- This article provides an overview of cognitive load theory (CLT) and explores applications of CLT to health profession and nursing education research, particularly for multimedia and simulation-based applications. The article first reviews the 3 components of cognitive load: intrinsic, extraneous, and germane. It then discusses strategies for manipulating cognitive load variables to enhance instruction. Examples of how CLT variables can be modulated during instruction are provided. Lastly, the article discusses current applications of CLT to health profession and nursing education research and presents future research directions, focusing on the areas of multimedia and simulation-based learning.