Trauma Nursing Core Course Virtual Outreach Presented to 18 Veteran Integrated Service Networks - VHA SimLEARN
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Trauma Nursing Core Course Virtual Outreach Presented to 18 Veteran Integrated Service Networks

Susie Martenson, MS, BSN, RN-BC, CEN, CFRN, NRP, LHRM
National Clinical Faculty - Nurse
VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center

ORLANDO, Fla. – SimLEARN began offering Emergency Nursing Association (ENA) Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) provider and instructor courses in 2014. This course is supported by the Office of Nursing Services (ONS) due to the strong patient assessment components reinforced with simulation. The course emphasizes a standardized, systematic approach for patient assessment of an injured patient. Provider and instructor courses are offered frequently at the VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center (NSC).

Since December 2017, each course has been offered virtually to sites within VA using ENA credentialed, SimLEARN-oriented instructors for the hands-on simulation and testing assessment in accordance with ENA and SimLEARN standards. This online process allows the NSC course director to coordinate the classes supporting the lecture and operational oversight. Each class has on-site faculty who teach the material simultaneously with most lectures broadcast from Orlando. This allowed a total of 78 virtual students at 7 sites to become TNCC providers so far.

Sites that participated virtually are in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Battle Creek, Michigan; Memphis, Tennessee; Tampa, Florida; Mather, California; Chicago (Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center); Seattle; and Charleston, South Carolina. Special recognition goes to Edwin Negron-Cortes at the San Juan facility and Carla Brunk in Tampa for holding virtual classes almost every month. In addition, Dallas; Augusta, Georgia; and Marion, Illinois facilities have successfully completed orientation with SimLEARN and will be doing virtual classes soon. Several other facilities have expressed an interest in becoming a TNCC virtual site for this year.

ENA is very supportive of this endeavor, and SimLEARN plans to partner with them to accomplish a limited Level III evaluation using Kirkpatrick’s method (2016)[1], in addition to the evaluations completed at the end of each course. 

Nearly 400 learners, representing 18 Veteran Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) have attended this course. Successful completion of the course awards 17.65 continuing nursing education credits (CNEs), and a certificate/card good for four years. Additionally, 34 Instructors have been trained and oriented to NSC TNCC simulation training. This represents a total of over 6,755 ANCC CEUs that have been issued.

Courses are free to VA learners taking the class in Orlando and at the virtual sites (registration for classes at the NSC in Orlando is in TMS). Additionally, we partner with the Department of Defense (DOD) to train both Active Duty and Reserve personnel to ensure their deployment ready status. We have DOD members at many of the classes.

The virtual “beaming” of the course to the virtual sites is coordinated by Ramon “Boty” Garcia at the NSC.

“I feel this class will change my practice for the future," said one learner. “It will make me a better nurse.”

The SimLEARN technicians support the simulation preparation information needed for each site’s faculty, as well as provide the hands-on support for NSC classes in Orlando. Peggy Civiletti is the project manager. If you would like more information on the course, the virtual training process, or TNCC SimLEARN faculty orientation, please contact Susie Martenson, national SimLEARN course director, at

[1] Kirkpatrick, J. D., & Kirkpatrick, W. K. (Eds.). (2016).  Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation. Alexandria, VA: Association for Talent Development