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A free online nursing certificate is the perfect way to bolster your current nursing knowledge or begin your studies towards becoming a nurse. While there are many nursing certificates available, they can oftentimes be very costly. Not only can these certificates be expensive, they can also be very time-consuming. Fortunately, the internet is also home to a number of high-quality free online nursing certificates. These free nursing courses teach a particular nursing skill and provide a certificate at the end that demonstrates an understanding and mastery of the course content.

A free online nursing course with a certificate allows nursing professionals to continue engaging with their education. It gives the opportunity to learn new topics in nursing and stay sharp. It is important as a nurse to always stay engaged with your education. Having the latest training and education can be an incredible boon on the nursing job market. Naturally, this can be costly when doing this with paid programs. We love free online nursing courses as they allow you to stay engaged with your learning without breaking the bank. 

Below we’ve collected ten of our favorite free online nursing courses. These nursing courses offer certificates at the end of their programs that you can show to employers demonstrating your understanding of the course material. 

1. Introduction to Integrative Nursing

University of Minnesota

Check out this Introduction to Integrative Nursing free online nursing course here.

The University of Minnesota offers this free online nursing course to students via the Coursera platform. This nursing course is part of the school’s Integrative Nursing Specialization which is offered entirely for free on Coursera. This course is aimed at beginners and covers a number of introductory nursing topics. Three different instructors from the University of Minnesota teach the course. Students can expect to be able to complete the first course in about sixteen hours. Subsequent courses in the specialization will take a total of about six months to complete.

By completing the entirety of this course, nursing students can earn an entire nursing specialization certification from the University of Minnesota for free. Lessons in this course include What is Integrative Nursing, the Importance of Integrative Nursing, Principles of Integrative Nursing, Setting Patient Care Goals, and Implementation of Integrative Nursing. This course offers a shareable certificate at the end that can be added to your LinkedIn profile and shown off to prospective employers.

We like this free online nursing course as it is part of a nursing specialization program that is offered entirely for free. This is an incredible value on offer from the University of Minnesota for absolutely no cost to you. 

Summary

  • Teaches integrative nursing methods
  • Part of a free specialization on Coursera
  • Offered by the University of Minnesota
  • Free

2. Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics

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Check out this Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics free online nursing course here.

This free online nursing course is offered by the University of Cape Town on Coursera. This course focuses on a very important aspect of nursing, the ability to understand clinical research and statistics. Nurses and doctors are often asked to keep up with medical research papers that are filled with statistics. Being able to successfully parse that data is integral to being a well-informed medical professional. This course is offered in a self-paced format with many different start dates throughout the year. It is estimated that this course will take 27 hours to complete. A shareable certificate is available to students who finish the course which can be added to your LinkedIn profile.

This course focuses on teaching the skills needed to better understand medical research papers. Students will learn how to parse statistical jargon so they can better understand the findings of medical papers. Lessons in this course include Defining Study Types, Describing Your Data, Building an Understanding of Statistical Analysis, and Hypothesis Testing and Confidence Levels. Each of these lessons include videos and quizzes designed to help you test your understanding of these key concepts. After completing this course, you should have a better understanding of clinical research methods.

We really like this free online nursing course as it focuses on teaching a tangible skill that is an important aspect of nursing: understanding medical research. This is a great option for new nursing professionals as well as current nursing professionals that just want to stay sharp. 

Summary

  • Offered by the University of Cape Town
  • Focuses on how to better understand clinical research
  • Available entirely for free
  • Takes 27 hours to complete

3. The Arts and Sciences of Relationships: Understanding Human Needs

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Check out The Arts and Sciences of Relationships: Understanding Human Needs free online nursing course here.

Made available on the Coursera platform by the University of Toronto, this free online nursing course is focused on developing relationship management skills. This is a very important skill in the field of nursing. This course is designed for beginners and can be completed in about 32 hours. A shareable certificate is available upon completion of this course. This certificate can be added to your LinkedIn to display for prospective employers. As a self-paced course, students are able to start this course whenever they like and engage with the course material at a pace and time that is most suitable for their schedule. This flexibility is great for currently working nursing professionals.

Lessons in this course focus on helping students to develop the basic concepts of The Strategies and Skills Learning and Development System. This is an important framework used to better understand the ways that you can engage with your patients to provide them with compassionate care. The course is made up of three modules: Relationships in Our Lives, Strategies & Skills Learning & Development, Communication, and Building Relationships that Work for You. This free online nursing course has nearly 400 reviews and has a 4.5 star rating on Coursera at the time of this writing.

This free online nursing course is a great option for nursing professionals that want to develop their compassionate care skills. Being able to provide patients with compassionate care is an integral part of being a nurse. 

Summary

  • Focuses on compassionate care
  • Can be completed in 32 hours
  • Shareable certificate offered upon completion
  • Free

4. Disability Awareness and Support

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Check out the Disability Awareness and Support free online nursing course here.

