Nursing Refresher Training

Updated April 17, 2017

Nursing has always been a field about helping people. In 2010, this objective remains the same, but you also have to be up-to-date on the latest technology being used to accomplish this end. If you have been out of nursing for more than five years, it may be necessary for you to take a refresher course, which you can do both in person or online.

Is a Referesher Course Required?

The board examination that you must take to become a nurse is a national test. However, it is the individual state that issues your license. Each state has somewhat different requirements about obtaining a license and renewing a license. According to Lorraine White, lead nursing instructor at the Malone Campus of North Country Community College, who has both a New York and Massachusetts license, New York has no special requirements to renew a license. In Massachusetts, on the other hand, you must take a prescribed number of continuing education units to be able to renew your license. Since each state has slightly different requirements, you must check your own state board's standards.

Online Possibilities

Perhaps you want to refresh your knowledge, not because you need it for licensing, but rather so that you will be a better nurse. Many professional nurses have stated that if you are out of nursing for five years or more, while your skills are still good, you need to bring your academics up-to-date. There are many online courses to help with this end. Nurse Refresher offers online study for Idaho nurses who want to get back in the field. Many universities, including the University of Delaware, also offer courses to help nurses get back in the stride. Many hospitals also offer online refreshers.

In-Persion Training

Many universities across the country offer refresher courses for nurses. For example, Clarkson College in Nebraska will accept nurses whose licenses have not been renewed for as long as 15 years. In Malone, New York, hospitals in the area are willing to put out-of-practice nurses through a short reorientation program to get them back in shape, according to Lorraine White.


As of 2010, you can find either online or in-person courses beginning at about £650 plus the cost of textbooks. For example, Michigan State University has a course that costs £812. Textbooks in 2010 are quite expensive. A medical surgical text may cost as much as £104 for the 1,000-page book.

Why the Emphasis On Refresher Courses

Hospitals across the United States are facing an acute shortage of nurses. If they are to fill these positions, and thereby give their patients adequate care, they must find a source of nursing staff, and new nursing graduates are not enough. One way or another, nurses who have left the field must be attracted back. For this to happen safely, there must be a good source of nursing refresher courses.

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About the Author

Les Belzer has been a professor, entrepreneur, farm owner and writer since 1968. He has written in-house articles on education, mathematics and Spanish literature. Since 1999 he has written travel articles for Escapeartist and "International Living." Belzer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish literature from Idaho State University and a Master of Science in math from the Universidad Mayor de San Simon.