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Should You Take a Nursing Refresher Course?

October 15th, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

As our society becomes more technical and as medicine and health care become more advanced, there’s never been a more important time for nurses to be as up-to-date as possible if they want to re-enter the nursing field.

Regardless of why you may have left, the years you were away from nursing were filled with change and, no matter how effective a nurse you may have been, some skills may have become quite rusty.

For this reason, the nursing boards require that nurses take refresher courses if they have been out of the field for a set amount of time. For example, the Arizona State Board of Nursing requires that their registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) have 960 hours of nursing practice over the previous five years to be relicensed. This is the equivalent of six months full-time work. If you don’t have this, you must pass a refresher course.

However, just because you do meet the minimum requirements doesn’t mean you can’t take a refresher course if you feel you could use it. Nurses who may decide to follow such a course include those who:

- Worked in a clerical more than clinical role

- Worked in a specific area of nursing and want to move into another area

- Don’t feel their minimum experience is enough to cover the new aspects of nursing

- Don’t feel secure in their knowledge and skills, despite working as a nurse

What do refresher courses cover?

Refresher courses in nursing cover the basics and the new advances in nursing, such as:

- Pharmacology

- Medical administration

- Charting and communication

- Critical thinking

- Nursing skills

The courses also contain a clinical component so nurses can practice their old and new skills.

Are you considering taking a refresher course?

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