Continuing Nursing Education

Medical-Surgical Nursing Update and Certification Review

Course Description

This online course is designed to build the confidence and skills of healthcare professionals who deliver medical-surgical care to patients and/or to prepare nurses for the certification exam.

This course starts every January. There are 15 online modules that can be completed independently. Agencies may choose an accelerated 10-week option. If you are an agency and interested in becoming a co-sponsor, click here.

Target Audience

Experienced nurses in all care settings interested in a comprehensive medical-surgical review and/or in preparing for certification or re-certification in medical-surgical nursing. 

“This class has helped to remind me that learning is a lifelong commitment with nursing. I took this class not only for the certification but to see if furthering my education was something that I was still interested in doing. I have recently started inquiring about pursuing my DNP. This class has helped to reinforce my desire to continue to improve myself and my knowledge.”


“Being able to watch the lectures on my schedule was very nice and integral to my ability to take this class! Having a mentor to turn to if needed was very reassuring as an adult re-entry student. This class has been so important to me and my care of the patient at the bedside.”

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, participants will be better able to:

  • Relate the etiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, nursing process, and patient education of common medical-surgical diagnoses to patient care.
  • Apply evidence-based approaches to nursing assessment and interventions.
  • Utilize strategies that enhance patient safety.
  • Achieve personal goals with regard to national certification in medical-surgical nursing and/or enhancing medical-surgical nursing practice.
  • Describe at least two situations in which course content was applied to nursing practice.

Course Format

Each week, one or two important medical-surgical topics are featured. Instruction is presented by a variety of expert clinicians and covers clinical updates and comprehensive case studies.

To earn contact hours, students are expected to complete the coursework every week, including an online evaluation and a short self-assessment quiz.

Using this model, UWCNE fosters mentoring relationships between Medical-Surgical experts and participating healthcare providers, and develops a peer learning and support network.

  • Recorded lectures are posted each week.
  • Weekly activities: 2-4 hours of study, video lectures, a practice test, and an evaluation.
  • Students complete 2 clinical examples on how the course is influencing their practice.
  • All coursework may be completed online at any time.
  • Additional in-person meetings may be scheduled at the discretion of the co-sponsoring agency.

Why Pursue Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification?

National certification is a mechanism for protecting the public by clearly identifying nurses and agencies committed to the highest standards of professional preparation, patient care, and patient safety.
Nurses who have completed this course and taken a certification exam are very successful in attaining certification (97% pass rate). 
New graduates should contact their Agency Coordinator about certification eligibility requirements.

For more information, please contact medsurg@uw.edu.