RN Refresher Online Course

This offering of the RN Refresher Online Course is an educational program provided by the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies as part of the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) RetuRN to Practice initiative.

Update your nursing knowledge and skills

  • Learn anywhere, anytime through a totally online format and self-paced activities
  • Gain preceptored clinical experience
  • Receive the latest updates in nursing care and management presented by experts in the field
  • Read what program graduates say!

The RN Refresher Course was created to update and enhance the nursing knowledge and clinical skills of registered nurses preparing for reentry into active practice, addressing foundational competencies for medical-surgical nursing in today’s increasingly complex practice settings. Program features include:

  • Online learning format—Participants view content presentations online, complete assignments and self-assessment quizzes, and communicate with the course coordinator via the course website and email. Online learning offers many benefits:
    • Anywhere-anytime accessibility
    • Increased computer competency, a necessity in today’s technological practice setting
    • No scheduling conflicts
  • Didactic component
    • Self-paced format allows flexibility within the course timeline.
    • Proctored final exam.
  • Clinical component
    • Clinical hours will be coordinated through Allegheny Health Network.

Program Details

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Combine the integration of knowledge, skills and professional attitudes through the use of clinical evidence and reasoning.
  • Assess comprehensive knowledge to secure quality, safety, and equality in healthcare systems.
  • Evaluate issues that may impact professional behaviors in the practice of nursing.
  • Given a Case Study, Discussion Forum or Quiz assignment, demonstrate team-building and collaboration strategies in health systems, guided by nursing values and standards.
  • Develop critical thinking skills to determine the effectiveness of medication administration on client care outcomes.
  • Use critical thinking skills to appraise data provided by technology to develop optimum patient outcomes.
  • Propose population focused care incorporating concepts of health promotion, disease and injury prevention.
  • Collaborate effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams to foster open communication, collaboration, mutual respect, and shared decision-making.
  • Given a Quiz, Case Study, or Discussion Forum assignment demonstrate patient-centered care which represents patients’ preferences, values, and needs within the context of their families, communities and the healthcare delivery system.
  • Given a Quiz, Case Study, or Discussion Forum assignment, demonstrate the relevance of cultural diversity in healthcare.

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Didactic Component Details

The theoretical component of the RN Refresher Online is comprised of online asynchronous presentations by expert faculty and practitioners with correlated reading assignments, case studies, and learning activities designed to guide and reinforce participant learning. All coursework takes place using online learning technologies.

A course schedule will designate due dates for assignments and the final exam, to be completed within the first 12 weeks of the program. Successful completion of the theoretical component is a prerequisite for enrollment in the clinical component of the course. Highlights of course content include:

  • Nursing Trends of the 21st Century
  • Cultural Competence
  • Medical/Surgical and Specialty Updates
  • Pharmacology Update
  • Legal Considerations
  • End-of-Life Issues
  • Comprehensive Health History and Physical Assessment
  • Geriatric Considerations
  • Nutritional Considerations

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Clinical Component Details

The clinical component of this course requires 80 hours of supervised clinical practice. Allegheny Health Network will identify an acute care clinical setting in which participants will complete their practice hours in cooperation with a nurse preceptor within that institution.

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Program and Participant Responsibilities

The Learner shall:

  • successfully completed the didactic component of this program.
  • assume an active role in planning the clinical experience.
  • complete clinical competencies as determined by Allegheny Health Network.

The Health Care Institution shall:

  • approve an appropriate staff member to act as the clinical preceptor.
  • promote a desirable learning climate.

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Computer Skills and Technology Requirements

In order to successfully complete this course, participants must have access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection as well as basic computer knowledge.

  • REQUIRED: basic computer skills — Participants must be able to use email, attachments, web browsers and Microsoft Word. If you are not comfortable with these essential functions, we recommend you update your computer skills prior to registering for this course.
  • REQUIRED: laptop or desktop computer with high-speed internet access
    • A PC or Mac laptop or desktop computer must be used to complete course activities like tests, quizzes, homework, or chats.
    • Supported operating systems: Windows 7 or newer, Mac OSX 10.6 or newer, or Linux – chromeOS.
    • Supported browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. If not already installed on your computer, you may need to install or enable browser plugins like Adobe Reader, Java, Adobe Flash Player.
    • Participants will receive detailed setup instructions upon enrollment.
  • OPTIONAL: mobile device — Most course video content can be viewed on a mobile device like a tablet, iPad or smart phone. Mobile devices may not be compatible with completing required course components like homework, tests, quizzes, chats.


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Program Timeline

  • Didactic component (12 weeks)—The didactic portion of the program takes approximately 12 weeks to complete, ending with a final exam administered to all students on the same set date and time.
  • Clinical component (80 hours)—The clinical component will be coordinated and supervised by Allegheny Health Network.

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Successful Program Completion

  • Clinical competencies—Program participants must successfully complete a prescribed list of clinical competencies during the clinical experience. These competencies will be the basis for clinical evaluation.
  • Final exam—Program participants must successfully complete a comprehensive final exam. Mastery of the online self-assessment quizzes associated with each content topic will provide a strong foundation for success on the comprehensive didactic exam.
  • Certificate of completion—Upon successful completion of the RN Refresher course, participants will receive a certificate of completion.

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Access to Instructors and Course Materials

  • Course materials—Access to all required course materials or texts will be provided by the University of Delaware.
  • Instructor availability—Instructors are available for students’ questions about lecture materials or assignments. Email, fax, and phone contact information is provided on the secure course website.
  • Course access—All course assignments and activities are posted on the password-protected course home page. Registered participants receive access details via email 1-2 days before the course start date.

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Disability Accommodations

Disability accommodations at the University of Delaware are designed to provide equal educational opportunities for all Continuing Education students. Reasonable accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis. Click here for details about requesting disability accommodations.

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