RN Refresher Courses

Get information on refresher courses for registered nurses (RNs), including admission requirements and course content. Find out if online study is an option, and see how you can continue your training by earning a master's degree. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Nursing Refresher Course?

Nursing refresher courses are usually for licensed nurses who want to stay up-to-date on nursing practices, medical technologies and healthcare laws; have been out of practice for a while; or want to change practice areas.

What Will I Learn?

In nursing refresher courses, the focus is typically on reassessment of clinical skills, becoming up-to-date on current care in nursing, and demonstrating lab skills. This may include relicensing or recertification in some states. Here is a sample of nurse refresher courses:

RN Nurse Refresher

This course is designed to reacquaint nurses who have been out of nursing with current nursing practices. Nurses may expect to review skills and learn updated techniques and knowledge. Students may study nursing care plans and review the Scope of Practice for different nursing licenses.

RN Nurse Refresher Clinical

Students in this course may be expected to spend a number of hours in a clinical setting. During that time, students may review how to complete documentation, practice ER skills, and discuss the nursing team dynamics.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support

An ACLS certification is typically required for relicensing nurses who have been absent from the nursing profession. This type of course covers cardiac emergencies like arrhythmias and symptomatic bradycardia. Students may practice CPR chest compressions, airway management, and how to use an AED. A review of ACS (acute coronary symptoms), medications, and resuscitation team dynamics may also be covered.

Didactic Refresher Course

This course may consist of a review of the nursing curriculum, including pharmacology, nursing practice guidelines, and current theories and practices in nursing and treatment plans. Also covered are anatomy, diseases, and clinical planning and assessment.

Nurse Refresher Course Combined

Some schools offer an intensive refresher course that offers the core curriculum outlined above, in modules that cover lab skills, clinical, and didactic coursework. Often, in this course some of the modules are available online, adding flexibility for the student.

What Do I Need to Get In?

To enroll in RN refresher classes, you need a current RN license and an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing. Other requirements could include clearing a drug test, submitting to a criminal background check, maintaining CPR certification or acquiring health insurance. You may have to pay for the drug test out of pocket, and you should also expect to purchase nursing textbooks and basic medical supplies. Some programs may require proof of immunization from infectious diseases.

Programs vary in length but can take between 12 weeks and six months. In addition to classroom and clinical components, some programs include a laboratory component as well, which could train you in new medical technologies or testing practices. Classes are typically accredited by state medical boards. You can find refresher courses in nursing on traditional college campuses, but they are also available in online formats with a time limit for completion.

What Other Programs Are Available?

You can continue your education in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Depending on the type of program you choose, you'll take specialized courses in advanced practice nursing, leadership or nursing education, in addition to core classes in research methodology and healthcare policies. These programs typically take two years to finish.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

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  • Capella University

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  • Independence University

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  • Keiser University

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  • Regent University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Herzing University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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    • Doctoral

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