Welcome to the RN Refresher Program


PLU’s RN Refresher program through the Center for Continued Nursing Learning prepares the inactive Registered Nurse for current employment with adult clients.  This program meets the Washington State Professional Nursing requirements for the current practice set forth in the RCW and WAC, which are monitored by the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. Successful completion of a refresher course is required for a Registered Nurse license that has been inactive or lapsed three or more years to return to active status.  Admission to the RN Refresher Course is open to Registered Nurses with an active, unencumbered license, as well as those with an inactive or expired license who apply for reactivation through Washington State Department of Health.

RNR 2023 1

This hybrid program combines:

  • Self-directed independent online study modules (Core Concepts & Specialty Areas)
    • Approximately 50 hours, completed within 6-8 weeks

  • On-campus classroom content and lab skills (Lab Skills Refresher)
    • Approximately 5 days/40+ hours

  • Supervised clinical practice experience with an assigned preceptor
    • 160 hours
    • Every effort will be made to place participants as close to their home area as possible

Important Information


Full Program: $3,500
Online Studies & Lab Skills Refresher: $3,000

Miscellaneous fees of $100- $350.00 on a case by case basis

Information Session

January 27, 2024

Sign up!
RN Refresher Application

Please complete the application to be considered for the course.


Application Requirements

Current Resume or CV

Diploma Information – Name of School, Degree & Program, Year of Completion

Current Status of License

Admission to the RN Refresher Course is open to Registered Nurses with an active, unencumbered license, as well as those with an inactive or expired license who apply for reactivation through Washington State Department of Health **.

Nurses who do not need the clinical practice portion of our program may also apply for admission and take only “Core Competencies & Specialty Areas” (the online component) and the on-campus lab skills portion.

Application Period: December  – March 1st

Application Requirements

  • Current resume or CV
  • Diploma information – name of school, degree and program, year of completion
  • Current status of license

Application Process

  1. Complete the application for admission
  2. Receive a confirmation of your application by email (add @plu.edu to your Safe Senders list to make sure our emails don’t get marked as junk/spam)
  3. Promptly provide any additional documentation requested
  4. Receive acceptance or denial by email
  5. Confirm your participation by creating an account in our registration system

*If you are a nurse who needs to enroll in a refresher course as part of a stipulation on your license, you must provide the School with a copy of your orders from the Nursing Commission. Clinical placement sites must be notified of these Orders and are not required to agree to your participation.

**The nurse who does not have an active license must have a Limited Education Authorization (LEA) from Washington State to complete the clinical portion of the program, which will be requested by the university. This process may take 4-6 weeks to complete with the state and the LEA must be granted prior to starting the clinical portion of the refresher course.

Prior to entering the clinical setting, students must have an active RN license from Washington State or a Limited Education Authorization (LEA), for licenses inactive/expired for 3+ years)

Not sure if you need an LEA or how to reactivate your inactive WA State license?

Required Documentation

The following requirements must be met at least 4 weeks before the start date of clinicals. Note: you will enter most of the information in our online Castlebranch System, which you will receive access within 2 weeks of registration.

  1. Hold a current license to practice registered nursing in Washington State with no encumbrances or a temporary license also known as a Limited Education Authorization (LEA) from WA Nursing Commission
  2. Show evidence of liability (malpractice) insurance coverage for a minimum of 1,000,000/3,000,000
  3. Show evidence of a major medical, accident or sickness insurance coverage
  4. Completion of CPR for Health Providers that remains valid throughout the clinical experience. CPR must include 1 and 2 person, child, infant choking and AED
  5. Complete the Application and submit prior to 3/1/24 (American Heart Association pref)
  6. Complete the Washington State Patrol Disclosure Affidavit
  7. Complete and sign the Release and Hold Harmless Agreement
  8. Completion of the Personal Health History form and all screening and immunization: TB Screening, MMR, Hepatitis B, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, COVID-19
  9. Non-native English speakers will be required to demonstrate English proficiency using the TOEFL
  10. Successful completion of all RN Refresher Lab Skills sessions, as evaluated by the instructors
  11. Be ready and available for all clinical shifts on any day of the week, including holidays and 8 – 12 hour shifts. To facilitate your successful completion of the clinical experience other employment during this same 5 weeks as your clinical is highly discouraged. (There have been instances where participants were unable to successfully complete the program due to over commitments and fatigue).
  12. Be able to meet the list of Physical and Psychological Expectations of Nurses Returning to Professional Practice
  13. if you have not attended a 6 hr WA state approved Suicide Prevention course please go to https://www.wsha.org/articles/new-free-training-for-suicide-prevention-available-for-behavioral-health-providers/ to take the free 6 hr course. Once completed please save your completion certificate.
  14. Must have access to a computer and internet.
  15. You will receive a guest pass email from the Sakai the learning platform, and must complete the registration into that system.
  16. Must have access to a mode of personal transportation.

