Winter, 2016


Lee Ann Wurster, RN
Nationwide Children's Hospital

Trauma Nursing Education – A Novel Regional Plan

Sharon Deppe BSN, RN
Coordinator of Performance Improvement
Central Ohio Trauma System

  • Do you struggle identifying trauma nursing education requirements for trauma verification?
  • Are nationally recognized standardized courses the
    only way to meet the educational needs for nurses caring for the injured patient?
  • What is the ideal pediatric trauma nursing education plan?

Absolute science and measurable educational outcomes provide very limited answers or suggestions to address these questions. The Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) has developed a regional initiative to better meet nursing educational needs and provide an overall enhancement to trauma care.

COTS is a robust voluntary trauma system serving a large portion of central, southern and eastern Ohio. The 28-member hospitals include trauma centers, acute care hospitals and free-standing emergency departments. COTS is also home to a Level 1 pediatric trauma center. Historically, nursing leaders struggled with effective solutions for providing meaningful trauma nursing education. Regional benchmarking efforts identified the nursing education processes and requirements among the centers varied significantly with an inconsistent focus and fragmented compliance. Budgetary constraints and staff turnover made it extremely difficult for trauma centers to ensure a high rate of participation in expensive nationally-recognized nursing educational courses that have traditionally been recognized provided the required standard educational preparation.

In 2013, the trauma nursing leaders collaborated to develop a regional wide trauma nursing education plan. Diligent effort and committed consensus resulted in the development of meaningful outcome goals for all nurses working across the continuum of trauma care. The end result of work was a regional trauma education plan utilizing a format that is objective-oriented with defined compliance rates. The plan also incorporates identified methods of learning that are content-vetted for consistency for both pediatric and adult providers. All learning objectives are static based on quality factors.

The trauma nursing education plan is now in the beginning stages of implementation. The plan history and development has also been shared with the American College of Surgeons as a potential best practice. This educational model has gained traction within the COTS region and is the impetus for the development of program criteria compliance for the Advanced Practice Nurses. Guidelines or recommendations for physician trauma education are also being considered.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Sharon Deppe BSN, RN
Coordinator of Performance Improvement
Central Ohio Trauma System
1390 Dublin Road
Columbus, OH 43215

Kathy Haley, RN, MS, BSN
Nationwide Children’s Hospital


500 Cummings Center
Suite 4550
Beverly, MA 01915
Phone: 978-927-8330
Fax: 978-524-0461

Lindsay De Santis
Executive Director

Nicole Pinkham