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Vocational Nursing Refresher Courses

See where to find refresher courses for vocational nursing and learn what's covered in clinical courses, lab courses and theory classes. Get information on programs that enable you to continue your education by earning an associate's degree in nursing.

What Is an LVN Nursing Refresher Course?

Inactive licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), known in most states as licensed practical nurses (LPNs), can enroll in refresher courses to regain licensure. These courses also might be open to current LVNs or LPNs who need continuing education courses to maintain licensure. Here are some typical courses offered:

LVN Lab Refresher

This course might review the implementation of care plans, proper nursing procedures, pharmacology, and physical assessment skills. Students might also update their knowledge of documentation and skills for communicating within a medical team.

LVN Theory Refresher

This course may consist of a review of the nursing curriculum, including nursing practice guidelines and current theories in nursing treatment plans. Disease symptoms might also be discussed alongside new medications and their potential complications.

Clinical Refresher LVN

Students in this course may be expected to spend a number of hours in a clinical setting. During that time, students may practice ER skills and get hands on experience with nursing team dynamics.

Combined LVN Refresher

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 students.

Cardiac Care Refresher Course

An ACLS certification course can be used by LVNs to qualify for re-licensure. This type of course covers the skills needed to respond to cardiac emergencies. Students may practice CPR chest compressions, airway management, and how to use an AED. A review of ACS (acute coronary syndromes), medications, and resuscitation team dynamics may also be covered.

What Do I Need to Enroll in a Refresher Course?

To enroll in LVN refresher classes, you might need to pass a drug test, submit to a criminal background check, maintain CPR certification, or acquire 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.

Programs vary in length, but most require a combination of approximately 120 classroom hours and a minimum of 80 hours of clinical work. Classes are typically approved 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?

If you want to continue your education in nursing, you might choose to enroll in an associate's degree program in nursing (ADN). Many community colleges and vocational schools offer LVN-ADN transitional programs. To enroll in one of these programs, you'll need to have an unrestricted LVN license and complete basic science and general education courses. Upon graduation from an LVN-ADN program, you'll be eligible to become a registered nurse.