Aims and objectives: To determine the effect of immersive 3D cultural simulation on nursing students' empathy towards culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Background: Accelerated globalisation has seen a significant increase in cultural diversity in most regions of the world over the past forty years. Clinical encounters that do not acknowledge cultural factors contribute to adverse patient outcomes and health care inequities for culturally and linguistically diverse people. Cultural empathy is an antecedent to cultural competence. Thus, appropriate educational strategies are needed to enhance nursing students' cultural empathy and the capacity to deliver culturally competent care. Design: A one-group pretest, post-test design was used for this study. The simulation exposed students to an unfolding scene in a hospital ward of a developing county. Methods: A convenience sample of second-year undergraduate nursing students (n = 460) from a semi-metropolitan university in Australia were recruited for the study. Characteristics of the sample were summarised using descriptive statistics. T-tests were performed to analyse the differences between pre- and post simulation empathy scores using an eight item modified version of the Kiersma-Chen Empathy Scale. Results: Students' empathy towards culturally and linguistically diverse patients significantly improved after exposure to the 3D simulation experience. The mean scores for the Perspective Taking and Valuing Affective Empathy subscales also increased significantly postsimulation. Conclusions: The immersive 3D simulation had a positive impact on nursing students' empathy levels in regards to culturally and linguistically diverse groups. Research with other cohorts and in other contexts is required to further explore the impact of this educational approach. Relevance to clinical practice: Immersive cultural simulation experiences offer opportunities to enhance the cultural empathy of nursing students. This may in turn have a positive impact on their cultural competence and consequently the quality of care they provide to culturally and linguistically diverse patients.