Nurse Practitioner Refresher Course Information

Many course options are available for nurse practitioners (NPs) seeking to maintain their national certification. Some refresher courses focus on illnesses and treatments within a nursing specialty, while other classes allow students to improve their nursing skills in general. Individuals can take refresher courses from a variety of organizations. Keep reading for more information about some typical courses in review programs.

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Essential Information

Nurse practitioners need to re-certify every five years in order to continue to practice. This can be achieved by completing a certain number of hours of clinical practice and continuing education hours, or by taking an exam. Nurse practitioners can take courses through a variety of accredited organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health and others. Additionally, they can take courses through state nursing boards, state medical associations and state pharmacy boards.

Review topics will include the following:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Theory application
  • Literature appraisal
  • Evidence-based care design
  • Policy change influence

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List of Courses

Nurse Practitioner Skills Review Course

This class helps nurse practitioners to refresh their EKG interpretation and physical assessment skills. Students review symptoms and treatments for cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal complaints and common illnesses. Course materials are presented via case studies, hands-on interaction with patients, multimedia presentations and lectures. Topics include diagnosis and treatment strategies, commonly used diagnostic tests and nurse practitioners' roles in primary care.

Nurse Practitioner Certification Review Course

This course, sometimes offered as a multi-day conference, reviews materials included in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) national certification exams. Students get tips on answering exam questions and review key concepts tested by the certification boards. NPs with national certification may use the course to review recent trends in diagnosing and treating chronic and episodic health conditions.

Family Primary Care Course

Instructors supervise student treatment of patients and families. Students manage primary care of patients and coordinate treatment with other medical personnel. Through this practicum, they improve their competency as nurse practitioners. Topics include diagnosing and evaluating chronic health conditions, therapeutic treatment of episodic illness and professional ethics.

Adult Primary Care Course

Students explore research and standards used in treating adult patients with chronic and occasional illnesses. They learn to diagnose patient complaints and review effective medications and treatments for common conditions. This course emphasizes the changing needs of patient populations, including social and cultural factors that can affect prescribed treatments.

Older Adult Primary Care Course

Students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to treat older adults. They develop an understanding of the emotional, physical and social impacts of aging. Course discussions elaborate on the presentation of chronic and acute disease in older adults. Topics include long-term care, geriatric illnesses and socioeconomic factors affecting elder care.

Family Mental Health Problems Course

This course presents research and nursing standards used in treating families and individuals with psychosocial and mental health problems. Students examine environmental, genetic and other risk factors that can lead to mental health issues. They learn to assess patient symptoms and prescribe appropriate care. Topics include social and health policy impacts on the availability of mental health care, non-pharmacological treatment options and effective pharmacology treatments.

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