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RN Refresher Course FAQs

RN Refresher Course FAQs

The application states I must have a verbal commitment from a clinical site when I enroll. Can I enroll first, then find the clinical site?
  • A verbal commitment from the clinical site must be received by the participant before enrolling in the refresher course. This is a requirement of enrollment, and will not be waived.
  • After enrollment, SDSU reaches out to the contact person from the clinical site and begins work to establish a needed affiliation agreement.
  • When applying for enrollment, the participant must indicate if they are completing the clinical component of the course. A participant is not allowed to enroll, and add the clinical component later.
How do I find a clinical site?
  • The clinical component will be completed at a health care provider of your choosing in your local area. We encourage prospective participants to consider what area of health care nursing they wish to return to, and pursue clinical in that direction. SDSU approves a wide variety of clinical settings, ranging from the hospital location and acute care, to long term care, home health and hospice, etc. Hands-on nursing practice is required.
  • Communication with the desired clinical site should be in the same manner that one uses when seeking employment.  Professional communication via phone, email and in person is essential. Update a resume and have it available to reference former nursing experience. Discuss the desired direction of the next phase of a nursing career. Follow-up to an inquiry with patience and professionalism. Understand it is at the health care providers discretion if they are willing and able to accept a clinical student.
How much does the course cost?

Participants experience expenses for the course at:

  • Enrollment
  • Clinical preparation


Enrollment ExpenseCost

Program fee


Required background searches (completed though Castle Branch)


Course Textbook estimate


Clinical Preparation           

The expenses for clinical preparation vary per participant. Review the below list to identify what pieces you need, and determine a close estimate for the cost of this segment of the program.

Clinical Preparation ExpenseCost

Proof of Immunizations


CPR Certification


Personal Health Insurance


Liability Insurance


Drug Screen (completed through Castle Branch)


Temporary permit for clinical


How long will it take to complete the program?

On average, participants complete the RN Refresher Course in 7-8 months. Consider that some participants will move more quickly, and some will take longer. 

Can I finish the program in one month?

No. While the course is an independent study course, understand that there are multiple parties working together for the benefit of each participant. Not all progression through the course is at the complete control of the participant. 

Where should I get my drug screen?

The drug screen is required prior to clinical, not prior to enrollment. The purchase of a 2nd package with Castle Branch is made when clinical preparation begins. This package includes the checklist of items needed for transition into clinical. At this time, the nearest Lab Corp or Quest Diagnostic testing laboratory is identified for the completion of the panel. The drug screen must be current within three months of beginning clinical.

Do I have to open an account with Castle Branch? Can I just send the paperwork directly to SDSU?

All students and participants in a Nursing program at SDSU are required to utilize Castle Branch as their document manager. Castle Branch provides detailed instructions for completing each requirement, and reviews all documentation submitted. SDSU does not accept required documentation directly from each student.

I have been out of the nursing field for more than 10 years. Is that too long to take this course?

SDSU does not place a time limit on the absence from the nursing field. We assist nurses that have been out of the field for 5-10-25 years.

Can I schedule a 10-minute phone conference with SDSU?
  • Please email Continuing Nursing Education department to request a ten-minute phone conference.
  • Indicate your name, phone number, state in which you are calling from and a date/time during regular business hours that would work well for you. When the call is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email.
Is a payment plan available?

No. Full payment of the $1750 program fee can be made after all enrollment requirements are met, and prior to beginning your course.