Also on Coursera, this free online nursing course teaches disability awareness for nurses. Created by the University of Pittsburgh, this course is very useful to aspiring and working nursing professionals. You can expect to be able to complete this course in about seven hours. This course is available in a self-paced format and can be started at any time. A shareable certificate is offered to students upon completion and this certificate can be added to your LinkedIn profile. Over 240 students have rated this program and currently the course is rated a 4.6/5 stars. The course is taught by Mary Goldberg, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Lessons in this course include Accommodations and Assistive Technology, and Accessible Design. The lessons in this course are made up of several video lectures as well as quizzes designed to ensure your mastery of the content taught in the class. Upon completion of this course you will have gained valuable insight on how to assess the different needs that patients might have based on their disability. You will be better able to provide a supportive and friendly environment to disabled patients – helping them to feel more at ease and accepted during their health care treatment. This is an incredibly valuable skill as a nurse.

This course is a great option for nursing professionals that want to continue to build their skills as nurses as they pertain to the care of disabled patients. Being able to provide compassionate care to all people is an integral part of the nursing profession.

Summary

  • Focuses on disability awareness
  • Can be completed in seven hours
  • Self-paced
  • Shareable certificate available upon completion
  • Free

5. Knowledge and Skills for Dementia Care

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Check out the Knowledge and Skills for Dementia Care free online nursing course here.

Related to the above course, this free online nursing course is also offered on Coursera and utilizes SSLD. This course takes what you’ve learned in the prior course and helps you apply it to the care for those with dementia. Taught by A. Ka Tat Tsang, this course is designed for beginners and can be completed in about 29 hours. A shareable certificate is also offered for this course which can be easily added to your LinkedIn profile. Students can enroll in this course at any time as it is a self-paced course. The flexibility of a self-paced course is very helpful to current working professionals. 

Learning how to work with those with dementia is the main aim of this free online nursing course. Students will learn how to apply the SSLD approach outlined in the previous course to in-home support and long-term care of those with dementia. Lessons in this course include Introduction to SSLD and Dementia, Functional Recovery and Enhancement, Applications in Daily Life, and Mental Health and Behavioral Challenges. These lessons include video lectures and quizzes designed to ensure an understanding of the content of this course. When completed, students should be able to take the SSLD system and use it to better help their patients that have dementia.

We really like this course as it teaches a very particular skill in nursing: how to work with those with dementia to give them compassionate care. Being able to leave an online nursing course with a particular hard skill is something we find to be incredible valuable to nursing students. 

Summary

  • Teaches how to work with dementia patients
  • Can be completed in 29 hours
  • Offered on Coursera
  • Entirely free
  • Shareable certificate

6. Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship Primary Care

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Check out the Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship Primary Care free online nursing course here.

This course is offered via Coursera by Stanford University. Built using a course taught at Stanford, this course teaches you how to work with cancer survivors to help rehabilitate their health in preparation for a post-treatment life. This course is offered entirely online and is designed to be completed in about two hours. Stanford University has designated this course as an intermediate-level course and suggests that you have some level of familiarity with best nursing practices before enrolling in this program. That makes this course a great option for currently working nursing professionals.

This course is made up of eight videos, eleven readings, and four quizzes. Across this course material you will work through a number of different case studies designed to exemplify different aspects of primary care for cancer survivors. You will learn how to assess the unique needs of cancer survivors and provide them with the care that they need to return to their lives as normally as possible. This course includes a shareable certificate that can be added to your LinkedIn profile upon completion of the course.

We like this course as it teaches a specific, tangible skill to current nursing professionals. After finishing this course, you will have a better understanding of the practices that can help you better care for cancer survivors.

Summary

  • Focused on working with cancer survivors
  • Offered on Coursera
  • Can be completed in just two hours
  • Entirely free
  • Shareable certificate available. 

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

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Check out the Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body is Telling Us free online nursing course here.

Available on the Coursera platform, this course was created by the University of Pennsylvania. This course is a beginner’s level course designed for those interested in entering the field of nursing. Using a self-paced format, students can start this course at different times throughout the year. A shareable certificate is available to students once they complete the program. This certificate is easily added to your LinkedIn profile allowing you to show prospective employers that you completed it. It is estimated that this course takes about 14 hours to complete. The course has over 1200 ratings and has earned a 4.88/5 stars. 

Lessons in this course are designed to teach nurses how to read the vital signs of a patient and how to interpret what those vital signs are communicating about the wellbeing of a patient. This course is made up of six main lessons. Each week students will focus on one particular vital sign. These include Pulse/Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, Metabolism, Temperature, Respiration Rate, and Pain. They will learn how to best assess these various vital signs and how to understand what these vital signs might be communicating about the condition of a patient. This course is made up of videos and quizzes designed to determine the mastery of the content.

This course is a great free nursing course for students as it teaches how to understand key vital signs and use those to interpret the status of a patient. This is a key function of a nurse. Being able to understand what the vitals of a patient are telling you is incredibly important to success in the field. 

