For the ambitious nurses new to cardiac who want to get ahead of the game and impress providers and fellow nurses alike...

Learn what’s really going on with your cardiac patient and how to navigate tough clinical situations so you can look and feel like a highly experienced cardiac nurse

Are you getting ready to start on a cardiac inpatient nursing unit?

Are you terrified your cardiac patient will flip into a lethal arrhythmia and you won’t know what to do?

Have you heard experienced nurses and providers throw around terms like junctional rhythm, chemical DVT prophylaxis, and pleurisy… and acted like you knew what they were talking about when you didn’t really know?

From Kati Kleber MSN RN CCRN-K, nurse educator, American Nurses Association published author, and national speaker

Don’t worry, I was there too. Back in 2010 I was hired onto a cardiothoracic and vascular surgery floor and was so scared my patient would suddenly start to decline and I would be clueless about how to handle it.

Even though I passed my cardiac exams in nursing school, did well on the NCLEX® and landed the job, I still felt very unprepared.

While I had some book knowledge, I didn’t have the practical knowledge and experience to safely get through those shifts caring for cardiac patients.

I would send patients down to the cardiac procedural center having no clue what was actually happening down there.

Cardiologists and cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons would throw around terms like pleural effusion, HIT panel, water seal, Swan, and wedge resection, and I’d just nod along like I knew what they were talking about.

There’s so much information out there about cardiac patients, it’s really hard to know what information the bedside nurse needs to know to get through his or her shift.

Should I spend hours and hours learning how to interpret 12-lead EKGs?

Should I make drug cards for all of the brand new anticoagulants on the market?

Should I buy a cardiac certification textbook and try to memorize it?

My short answer: No.

I’m sorry, you shouldn’t. I know you’ll hear some experienced nurses out there say, “All cardiac nurses should know how to read a 12-lead EKG!”

While, yes, that does sound like a wise thing a cardiac nurse should know… we don’t start there.

That’s an ideal. We don’t live in an ideal world, especially in the hospital.

It would be ideal if all patients took their meds. They don’t.

It would be ideal if we were never short staffed. We are.

It would be ideal if we always had what we needed nearby. We don’t.

It would be ideal if when we graduated nursing school we were completely prepared to confidently care for patients all by ourselves. We aren’t.

Why are we missing this huge educational need?

We’re so focused on where we should be when we graduate or enter a new specialty that we don’t start where we actually are.

Most new nurses or people starting cardiac for the first time know nothing about chest tubes, let alone how to manage them safely and confidently talk to cardiothoracic surgeons about them. Most barely understand 5-lead telemetry monitoring, let alone interpreting 12-lead EKG’s with impeccable accuracy. And honestly, most need a refresher on cardiac med basics and considerations. They don’t have the advanced pharmacology of this major medication class memorized backwards and forwards.

We get so focused on the complicated things we think nurses should know that we don’t actually take the time to ask if they grasp the basics - and starting there.

By the time I started on a cardiac unit right out of school, I had forgotten what preload and afterload was, what stroke volume and cardiac index meant, and what CVP actually measured. I was just trying to figure out how to manage my time and not miss anything major.

I wasn’t trying to optimize my patient care - I was trying to survive.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

What if you could walk onto the cardiac unit and have a really solid and realistic cardiac foundation so that you can focus on learning your unique unit’s cultures and norms?

What if your preceptor and the providers you work with could discuss cardiac-specific issues with your patient and you could provide a meaningful contribution to the conversation, increase your credibility, build rapport, and gain trust?

What if that looming fear - that someone could ask you a basic question that you should know the answer to but don't - was gone?


Introducing the Cardiac Nurse Crash Course

The online course for motivated nurses new to cardiac who want straight-forward and practical education created specifically for them, so they can apply skills at their very next shift on a cardiac floor or cardiac intensive care unit

With the FreshRN® Cardiac Nurse Crash Course, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Crucial cardiac patient assessment keys that can help you know what’s NBD and what requires immediate attention and further investigation [Cardiac Assessment Keys section]
  • How to give a phenomenal cardiac patient report in the emergency department, cardiac floor, and cardiac intensive care unit [Cardiac Nursing Report section]
  • What actually happens down in the cath lab, how to talk to your patients about it, and what to watch out for when they get back [Cardiac Catheterization module]
  • How to safely manage a chest tube, what’s really going on in the body when they’re inserted, and how to educate patients about them [Pleural and Mediastinal Chest Tubes module]
  • How to respond to a patient who flips into atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response with confidence and ease [Atrial Fibrillation module]
  • What they actually do during various cardiac surgeries like CABG, MVR/AVR, CEA, AAA, and many more, your responsibilities as the bedside nurse and how to educate the patient [Conditions, Surgeries, and Patient Priorities sections]
  • All of the important cardiac interventions like thoracentesis, paracentesis, pacemaker placement, and pleurodesis - what’s actually going on, how to prep patients, and possible complications and their management [Diagnostics & Interventions section]
  • How to communicate with cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons, cardiologist, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, fellow nurses, and nursing assistants in an assertive and considerate manner [Communication section]

And so, so much more.

