Update your nursing knowledge and skills

Next program starts June 5, 2024

Fast RN Refresher Qualification and Enrollment!

  • ONE – Ensure you meet the program’s prerequisites which include NCLEX-RN exam, U.S. RN license, background check and U.S. hospital experience (details below).
  • RN Refresher questionnaire buttonTWO – Submit the Pre-Advisement Questionnaire. Take 3 minutes to complete and submit the required RN Refresher Pre-Advisement Questionnaire, which allows us to confirm your eligibility and offer you individualized advisement.
  • THREE – Enroll in the program. After submitting the RN Refresher Pre-Advisement Questionnaire, you will receive enrollment instructions via email.
  • If you’ve already completed the questionnaire and haven’t received enrollment instructions, write to continuing-ed@udel.edu or call 302-831-7600.

Earn program badges and certificate

A digital badge will be awarded for each component of the program successfully completed. Participants earning both Didactic and Clinical digital badges will receive the digital program completion certificate. Click here for details about digital badging.  

RN Refresher badges

RN Refresher Online Program — program details

RN Refresher UDaily article graphic
Answering the call – again: full article >>

LOCATION: Online (self-paced, with some scheduled deadlines)
SCHEDULE: 15-week didactic component begins June 5, 2024. Clinical component (optional) immediately follows and must be completed by Dec. 5, 2024.
PRICE (Summer 2024): $1,295 (early registration discount through April 15, 2024). Additional costs to the participant include the required textbook, as well as any fees imposed by the clinical agency for background checks, drug testing, immunizations, etc. If participant must complete final exam remotely, there is an online exam proctoring fee.
PRICE (Fall 2024): $1,400 (details coming soon)
FINANCIAL OPTIONS AVAILABLE: Scholarships and potential discounts available, including: Early registration, Military, UD student or alum, 2 or more (group).

Enrollment Prerequisites

All of the following are required to enroll in this program

  1. NCLEX-RN Participants must have taken and passed the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). The SBTPE (State Board Test Pool Examination) is also accepted as the pre-NCLEX-RN standard.
  2. U.S. licensed RN — All participants must hold a previous or current U.S. registered nurse (RN) license. A copy of the current or expired license must be provided to UD Professional and Continuing Studies within 2 weeks of the participant registering for the UD RN Refresher Online Program. Conditional licensure status may preclude clinical eligibility.
  3. Background check — To be eligible for clinical placement, participants must present a negative drug test and clean background check.
  4. U.S. hospital experience
    • All participants must have prior U.S. hospital experience working as a registered nurse (RN). Length of practice and time elapsed since active nursing practice will be a determinant in eligibility. Please complete the required RN Refresher Pre-Advisement Questionnaire to determine eligibility.
    • Recent U.S. nursing graduates may be able to count the hospital nursing experience associated with their nursing program.
    • Participants will be asked to provide the name and contact information for their most recent hospital or acute care employer.
    • Non-U.S.-trained participants must have a minimum of 3 months’ previous practice as a registered nurse (RN) in a U.S. hospital.
  5. Pre-advisement questionnaire Complete the RN Refresher Pre-Advisement Questionnaire to confirm that you meet all relevant enrollment requirements.

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Relicensure in Your State

This course is open to licensed registered nurses who are presently ineligible for endorsement or reinstatement of licensure in Delaware or elsewhere because they do not currently meet the state nursing board requirements.

  • Contact your state’s Board of Nursing (BON)—Registered nurses from states other than Delaware should contact their respective boards of nursing (BON) to determine if the University of Delaware RN Refresher course meets that state’s requirements for an RN refresher course.
  • Your state of jurisdiction—If you reside in or hold an inactive/expired license in a jurisdiction different from the state in which you are seeking to gain licensure, you must adhere to the reactivation/reinstatement rules and regulations of the BON of the state in which you wish to gain licensure.
  • Additional licensure requirements—An RN refresher course may not be the only requirement for relicensure in your state. Contact the relevant state BON for possible additional requirements.

