This study evaluated nurses' perceptions of a rapidly deployed critical care education program conducted to prepare a community hospital for its transformation to a COVID-19 treatment center . The education included a traditional didactic approach and incorporated experienced nursing support staff at the bedside . Nurses were interviewed about the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and for their perceptions of the additional clinical support . A distributed learning model with small groups attending multiple trainings could have improved the didactic session . However, there was positive feedback about the use of a``buddy"system and critical care education specialist in the intensive care unit setting.