From Kati Kleber, MSN RN

Nurse educator, author, and owner of FreshRN®

Learning how to be a safe, effective, and efficient med-surg nurse is challenging. We created the ultimate resource for nurses new to this complex and dynamic acute care nursing specialty.

I was once completely overwhelmed as a new med-surg nurse too

Whether you are fresh out of nursing school or an experienced nurse starting out in med-surg for the first time, the learning curve is steep.

Back in 2010, when I was preparing for my first day on the floor was really important to me, but I didn't know what to look up, read, or study.

I spent hours scouring the internet for help, but it was full of the same tips and general advice. It was either geared towards nursing school, or highly technical and over my head.

This course is everything I wished I had when I was starting my first acute care nursing job - and more.


Set yourself apart and learn all of the insider med-surg nursing info before your first day

With Med-Surg Mindset, here's just a few of the many things you'll learn:

  • What normal progress during orientation looks like, so you can gauge your expectations accordingly and keep your morale high
  • The unwritten rules of med-surg nursing
  • How to be tactfully assertive
  • How to make a good impression on your new coworkers
  • How to manage your time when your patients are stable - plus many time management and prioritization practice scenarios
  • How to give and take report like a highly-experienced nurse
  • How a normal shift should flow - from start to finish
  • How to perform an awesome med-surg level head-to-toe patient assessment
  • How to practically care for the actively dying patient
  • A run down of the pathophysiology, unique assessment findings, patient pathways, and nursing considerations of the TOP disease processes in med surg
  • Considerations for alcohol withdrawal patients, diabetics, patients with substance use disorder, mental status issues, renal issues, and more
  • Basics of the most common diagnostics, how to explain them to patients, and how to physically get them all done promptly
  • And so much more!

... Written by three experienced bedside nurses!

The course also comes with 10.0 contact hours.

Time management, assertiveness, and prioritization tips

Learn not only what to do, but how to effectively manage your time in a realistic way on a busy med-surg unit.

Common disease processes and accompanying problems

We outline only the must-know information: Abbreviated pathophysiology, unique assessment findings, typical patient pathway, treatments, complications, and nursing considerations for the top disease processes impacting your patients.

Videos, audio files, downloads, and more!

Each module has both a text and audio option to accommodate different learning preferences. Many modules have videos and downloads to print and bring to the unit!

Med-Surg Mindset

Curriculum Preview

Available in days
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  Get Your Game Face On
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  Starting Your Shift Right
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  Anatomy of a Shift - Game Time
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  Patient Care
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  Common Primary Disease Processes
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  Common Accompanying Problems
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  Common Procedures, Diagnostics, & Medications
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  Serious Situations
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Meet your authors, coaches, and biggest cheerleaders!

Kati Kleber, MSN RN

Kati has been a nurse since 2010 with experience in cardiac-med surg, stepdown, and neurocritical care. Now a full-time nurse educator, Kati is an award-winning nurse, published author with the American Nurses Association, national speaker, and owner of FreshRN®.

Crystal Griest, MSN RN CMSRN

Crystal is a highly experience med-surg nurse and current unit educator. She was an integral part in her med-surg unit receiving the PRISM award, a designation provided by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board.

Crystal regularly functions as a preceptor and charge nurse, and is currently pursuing her MSN in Nursing Education.

Hannah Schlake, BSN RN CMSRN CCRN

Hannah Schlake graduated from nursing school in 2018 and worked on a surgical floor for three years. In 2021 she began working in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at a Magnet designated, level-one trauma center in downtown Chicago. Hannah enjoys working with surgical patients because with high-quality nursing care, patients can make huge strides toward recovery in just a matter of days. She is passionate about helping new nurses develop confidence and positive self-talk, keen critical thinking skills, and sustainable work-life balance.

Enroll below!

Hear what current learners have to say about Med-Surg Mindset:

Includes 10.0 nursing contact hours

As with many FreshRN® courses, this comes with continuing education credits. A post-test must be completed, and a PDF is automatically generated for the learner as proof of participation.

Continuing education credits are provided in conjuction with Skills on Point LLC, an ANCC approved accreditor.

A total of 10.0 contact hours are included with purchase of this course.

Try for 30 days - risk free

The last thing we would want is for you to be unhappy. My simple offer is if you don’t LOVE this course, I’ll give you 100% of your money back with no questions.

You can check out the course and if it’s not translating to a deeper understanding of med-surg, a smoother orientation process, and less stress - I will absolutely give you 100% of your money back. Provided you have completed less than 50% of the course and have not claimed any contact hours. The refund must be requested and issued within 30 days of original purchase (please allow 1-2 business days for processing).

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.

Considering the FreshRN® New Nurse Master Class as well?

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Section 1 - Get Your Game Face On

  • Describe characteristics of an overbearing preceptor 
  • Describe characteristics of a disengaged preceptor
  • Discuss professional ways to navigate when a preceptor-preceptee match is not ideal. 
  • Discuss how to advocate for yourself to maximize your orientation experience.
  • Describe how to delegate tasks to nursing assistants, navigate challenging responses, build rapport, and foster teamwork.
  • Explain the chain of command and hierarchy of a medical team and how to ensure effective and efficient communication between nurse and provider.
  • Define the three types of communication styles, and provide example responses of each type.

Section 2 - Start Your Shift Right

  • Discuss at least three important pieces of information to review from a patient’s chart prior to hand-off
  • Discuss strategies to maximize efficiency and ensure appropriate continuity of care during hand-off
  • Discuss why shift change is considered a critical transfer point and identify 

Section 3 - The Ideal Shift

  • Discuss the benefits of developing a shift routine
  • Identify important key topics to discuss during interdisciplinary rounds on a med-surg unit

Section 4 - Patient Care

  • Identify the steps of a medical-surgical head-to-toe patient assessment
  • Discuss the difference between pain management and pain elimination and the importance of managing expectations surrounding pain management
  • Verbalized at least 4 reasons why accurate and timely documentation is paramount to safe patient care

Section 5 - Common Primary Disease Processes

  • Describe pathophysiologic processes, unique nursing assessment, typical patient pathways (including common diagnostics, labs, medications) and important nursing considerations of the following disease processes: 
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pneumonia
  • GI Bleed
  • Acute renal failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Sepsis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Altered mental status
  • Describe nursing considerations for pre and post-op patients, and patients admitted to a medical-surgical unit for the purposes of a cardiac work-up

Section 6 - Common Accompanying Problems

  • Describe patient considerations for the following common accompanying medical problems often impacting medical-surgical patients:
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pain and substance use disorders
  • Dementia
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Fluid imbalances
  • Mental, social, and financial issues

Section 7 - Common Procedures, Diagnostics, and Medications

  • Differentiate between computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging
  • Identify different insertion sites for central venous catheters, differentiate between a PICC line and a midline
  • Describe why a central venous catheter enables vesicant medications to be safely administered 
  • Describe appropriate patient positioning for central venous catheter discontinuation
  • Define CAUTI and describe at least two preventative nursing management techniques 
  • Differentiate between peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, verbalize complications of each, and the med-surg nurse’s role in facilitating each 

Section 8 - Serious Situations

  • Discuss tactful yet efficient ways to navigate when a provider is unable to be reached during an urgent situation
  • Describe the primary nurse’s role in a cardiac and/or respiratory arrest 
  • Differentiate between palliative care, hospice, and comfort care
  • Identify at least 3 nursing responsibilities after a patient passes away


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