procedural skills in undergraduate nursing students
  • MS, Nursing Education, Idaho State University
  • BS, Nursing, Creighton University
  • BA, Health Education/Biology, Concordia College


My experience in nursing spans thirty five years, with most of them spent in adult critical care providing direct patient care. As clinical faculty and simulation educator at the University of Utah, one of my goals has been to more intentionally integrate deliberate practice for mastery learning into the College of Nursing undergraduate curriculum. The Simulation Center within the College of Nursing is a great place for students to master not only critical procedural skills necessary in a profession such as nursing, but also develop and try out clinical judgment--and I'm passionate about teaching with simulation!

I have been practicing simulation-based education for the past 15 years and earned certification as a Healthcare Simulation Educator through the international Society of Simulation in Healthcare soon after it was introduced (2014). My goal is to support learners as they figure things out for themselves; as full-time faculty in the CON Simulation Center, I facilitate experiential--and fun--learning daily. I'm honored to be a Fellow in the University of Utah Academy of Health Science Educators. With research interest in using technology for learning, I've collaborated with the Entertainment Arts & Engineering program at the University of Utah to develop ways to use virtual reality (students put on a headset and provide nursing care in the patient's room) as an innovative tool to practice critical skills so nursing students are ready to provide safe, high-quality patient care. Outside of work, you'll likely find me hiking or traveling with my husband, visiting our grown children, reading--or training Gracie, our pup.

Other Profile Data

Wherever I am, you'll find Gracie, the official College of Nursing Therapy Dog--in class, in the simulation lab, out in the courtyard getting some exercise, or on zoom for class or meetings. Gracie is a Portuguese Water Dog and her job is to come to work with me to provide "therapy" to students, staff and faculty within the CON. Leadership within CON supported this idea when I pitched it in 2019 and Gracie has been coming to work with me ever since--after spending the first six months of her life on COVID lockdown with me, instead of socializing! She can change the mood or instantly light up a room with her goofy personality and boundless energy. Students may not remember me, but they're always happy to see Gracie! When not at the CON, you may find Gracie hiking with her humans, chasing balls or sticks, or eating whatever she can get her mouth on.