RN & LPN/LVN Refresher Course FAQ's

When can I start the course?

As the name “Anytime-Anywhere” implies you can start the course when ever you like. All you need to do is to complete the registration process with Central Colorado AHEC. You will then be given a password to log-on and begin the course.

Who teaches the course?

There is not an instructor for the course. It is self-learning so all the information is in the book and on the website.

Is the course approved for continuing education?

The Colorado Nurses’ Association does not consider a “refresher” course as continuing education. It is more in the line of an in-service program. However, the course contains critical thinking case scenario exercises through the Professional Development System (PDS). These are approved for continuing education credit. You will receive a certificate from them (PDS) once you have successfully completed these exercises.

How and where do I go to get my clinical practicum?

You negotiate your clinical experience at the hospital of your choice. The course is based on medical-surgical competencies so it is advisable to obtain the 120 hours at a facility near you that has medical surgical nursing units. When you are almost through the theory part of the course it would be wise to print all the checklists off of Module 5 and make an appointment with the nurse executive or nurse educator at the facility in which you want to work. Experience has shown that nurses who work a 40 hour work week on med-surg units come away from the course with better experience and a higher level of self-confidence.

Do all the hospitals accept this course and the students?

To date, no hospital has rejected a student from this course, based on the course. Timing is everything. Hospitals have a commitment to colleges and universities for their students so you may be in competition for a preceptor. The fifth module (clinical) has several competency checklists, objectives, and evaluations that support and help guide your clinical experience. Most nurses try to obtain their clinical at a hospital where they want to work. This is a “win-win” situation where you the student are providing free care and the hospital is providing the preceptor. At the completion of the clinical you are ready to work so to speak and don’t need an orientation. This is a big savings for the hospital. It also allows you to size up the hospital and for them to check you out!!!

Do hospitals charge a fee for the clinical experience?

It is the hospitals prerogative if they wish to charge a fee. To date none have.

Do I have to do my clinical in a hospital or can I do it in a long term care facility?

The course is based on general medical surgical competencies. The best experience is in an acute care facility on medical surgical units. This is a stepping off point to any other area so it is advisable to get your experience in such a facility. Depending on location and circumstances, the LPN may find the Long Term Care Facilities more appropriate.

Where can I get the pre- requisites? (CPR, Immunizations, liability insurance, current nursing license)?

a. Call your local American Red Cross Association, American Heart Association or local hospital to see when they offer the course. There is generally a fee for the course. It is advisable to take the first responder to include infant and child.

b. Your local public health department or primary physician can give you the immunizations required. Most hospitals now require current hepatitis B series, tetanus, rubella or titer. Check with the facility where you want to work to see what they require for their personnel.

c. Nursing liability insurance can be obtained from several sources. Two companies are:
1) Marsh Affinity Group Services
1440 Renaissance Drive
Park Ridge, Il 60068
2) Nursing Service Organization
159 East County Line Road
Hatboro, PA 19040

d. You must have a current nursing license to do your practicum. You can get information from the Colorado State Board of Nursing at the following Web site, Email or telephone number. Colorado State Board of Nursing (DORA) E-Mail the Board of Nursing 1560 Broadway, Suite 880 Denver, CO 80202 (303) 894-2430 – Phone

Other sites that may provide you with nursing information are:
1) Colorado Nurses Association (CNA)
2) Colorado Nurse Health Program (CNHP)
3) http://nurselinkofcolorado.org

How do I gain access to the course?

Once you have sent your Email with registration, you will be given an access log- in and password through Email from the WEB CT technical advisor. You will also be given an Institutional Code number to access the Professional Development System (PDS). The PDS is a series of case scenarios that you must complete successfully before you can begin your practicum. These are integrated throughout the course.

What else do I need to do before I can start my practical experience?

In addition to the critical thinking exercises of the PDS system, you must successfully pass a 100 question multiple choice test. You arrange for a proctor of this test at a local college or education department in a local health care facility. Once you have made the arrangements for the test, contact AHEC with a name and address and they will send the test to that facility. The facility will send the test back to AHEC for grading.

Where are the records of course completion kept?

All records of course completion are kept in the AHEC office in Denver.

Where do I get the certificate of completion?

AHEC will send you the certificate of completion after you have submitted the completed checklists of your practicum experience.

Would I gain more benefit in a structured and classroom program?

If you have the time and availability of a classroom setting, it is extremely beneficial for the face to face interaction with an instructor and the networking and collegiality with other students. This course is designed for the RN who either does not have access to a classroom RN Refresher program or because of other commitments (family, children, job) can not attend a structured program. This program requires more self discipline and motivation by the student but has the flexibility and availability of “anytime or anywhere”.

Why do I need to get a background check?

Most health care facilities now require a background check for all employees. In order to do your clinical rotation you will need the basic screening. The cost for this screening is $40.00 and is paid directly to American Data Bank.

Note: Some institutions may also require an additional check on a Panel Drug Screen The cost is$75.00, also paid directly to the American Data Bank. Results are generally returned in a 24-48 hour time period.

My license is inactive – Does this course meet the requirements of the Colorado State Board of Nursing to activate my license?

Yes. This had been designed as 120 hours of clinical and 120 hours of theory which meets the requirements of the Colorado State Board of Nursing (SBON) Policy number 10-17 “Continuing Competency Requirements for RN, LPN”. This is the number of contract hours required for a 5-10 year lapse. Those with a license that has lapsed 10 or more years may require addition education or clinical hours. The SBON makes this decision. For more information, follow this link to the Colorado State Board of Nursing Web site: http://www.dora.state.co.us/nursing/policies/10-17.htm

What Is NCLEX?

Entry into the practice of nursing in the United States and its territories is regulated by the licensing authorities within each jurisdiction. To ensure public protection, each jurisdiction requires a candidate for licensure to pass an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops two licensure examinations, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses that are used by state and territorial boards of nursing to assist in making licensure decisions.

How does the NCLEX affect me taking this course?

The Pre NCLEX (pre-licensed) refresher students only do the theory portion of the Refresher.

From the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies:
The Rules currently say: Applicants may be approved to take the NCLEX a maximum of three times within three years of the date the Applicant first took the NCLEX in any state, territory or foreign country.... Any applicant who is unsuccessful in the 1st 3 attempts of taking the NCLEX must complete the didactic portion of an approved refresher course within one year of the last unsuccessful attempt of taking the NCLEX before reapplying for Colorado licensure.

Are there any scholarships available to help support in paying tuition for the course?

The Non Practicing + Part Time Nurses Association awards a scholarship to one or two nurses every year. You can find out more information on their website: http://www.nurselinkofcolorado.org

For those nurses who qualify, the Workforce Development Centers in Colorado will pay tuition and books and sometime uniforms and stethoscope. You will need to contact the local Workforce Development Center in your community.

Central Colorado AHEC, a 501(c)(3) Organization | 10200 E. Girard Avenue | Denver, CO | 80231 | 303.481.8686