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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 — click here for details
  • 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.
  • Participants will receive detailed setup instructions upon enrollment.

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Program Overview

UD’s 15-week RN Refresher Online Course is designed to update and enhance the nursing knowledge and clinical skills of inactive registered nurses preparing for reentry into active practice, addressing foundational competencies for medical-surgical nursing in today’s increasingly complex practice settings.

In total, the complete RN Refresher Online program is a six-month program comprised of a 15-week online didactic course and an optional on-site clinical component:

  • Didactic component (15-week online course)
    • Designed to be completed within an academic semester and takes approximately 15 weeks.
    • Self-paced format allows flexibility within the course timeline.
    • Proctored final exam is taken at the end of the 15-week semester.
    • Didactic-only option: Those with active licenses may choose to enroll in the didactic component only.
  • Clinical component (optional 80-hour on-site clinical experience)
    • Follows successful completion of the didactic component, and requires 80 hours in an acute care hospital on an adult medical surgical unit with the schedule determined by the assigned preceptor.
    • The student should be prepared to work 8-12 hours on any shift, which could include days, nights and weekends.
  • Six-month completion time
    • If both the didactic and clinical components are being completed, the total required timeline for completion is six months, which includes the 15-week didactic coursework and the 80-hour clinical component. All must be completed within six months of the course start date.

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 (online course)

The theoretical component of the RN Refresher Online is comprised of online reading assignments, case studies, discussion forums and learning activities designed to guide and reinforce participant learning. All coursework takes place using online learning technologies.

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
  • Health History and Physical Assessment
  • Geriatric Considerations
  • Clinical Laboratory Update
  • Nutrition Update

Final exam required—To successfully complete the didactic component, participants must pass the proctored final exam which is administered remotely via ProctorU, a secure, online proctoring service.

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Clinical Component: overview (on-site clinical practice)

The clinical component of this course requires 80 hours of supervised clinical practice to take place in the participant’s state of licensure. Participants identify an acute care hospital in their local area in which to complete their practice hours. The healthcare institution will identify and approve a nurse preceptor within that institution. Both the institution and preceptor are subject to approval by the RN Refresher Program Director at least 6 weeks prior to starting clinical hours.

  • Successful completion of the theoretical (didactic) component is a prerequisite for participation in the clinical component of the course.
  • The clinical component must be completed by the course end date, which is 6 months from the course start date.
  • The University of Delaware coordinator will do everything possible to help the participant secure a preceptored clinical experience, however clinical placement is not a guaranteed component of this course.

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Clinical Component: participant responsibilities

The Clinical Participant shall:

  • assume accountability for identifying own clinical site and preceptor based on established criteria (including timely submission of required clinical data forms).
  • complete required drug test and background check prior to starting the clinical component of the course. Students must present with a negative drug test and a clean background check in order to be placed in the clinical setting.
  • complete and return all required clinical documentation to the RN Refresher Program Director. If the institution requires additional information, please refer all questions about these requirements to that institution. The results of any additional information, must be received by the RN Refresher Program Director before approval can be given to begin clinical hours.
  • assume an active role in planning the clinical experience.
  • complete all assignments.
  • be knowledgeable of the expectations delineated in the clinical evaluation tool.
  • complete all evaluation forms (didactic, preceptor, outcomes).
  • be prepared to work 8-12 hours on any shift which could include days, nights and weekends, as part of the clinical practice component.

The Healthcare Institution shall:

  • approve an appropriate staff member to act as the clinical preceptor.
  • promote a desirable learning climate.
  • provide information to faculty (course coordinator) about the agency’s policies and procedures.
  • approve a letter of agreement/contract between the institution and the University of Delaware for the provision of the clinical learning experience.

