The Importance of Refresher Courses in the Medical Industry

There are plenty of reasons why a nurse or medical assistant must undertake registered nurse refresher courses long after earning a degree.

An inactive nursing license, advances in the medical field, updates to patient care, returning after a lengthy hiatus—these are just a few concrete examples why a nurse and medical assistant refresher courses are necessary.

Like any other type of ongoing and continuous training, refresher courses for medical assistants are highly essential for service providers in the healthcare industry. The direct involvement of nurses in the life and health of the people they care for means that their skills and knowledge must always be up to date, and nurse refresher courses online and in-class ensure this.

Refresher Courses infographic

Improving performance

Refresher courses in the medical industry often serve to identify both an employee’s strong points and areas for improvement, which not only allows organization to assess the skills and abilities of nurses, but also helps ensure consistently high quality healthcare services. With properly scheduled and administered refresher courses, nurses and medical assistants will be better equipped to handle tasks and responsibilities in their respective areas of healthcare.

Mitigating weaknesses

No employee is perfect, and everyone has their areas of struggle. It goes without saying that these shortcomings can affect the general performance of the organization. Often, these weaknesses can be attributed to lack of training. With refresher courses, healthcare organizations can create an opportunity for staff to reveal their weaknesses so these can be addressed accordingly through training.


Different employees hail from different backgrounds and have seen different types of training. This can be problematic for healthcare organizations, as the quality of service can differ from one nurse to another. With the proper training and guidance afforded by nurse refresher courses, healthcare staff will find it easier to fit into their roles and provide consistent quality of work.

Better teamwork

Refresher courses are also critical to teams working well together. When nurses are on the same page with regards to knowledge, skills and abilities, it will be easier to reassign and transfer nurses according to staffing needs, creating a form of homogeneity between the transferred nurse and the team they will be reassigned to even before they start working together. The team accepting the new team member will be ready to accommodate, while the new member will blend into the team rapidly and effectively.

Regaining confidence

Nurses assigned to a limited aspect of healthcare for too long, or who have been out of the industry for some time, can have trouble adjusting to a new assignment, which can impact the morale not only of the individual, but of the team as well. A refresher course will bring the nurses up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in patient care, allowing them to feel confident, knowledgeable, and well-equipped wherever they may be assigned.

Returning to active status

A nurse whose license is on inactive status is required to take a refresher course if he or she wants to go back to work in the medical industry. The Nurse Practice Act mandates the requirements and refresher courses that an inactive nurse must take to return to active status.

The application of the Nurse Practice Act varies from state to state, so an inactive nurse must first contact the Board of Nursing in the state that he or she wants to practice in to know the specific requirements of regaining active status for nurses who wish to work there.

Overview of nurse refresher courses

Nurse refresher courses are developed specifically for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and are designed to update their respective professional knowledge and skills. Courses can be theoretical (lessons are based on ideas and abstract principles), clinical (lessons relate to the bedside of the patient, with practical applications of the lessons learned), or a combination of both.

Theoretical nurse refresher courses

The theoretical refresher course for nurses reviews nursing basics and updates students on recently upheld medical practices and advances. The curriculum is designed to strengthen the foundational knowledge of nurses obtained from school and at work.

Clinical nurse refresher courses

Clinical practicum is often provided onsite at hospitals and other qualified healthcare facilities. These practicums are often arranged by the school providing the nurse refresher course, although certain types of clinical refresher programs require the students to seek out facilities on their own.

Where to find nursing refresher courses

Nursing refresher courses are often offered through colleges and healthcare facilities. If you’re looking for a nursing refresher course to take, make sure you choose one in the state that you want to work in. The local state board of nursing is the body governing and regulating the Nurse Practice Act in each state, and the one who approves the nursing refresher courses that a nurse must take to maintain or regain active status. Many state board of nursing has websites where interested parties can find a list of available nursing refresher courses in their state.

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