10 Free Online Nursing Courses to Help Advance Your Career

Updated March 22, 2023

Continual learning is essential in the nursing industry to help you gain new skills and keep up with changing industry practices and regulations. A nursing course offers you access to various topics in different formats, especially online courses that you can access at your convenience. Identifying the available online resources for you as a nurse can help you choose one that fits your career development needs and increases your prospects in the industry.

In this article, we explore free online nursing courses, explain their importance, outline some free online nursing classes you can enrol in to advance your career, and highlight some essential skills for nurses.

What are free online nursing courses?

Free online nursing courses are instructional modules designed to help nursing professionals improve their skills and expertise in the field. Some of these courses present a short review of specific topics, while others have multiple modules that may take weeks or months to complete. These online resources are convenient tools that allow nursing professionals to schedule and complete their professional development at their own pace.

In addition, these courses may include instructional material, videos, and assessments from various instructors. Open online courses allow you to participate through an ongoing class or on a timeline. Similarly, some online programs offer courses from accredited institutions that allow you to audit college courses for free.

Related: How to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist (With Skills)

Importance of taking online nursing classes

The medical industry is constantly changing, so it's vital for you to continue learning to ensure you can adapt and remain relevant in this field. Nurses also require basic knowledge and skills in different industry practices, such as patient care and clinical supervision. Online training platforms allow you to connect with thought leaders and other professionals without leaving the comfort of your home or office. In addition, continuing education and professional development are essential if you want to advance your nursing career and improve your career prospects.

10 free online nursing courses

Here's a list of 10 free online nursing classes you can enrol in to help you advance your career:

1. Nursing Studies - Diet Therapy

This course explores techniques for incorporating diet strategy into patients' treatment plans and discusses bowel, intestinal, and food-related diseases. You can learn how to create specialized diets for patients as you learn the importance of therapeutic dieting, especially when treating digestive diseases and disorders.

This course has two modules focusing on seven topics, and may you take between one hour and 30 minutes to three hours to complete. Some topics in the course include standard hospital diets, reasons for therapeutic dieting, and nurses' roles in diet therapy. After completing the course, you receive a certificate to share with your current employees and use in subsequent applications.

2. Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics

This is a course for health care professionals that read clinical literature, as it explores methods for interpreting clinical research results. The course introduces common concepts and terms in statistics. Candidates gain an in-depth understanding of hypothesis testing and statistical analysis. The course spans 27 hours, lasts up to six weeks, and candidates may spend three to six hours weekly on the lessons. The curriculum focuses on describing data, defining study types, and understanding statistical analysis. It also teaches appropriate test selection and accuracy analysis of results. After completing the course, candidates may purchase an optional certificate of completion.

3. The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age

This course focuses on educating individuals on why joints, bones, and muscles deteriorate due to age. In addition, candidates who enrol in the course learn how age, diet, and exercise affect the musculoskeletal system. This course is a self-paced program that requires participants to study for three hours weekly for three weeks. In addition, participants learn the impact of musculoskeletal aging on the individual and society's quality of life. After completing the course, participants may purchase a certificate of completion.

4. Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us

This course is suitable for intending and practising health care professionals, as it explores the anatomical and physiological processes behind basic bodily functions. It adopts a holistic approach to understanding the factors that inform vital signs and provides effective strategies to measure these signs. The 13-hour course typically takes six weeks to complete. The curriculum focuses on one vital sign each week, including blood pressure, pulse or heart rate, pain, temperature, respiration rate, and metabolism. Candidates may purchase a certificate of completion after completing the course.

Related: How to Become a Primary Care Nurse (with Steps and FAQs)

5. Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Care

This course provides an overview of Alzheimer's disease, including risk factors, pathophysiology, symptoms, stages, diagnosis, and medications used to improve cognitive function. It reviews modified communication techniques that reduce behavioural expressions and improve interactions. This course also explores dementia caregiving, available resources, challenges, and special care considerations when hospitalizing the dementia patient. The duration of this self-paced course is five weeks, with two to three hours of material presented weekly. The curriculum includes five modules that provide an in-depth analysis of Alzheimer's disease. Candidates may purchase a verified certification after the course.

6. Delirium, Dementia, and Depression in Older Adults

This five-module course focuses on enhancing a nursing professional's abilities and knowledge when caring for and assessing older adults with dementia, delirium, and depression (the 3Ds). Each module provides up-to-date evidence on the 3Ds and concludes with a case study and quiz to help you apply what you learned. These modules also come with self-reflection or discussion guides, downloadable documents, and other resources to facilitate the learning process.

7. Engaging Indigenous People Who Use Substances

This training program discusses evidence-based practices and key concepts when working with indigenous people who use substances. It also lays out historical context and terminologies related to indigenous people and the various factors that can affect the rates of substance use and mental illness among this population. It teaches strength-based approaches and cultural and protective healing strategies when working with these patients.

8. Nursing Studies - Role of Nurse in Surgical Care

This course teaches you the vital roles a nurse performs during surgical care. It highlights the duties of a nurse during the phases of surgical care, including the peri-operative, pre-operative, intra-operative, and recovery room. The course explores some of the essential surgical interventions that nurses perform regularly. It's a self-paced course that typically lasts between one hour and 30 minutes to three hours, and participants get a certificate after completing the program.

9. Diploma in Clinical Nursing Skills

This course is a diploma program that explores the nursing techniques required to treat various disorders and diseases of the cardiovascular system, digestive system, respiratory system, and central nervous system. It also teaches the implications of these disorders on the type of care offered to the patients. This course teaches nursing professionals the physiology, anatomy, and the role of each organ. The duration of the program is 10-15 weeks, and candidates may purchase a certification after completing the course.

Related: Jobs Similar to Nursing and Their Degree Requirements

10. Diploma in Nursing Leadership and Care Management

This course provides nursing professionals with an overview of the techniques, skills, and approaches required to care for different patients. It also teaches about transcultural nursing and how it handles the issues encountered when treating those from different cultural backgrounds and diverse cultural groups from the nursing professional. The program typically lasts for 10-15 hours and teaches verbal, non-verbal, and appropriate communication techniques with patients.

Essential nursing skills

Here are some essential skills you can also develop to help you build a successful nursing career:

Communication skills

As a nursing professional, your communication skills encompass various skills, including speaking, observing, active listening, and empathizing. As your duties as a nurse require you to communicate with patients, their parents, and loved ones in uncomfortable situations, it's essential to have emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize in these situations. You can highlight this on your resume by explaining how you applied your exceptional communication skills during a difficult conversation in the workplace.

Critical thinking and problem solving

These skills involve handling difficult situations in the workplace and creatively providing an effective solution. A nurse typically works in a dynamic environment with different variables. It's useful to know how to think quickly, assess the merits and demerits of a situation, and make the most appropriate decisions under pressure. In addition, problem-solving and critical thinking skills apply to various aspects of a nurse's role, such as reaching a conclusion about a patient's condition and deciding if emergency care is necessary.

Related: Nursing Skills (With Definition, Tips, and Examples)

Teamwork and dependability

These skills help nurses work well with physicians and other health care professionals and create a positive environment. They also help ensure that patients receive the care and treatment they deserve, as these abilities help the facility run smoothly. Dependability can help you build a positive reputation among your colleagues because the team trusts that they can rely on you in various situations.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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