The Preceptor shall:

  • have a minimum of a BS in nursing.
  • serve as a role model for the learner (RN Refresher student) in the clinical area (hours to be arranged between preceptor and student; preceptor must be present at all times student is in the clinical area).
  • provide the learner with guidance for meeting clinical objectives.
  • provide evaluation of the learner’s progress to the faculty.
  • be present whenever the student is delivering nursing care.
  • agree to be evaluated on the preceptorship by the learner.

The Faculty (Course Coordinator) shall:

  • clarify educational objectives to be achieved during the practicum.
  • communicate with the preceptor as needed to discuss the clinical learning experiences.
  • discuss the progress of the learner with the preceptor as needed.
  • provide preceptor and health agency with appropriate contact information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How fast can I complete this program?

The didactic portion of the program takes approximately 15 weeks to complete, ending with a final exam administered to all students on the same set date and time. The clinical component follows successful completion of the didactic component and requires 80 hours in an acute care hospital with the schedule determined by the participant and preceptor. Clinical hours can begin upon successful completion of the didactic component, and must be completed within six months of the course start date.

Can I start my clinical hours early, while completing the didactic component?

Clinical hours cannot begin until 1) successful completion of the didactic component; and 2) all required pre-clinical documentation is completed and permission is given by the RN Refresher Program Director.

Is there a list of clinical competencies to be achieved during the clinical experience?

Yes. These will be the basis for clinical evaluation. This information is available to registered students on the password-protected course website.

Is there a comprehensive written exam?

Yes. Mastery of the online self-assessment quizzes associated with each content topic will provide a strong foundation for success on the comprehensive didactic exam. A proctored final exam is taken at the end of the semester. The final exam is taken on the same set date/time by all participants approximately 16 weeks from the start of the course. The final exam is administered remotely via ProctorU, a secure, online proctoring service.

Is it possible to take the didactic component without the clinical component?

If you are being mandated by your state Board of Nursing to complete a refresher/remedial course to reactivate or reinstate your RN license, you are required to complete both the theory and clinical components of the program. Nurses with active licenses who do not want to participate in the clinical component can opt to complete only the theory component of the course.

Is there a prescribed schedule for the 80 clinical hours?

No. Hours are to be arranged with the preceptor who must be present whenever you are on the unit. A schedule must be shared with the course instructor with completed hours verified by the preceptor. Clinical hours must be completed within six months of the course start date.

How do I contact the course instructor if I have a question about lecture materials or assignments?

Email, fax, and phone contact information is provided on the secure course website.

Where do I find information about the course assignments?

The password-protected course home page will provide links to assignments and other course components.

Where do I purchase the required text and any associated materials?

Purchase information for the required textbook will be included in participants’ registration confirmation email.

Once I register and pay the fee, how do I get access to the password-protected website?

Access information is distributed by email a few days before the course start date.

How do I locate a preceptor for the clinical component?

Please notify the RN Refresher Program Manager with the name of your preferred local hospital to complete the clinical experience. If the University of Delaware does not already have a contract with your preferred hospital, it is the student’s responsibility to make the initial contacts.

Can the clinical component be arranged in a long-term care or pediatric facility?

No. Although, the didactic component of the course provides updates in many specialty areas including maternal/child, mental health, oncology, gerontology, etc., the program’s clinical component be completed in an adult medical-surgical unit in an acute care hospital.

Is it possible to repeat the clinical component if I am not successful the first time?

Unsuccessful completion of the clinical component will result in student failure of the RN Refresher Course. If you wish to repeat the course, a new registration form must be completed and accompanied by the required fee.

Would a person who graduated from a nursing program but has not yet taken or has failed the NCLEX exam be eligible for the course?

No. The course is designed for nurses who previously held active RN licenses but have been inactive for a specified period of time. Someone who is preparing to take or retake the NCLEX exam should seek a review course specifically developed for that purpose.

Where are the forms that must be submitted to gain approval for the clinical component?