Summary

  • Focuses on understanding vital signs
  • Authored by the University of Pennsylvania
  • Shareable certificate available upon completion
  • 14 hours to complete
  • Free

8. Clinical Kidney, Pancreas, and Islet Transplantation

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Check out the Clinical Kidney, Pancreas and Islet Transplantation free online nursing course here.

Made available by the Leiden University Medical Center on Coursera, this course focuses on the process of kidney, pancreas, and islet transplantation. More specific than some of the other courses on offer, this course will teach nurses a better understanding of the process and how they can be of better assistance during the process of a kidney, pancreas, or islet transplantation. This course is offered in a self-paced format and can be started at any time throughout the year. It is designed for the intermediate level student. A certain level of familiarity with nursing and medical practices is expected before enrollment. It is estimated that this program can be completed in about 35 hours. A shareable certificate is available upon completion.

This course is broken out into four main lessons. In this course you will study Before the Transplant, The Procedure and the Patient, Early Challenges in Transplantation, and Late Challenges in Transplantation. The course is made up of dozens of video lectures as well as a number of readings and quizzes. These various course materials are meant to help teach and reinforce the various aspects of surgical transplantation taught in the course. After completing this course, your understanding of kidney, pancreas, and islet transplantation should be much higher. 

We really like this course as it teaches a specific practical aspect of modern healthcare. Having an understanding of how transplantation works and some of the challenges that can crop up during the process are very valuable skills to have as a nurse. The Leiden University Medical Center has made this information available to students for free, something that we think every student should take advantage of.

Summary

  • Focuses on the process of organ transplantation
  • Requires about 35 hours to complete
  • Shareable certificate available upon completion
  • Entirely free
  • Authored by the Leiden University Medical Center

9. Anatomy: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems

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Check out the Anatomy: Muscoloskeletal and Integumentary Systems free online nursing course here.

Also on Coursera, this free online nursing course is offered to students by the University of Michigan. Taught in a self-paced format, students are able to start this course at any point in the year and complete the curriculum at a pace that works best for them. The University of Michigan estimates that this course takes about 26 hours to complete and has designed the course with beginner-level students in mind. Upon completion of this course, a shareable certificate is issued and that certificate can be easily added to your LinkedIn page. Through this particular course you will learn about the musculoskeletal system and the way the body moves.

This course is made up of four different lessons each covering a different part of the body. Students will learn about the skeletal system, the joints, the skeletal muscles, and the integumentary system. Each lesson is made up of a series of videos. At the end of the course, students will be asked to complete a handful of readings and four quizzes. These quizzes are designed to reinforce the lessons taught during the course and to ensure that students have mastery over the content within the course. 

This free online nursing course is a great option for students as it teaches lessons regarding major parts of the human anatomy. Students will hone their understanding of the musculoskeletal and integumentary system through this course.

Summary

  • Focuses on the musculoskeletal and integumentary system
  • 26 hours to complete
  • Shareable certificate available upon completion
  • Available entirely online

10. Palliative Care: It’s Not Just Hospice Anymore

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Check out the Palliative Care: It’s Not Just Hospice Anymore free online nursing course here.

This free online nursing course is offered to students on Coursera by the University of Colorado. Designed as a beginner-level course, this course is offered in a self-taught format. The course is offered to students entirely online and is estimated to take about seven months to complete if three hours a week is spent on the course. The course is designed for beginners and is a great option for new nursing students. A shareable certificate is available upon completion and is easily added to your LinkedIn profile. 

Lessons in this course focus on updating the current understanding of palliative care and how to best enact the latest practices available to practitioners. The course is broken up into five main lessons: What is Palliative Care, Pain Management, Easing Physical Symptoms, Psychosocial and Spiritual Aspects of Palliative Care, and a final Capstone Project. Through this course you will learn how to work with patients who are preparing to pass away. This course will teach you how to comfort these patients and provide them with compassionate care.

This course is a great free online nursing course as it teaches a very important function of nursing: caring for those in palliative care. By learning these skills you will be better prepared for different aspects of nursing.

Summary

  • Focused on palliative care
  • Completable in about seven months
  • Shareable certificate offered upon completion
  • Offered by the University of Colorado
  • Entirely free

Is a free online nursing course right for me?

Free online nursing courses provide students with a great way to learn the latest best practices and techniques needed for the nursing profession all without spending any money. We highly recommend that aspiring nurses and working nurses check out some of the free online nursing courses we’ve highlighted here today. 

Related:

Best Nursing School Scholarships

Online Nursing Degrees

Ultimate Guide to Online Nursing Degrees

Nursing & Healthcare Major

Get our emails in your inbox, and you’ll get acceptance letters in your mailbox

Get our emails in your inbox, and you’ll get acceptance letters in your mailbox

Find Your Degree

Find Your Degree