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Telehealth Nursing Education and Training

Telehealth Nursing Education and Training

Author: Capella Healthcare

Telehealth Nursing Education and Training

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Developing Effective Teams

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what's covered
In this lesson, you will learn about different education and training available in telehealth nursing. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Nursing Programs
  2. NT-EPAs

1. Nursing Programs

Telehealth is a major strategy to address the shrinking healthcare professional population. However, most nurses are not trained or are inadequately trained to use these technologies effectively. When nurses were surveyed, they identified the main barriers to gaining knowledge and skill in telehealth to be the lack of training and education, lack of time, lack of guidance, and insufficient access to appropriate technology.

Many graduate nursing programs in the U.S. offer basic education on telehealth during their clinical orientation or nurse residency program. Some medical schools are also including nurse practitioners in training for telehealth. However, it is just starting to permeate into baccalaureate-level nursing programs with the ambulatory scope and standards of care.

2. NT-EPAs

A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2015 by Houwelingen et al., convened a panel of experts to better understand nursing telehealth entrustable professional activities (NT-EPAs) and the required competencies which could contribute to the development of nursing telehealth education. They identified 14 NT-EPAs that required additional subject-specific competencies, such as the ability to put patients at ease when they feel insecure about using technology.


The complete definitions are not included in the table below but can be found in the study here.
Nursing telehealth entrustable professional activities (NT-EPAs)
NT-EPA Title
1 Supporting patients in the use of technology
2 Training patients in the use of technology as a way to strengthen their social network
3 Providing health promotion remotely
4 Triaging incoming calls and alarms
5 Analyzing and interpreting incoming data derived from (automatic) devices for self-measurement
6 Monitoring body functions and lifestyle
7 Providing psychosocial support
8 Encouraging patients to undertake health promotion activities
9 Instructing patients and family caregivers in self-care
10 Assessing patient capacity to use telehealth
11 Evaluating and adjusting the patient care plan
12 Coordination of care with the use of telehealth technology
13 Independent double-check of high-risk medication
14 Guidance and peer consultation

EPAs are different then competencies.

  • EPAs are tasks that can be distributed among healthcare team members at the beginning of a shift.
  • Competencies are the required capacities that a team member must master before he or she can be entrusted to perform the EPA.
The concept of entrustable EPAs was designed to link competencies to clinical practice for curriculum development. This can be a starting point for the successful training and education of telehealth nurses.

big idea
As telehealth technology continues to change at a rapid pace, it will be important to provide continuing education for telehealth nurses. Currently, each organization creates its own education and orientation training programs. Each nurse has the accountability to stay updated and knowledgeable regarding new technologies, laws, regulations, and standards in light of the scope of nursing practice.

Authored by Cindy Ebner, MSN, RN, CPHRM, FASHRM and Colleen Harris Marzilli, PhD, DNP, MBA, RN-BC, CCM, PHNA-BC, NEA-BC, FNAP