All forms related to the clinical component are posted on the password-protected course Web site.

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General Information

Registration and Program Cost

Next course start date is June 5, 2024

The RN Refresher course fee covers the theoretical/didactic component of the course as well as the clinical component. Additional costs to the participant are listed below. All fees are subject to change.

  • RN Refresher Online Program fee:   $1,295
    • Fall 2024 price: $1,400
  • 10% early bird discounted fee (Deadline: April 15, 2024):    $1,165.50
  • Additional fees: Additional costs to the participant include the required textbook, as well as any fees imposed by the clinical agency for background checks, drug testing, immunizations, etc. If participant must complete final exam remotely, there is an online exam proctoring fee.
  • Final registration and payment deadline: June 3, 2024
  • Refund policy

Ready to register? First, please complete the RN Refresher Pre-Advisement Questionnaire (required) if you haven’t already. After successfully completing the RN Refresher Pre-Advisement Questionnaire, you will receive enrollment instructions via email. If you’ve already completed the questionnaire and haven’t received enrollment instructions, please write to continuing-ed@udel.edu or call 302-831-7600.

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Approval by state boards of nursing

If the Board of Nursing in your state of licensure requires an RN Refresher course in order to reactivate licensure in that state, it is the student’s responsibility to verify that this course meets those requirements and will be acceptable to that board in meeting those requirements. It is also the student’s responsibility to be aware of any additional requirements for reactivation.

To contact your state Board of Nursing please visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

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Program Timeline

Semester Program start date Didactic component end date / Final exam Clinical component start date Program completion / Completion of clinical hours
Fall 2023 Aug. 30, 2023 *Dec. 15, 2023 *After Dec. 15, 2023 *March 1, 2024
Spring 2024 Feb. 7, 2024 *May 22, 2024 *After May 22, 2024 *Aug. 7, 2024
Summer 2024 June 5, 2024 *Sept. 24, 2024 *After Sept. 24, 2024 *Dec. 5, 2024

* Final exam and clinical component start dates for upcoming semesters is estimated and shown here for planning purposes only. Actual dates to be determined, and will be confirmed upon enrollment.

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Online learning format

The didactic component of the RN Refresher program takes place through online learning. Participants view content presentations online, complete assignments and self-assessment quizzes, and communicate with the course coordinator via the course Web site and e-mail. Online learning offers many benefits…

  • Anywhere, anytime accessibility
  • Increased computer competency, a necessity in today’s technological practice setting
  • No scheduling conflicts
  • No transportation or child care costs

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Financial assistance

Only one discount can be applied to a registration. If you have any questions about the following options, email continuing-registration@udel.edu.

  • UD alumni and student discount (15% discount)
  • Military/veterans discount  (15% discount)
  • Group discount (15% discount; individuals must register at the same time)
  • Continuing Education Scholarship or Economic Competitiveness Scholarship — one-time partial scholarships. For application and further details visit the Noncredit Financial Assistance page.
  • Veterans benefits—This program is approved by the Delaware State Approving Agency for the training of veterans. Contact the Veterans Affairs regional office at 1-888-442-4551 to determine your individual eligibility. When eligibility is determined, please submit a copy of your DD-214 (if discharged, VA 22-1990 (if active), or NOBE (if active Reserve or National Guard) when you register for this program.
  • Private loans—Private loans may be an option to pay for noncredit programs, for example, obtaining a loan from your bank or credit union. One option may be the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan (select University of Delaware Noncredit, code 00143198 from the drop-down menu).
  • Tax credits—Taxpayers who pay qualified tuition and related expenses to an eligible educational institution may be able to claim tax credits or deductions on their federal income tax. A “Confirmation of Tuition” letter can be obtained by emailing the Noncredit Registrar at continuing-registration@udel.edu. Please note the registrar’s office does not supply a Form 1098-T, as the Confirmation of Tuition represents accepted documentation.

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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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