    Miscellaneous considerations:
    There may be a commute involved to reach your clinical placement facility. However, we will make every effort to secure your clinical placements within 60 miles of the PLU campus in Tacoma. Please consider planning ahead for child care and commute strategies.

Program Details


  • Orientation, Technology Platforms and Welcome: April 3rd
  • Online Class Begins: April 10th – June 1st
  • In-Person Labs: June 3rd – 7th
  • Clinicals: June 10th – August 1st

Dates subject to change. Please contact ccnl@plu.edu with questions.

Core Competencies & Specialty Areas

Approximately 50 hours
Self-directed independent online study modules
You must have a computer, access to Wi-Fi, and the ability to download documents and send emails.

You will receive a login registration to view the modules and track your modules and completion through ATI and Sakai, our online learning systems.

Lab Schedule

Didactic and Lab Skills Refresher – In Class
Pacific Lutheran University Campus, Tacoma Washington
June 3-7, 2024

Before class: Read content/view video modules on topics
Attire: You do not need to wear scrubs, scrub top to protect your clothes is optional



Nursing Process: ADPIE, RN Scope of Practice Decision Tree, WA Nurse Practice Act, Scope of Practice for LPN, Scope of Practice for NA, b. Leadership, delegation, documentation, Continuing Competence  c. Interdisciplinary team coordination and Care management  d. HIPAA, Evidenced-based practice, critical thinking
 a. Major drug classifications:  action, s/e, adverse reaction, related labs; preventing, mitigating and reporting med errors b. 8 Med Admin Rights-2 Patient Identifiers, Calculations, Routes of med administration  c. Look Alike/Sound Alike Meds/High Alert Meds  d. Do Not Use Abbreviations   e. Documentation
a. CV:  CHF, HTN, Stroke   b. Resp:  COPD, Asthma   c. Hepatic/Biliary: Hepatitis, Gallbladder   d. ENDO:  Diabetes   e. Neuro: MS, Parkinson’s. MG, ALS, Neuro Infections   f.  GI: Diverticulitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Polyps   g. GU:  Infections-CAUTI, Renal Calculi, BPH, Erectile Dysfunction  h. ENT:  Cataracts, Glaucoma   i. Immune:  Arthritis, Cancer   j. M/S:  Fractures  k. Integumentary:  Impetigo, Herpes Zoster   l. Reproductive



Students will practice key physical assessment skills on each other this day.   Students will listen to heart, lung and abdominal sounds.  Students will be asked to expose their legs up to the knee.  Please wear tank top and loose clothing this day.



Assessment Lab


Specialty topics: Surgical, Hysterectomy, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Domestic Violence, Psychiatric/Mental Health, Geriatrics, Community

Main Lab
Handwashing, Infection Control/Isolation/PPE, Oral meds, Pyxis, Bed bath & body mechanics, Transfers, Lifts, IV insertion


IM meds, IV maintenance, IV meds, IV tubing & change, CVAD, PICC lines/Infections, Chest Tubes


Main Lab

Blood Admin, Trach Care & Suctioning, Urinary Catheterization, Wound Care/Dressing Change, NG insertion, Parental/Enteral/PEG tube feeding


1300-1500 Simulation Scenarios & Complete Lab Check Offs
1500-1700 Clinical Orientation, Questions and Wrap up


Location: Varies
Tentative Dates: June -August , 2024

Work directly with your assigned preceptor to complete 160 hours of clinical practice.  Practice consists of 80 acute care and 80 hours long term care.  PLU will provide locations and preceptors to complete your clinicals.  You must be available to work any shift and clinical locations within a 60-mile radius* of the PLU campus.  Be ready and available for all clinical shifts on any day of the week, including holidays, weekends, night shifts and 8 – 12 hour shifts. To facilitate your successful completion of the clinical experience other employment during this same 5 weeks as your clinical is highly discouraged.  You will be reviewed for skill and nursing competency as you refresh your nursing knowledge. At the end of successful completion of clinicals you will receive a certificate of RN Refresher completion with PLU continuing education credit.

*If necessary, a wider radius than 60 miles is used to place RN Refresher students in their clinical settings. Requests for locations can be made but not guaranteed. 

RN Refresher Q&A 2023