The content includes:

  • Over 70 modules covering everything a new cardiac nurse must know
  • Videos showing the anatomy and pathophysiology behind many common cardiac patient conditions using 3D models!
  • Downloads include sample report sheets, checklists for things like arterial line assessment and maintenance, atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, sample phone scripts for provider notification, an ICU vital sign comparison table, and more!
  • Written by three experienced and nationally certified nurses
  • 8.0 Continuing Education Credits


We have updated it. You can purchase the most current version HERE.

Meet the Authors

Feedback from REAL members of the FreshRN® Family

"I subscribed on release day and was impressed right off the bat! I just transferred from sub-ICU (fixed-rate drips, sepsis and pulmonary, trachs/vents, etc.) to cardiovascular ICU. I've found the course invaluable. It's helped to cement things I already knew and breaks down topics that are less familiar to me due to the unit I came from. I feel a lot less intimidated when rounding with intensivists. Thank you!"

- Carrie RN

"This course is awesome! It's like having a preceptor in your pocket!"

- Julia BSN RN

“As a veteran nurse who hasn't specifically worked a cardiac floor in years, this course was so refreshing and informative! I loved being able to sit down at home or work and pull up short reviews when I didn't have hours to devote to the computer. I will be back to participate in other Fresh RN courses!”

- Ashley RN

“Really helpful course! I’m on a cardiac step-down unit, and all this content is an easy way to refresh on nursing school concepts! I will be revisiting this course (: FreshRN has been helpful to me throughout nursing school and also now as I'm a new nurse! Thank you!!!!”

- Emily, RN

"Hi Kati! I am a new grad and discovered your podcast just as I was graduating. THANK YOU for creating content that is so specific for new grads! This is such a hard transition and your podcast and cardiac crash course have helped me so much in my transition to a PCU residency. I’m hoping to also purchase the residency course when it’s next on sale (still feeling like a poor nursing student lol). Just wanted to let you know you’ve made a difference in my journey as a baby nurse and I so appreciate you! 💕"

-Sarah Louise, RN

"Great course! For the visual learners, it would be so helpful to maybe have a few more photos/video links, particularly when discussing equipment such as the Impella and IABP, or pacemakers. Photos of what exactly the RN would have his/her hands on, etc. [These have been added!] Otherwise this was perfect - it made certain things that I've unquestioningly done/communicated in report many times "click" and gave me a greater conceptual and big picture understanding. Thanks again."

-Cathleen, Cardiac/Intermediate Care RN

"This course has helped me tremendously. I've been recommending this course to all the new grads on my unit."

-Anri, RN

"Hi Kati. I just wanted to send you a message and say THANK YOU! I am a year and a half in to my nursing career as a a resource team nurse and I just took your cardiac crash course. It's so amazing how things have "clicked" in my brain after going through the modules. I have a better understanding of the whys behind my patients treatment and I can more easily understand why a patients lab values, vitals, etc. look a certain way. Thank you so much for helping me feel mroe confident in my job and more confident working in telemetry. Looking forward to taking more of your courses in the future."

-Kait, RN

Click on the image to preview the CABG module!


Try the FreshRN® Cardiac Nurse Crash Course for an entire 30-days, risk free.

If you don’t love this course, I insist you get 100% of your money back. Let me tell you why.

I built this course from my own personal experience on a cardiac med-surg unit together with an emergency department nurse and cardiothoracic nurse practitioner and nurse educator. We all had to start somewhere and we wanted to meet you in that very unique and specific place.

We have walked through the orientation experience ourselves and precepted many others. We know what newbies need who are just starting out in cardiac. We know where we need to focus and what can wait.

Not only do we know it, we’re really passionate about it. We care very deeply about both learning what’s going on in a patient’s body as well as how to practically complete the multitude of tasks your responsible for in an efficient and safe way.

We know it’s not just about memorizing pathophysiology.

It’s about learning it in a deeply meaningful way so that you can explain it to people with low health literacy levels in a way that makes sense to them.

It’s learning what tasks must be done immediately, what can wait a few minutes, and what can wait a few hours.

It’s learning how to rapidly analyze multiple clinical situations and make decisions in an efficient, yet safe manner.

We know that sweet spot of education for newbies, and we know it well.

My simple offer is this: If you don’t LOVE this course, I’ll give you 100% of your money back with no questions as long as you request it within 30 days.

(Continuing education credits must not be claimed for us to issue a refund.)

You can go through the entire course and if it’s not translating to a deeper understanding of cardiac nursing, a smoother orientation process, and less stress - I will absolutely give you your money back.

All you need to do is send one email (listed in the course) and that’s it. No phone call. No awkward conversation requiring you to explain anything. No questions asked. One email.

Take a look at the entire curriculum below

And click on "Preview" to get a sneak peek at a few of the modules!

Course Curriculum

  ACLS Tidbits
Available in days
days after you enroll


We have updated it. You can purchase the most current version HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund. The only refund requirements are: The refund must be requested and issued within 30 days of purchase (please allow 2-3 business days for refunds to be processed), less than 50% of the course must be completed, and the CE credit cannot be claimed.
Are continuing education hours awarded?
Yes, you will receive 8.0 continuing education credits upon completion.