AIM: The aim of this study was to describe a trial protocol of an educational intervention for nurses to improve their awareness and practice in detecting and managing elder abuse and neglect. BACKGROUND: Knowledgeable and skilful nurses are crucial amidst the growing numbers of maltreated older patients. DESIGN: This trial is a multi-site, three-armed, community-based cluster randomized controlled trial with 6-months follow-up. METHODS: This study will involve 390 community and registered nurses from government health clinics in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia (protocol approved in October 2013). This three-phased study, premised on the Precede-Proceed Model, comprises baseline focus group discussion and survey (Phase 1), development of training module (Phase 2) and implementation and evaluation of the training (Phase 3). Eligible participants will be randomized to the control group (continuous nursing education), intervention group A (face-to-face intensive training programme) or group B (face-to-face intensive training programme and an educational video). Outcome measures include improvement in knowledge and awareness on elder abuse and neglect and the number of cases identified and managed during follow-up. Data will be collected at baseline, immediate postintervention, 3- and 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSION: Findings from this study will provide empirical support for the development of a training module for nurses on the detection and management of elder abuse and neglect, towards improving healthcare delivery and the well-being of vulnerable older adults. This study is funded by the University of Malaya Research Grant (RP001C-13HTM), (FL002-13SBS) and University of Malaya Grand Challenge (PEACE) Grant (GC001C-14HTM) awarded in May 2013, July 2013 and September 2014.