Why is neuro nursing so intimidating?

Maybe it's because the signs of neurological deterioration are incredibly subtle.

Maybe it’s because trying to understand something so overwhelmingly complex when all you want to do is survive each shift feels like a futile effort.

Maybe it's because it's kind of embarrassing to admit what you don't know when you feel like you should know it all at this point.

Or, maybe it’s because there is so much pressure to speak to neurosurgeons and neurologists on their level - on day one.

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

What if you could catch subtle neuro decline as it's happening?

What if you could trust your own neuro nursing judgment?

What if highly complex neuro disease processes finally made complete sense to you?

What if you could confidently and concisely communicate neuro changes to a neurosurgeon?

What if you knew exactly how to explain complex neuro-pathophysiology to patients and loved ones with ease?


From Kati Kleber, MSN RN

Nurse Educator, American Nurses Association published author, and national speaker

Learning how to be a confident and competent neuro nurse is tough. I've been a nurse since 2010 and had the honor of working in neurocritical care for a generous portion of my career. While today I am a nurse educator with a specialty certification in critical care, I didn't start there.

I started out in neurocritical care back in 2012 incredibly intimidated and terrified. I was completely overwhelmed with learning how to care for critically ill patients - adding on their neurological issues was an entirely different obstacle I was not prepared for!

I was so scared that my patient's neuro status would begin declining and I would be totally clueless. I was constantly worried I was missing something.

Whenever neurosurgeons and neurologists would round on my patients, I was so nervous they would ask me a question that would reveal how little I actually did know about neuro microanatomy and embarrass me in front of everyone.

With each shift, I would fumble through answering my patient's and their loved ones questions, knowing I wasn't making much sense but didn't what else to say.

It was such a steep learning curve, but I made it through to the other side. Thanks to some amazing nurse educators sowing into my development, I was able to not only understand the why behind my actions but also learn how to become incredibly efficient at my time management and clear with my communication.

It was as if the nurse heavens parted and I saw the light!


Here's the thing.

While the NCLEX® and nursing school did a great job of introducing neuro concepts and theory, there is so much more to know to safely care for neuro patients. It also prepares you for "perfect world" nursing, not the real world nursing you're going to work in.

So what other neuro resources are out there?

There are text books, research articles, and professional nursing organization... but that information is far too technical. You need something to help you at the bedside now.

Nothing too broad, and nothing so detailed and highly technical that you can’t make sense of it. It’s crucial to break all of these really complex concepts down into terms that make sense for you - the bedside nurse new to neuro.

This is especially important because it will enable you to educate patients and loved ones better, while helping you know what to look out for in terms of complications and warning signs all while managing your time safely and efficiently.


And let's be honest.

Being a nurse is tough. There is so much to know and it is constantly evolving.

This is especially true for newly licensed nurses.

While many of us know how to keep patients safe, a lot of us don’t know the why behind our actions for some time into our job. We are so focused on getting things done, staying caught up, and keeping patients safe that we don't have time to ask specifically how mannitol reduce cerebral edema, why patients with a temporal lobe stroke have a high risk for seizure activity, or why the neurosurgeon always asks what the sodium level was.

We just give the mannitol... give the Keppra... and tell him or her the latest sodium level.

Only until we get into a groove can we even think about diving into the why behind things.

Sure, we passed a test or maybe even worked in another nursing unit, but just because we get hired into neuro and sit through some classes or pass some mandatory education tests doesn’t mean we get it. There’s so much pressure in those classes to say the right thing so can make sure you save face.

But... what if we didn't have to wait until months after beginning our orientation to really get our minds around important information?

What if you could start your neuro job with a practical knowledge of neuro anatomy and disease processes so you could focus on learning the intricacies of your unit?

What if you had access to a resource to answer all of those questions that you could work through at your own pace?

What if you could learn about the must-know information to take care of neuro patients at home so you could look like a neuro rock star on the unit?


Neuro Wise - A Crash Course for New Neuro Nurses

from FreshRN®

The online course for motivated nurses new to acute care neuro who desire straight-forward and practical education they can apply to their very next shift.

Get started now!

With the Neuro Wise: A Crash Course for New Neuro Nurses, here's a few things you'll learn:

  • How to perform a flawless neuro assessment on both conscious and unconscious neurologically compromised patients - with video examples! [Neuro Assessments section]
  • How to detect neurological decline and how to communicate it in an educated and concise manner to neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurointensivists, and advanced practice providers [Noticing Subtle Neuro Changes Module & Communicating Assessment Findings module, Primary and Secondary Injuries module]
  • The most common neuro disease processes you'll come across in acute care [Neuro Disease Processes section with with 19+ different pathophysiological processes discussed]
  • What is really happening with brain death testing and organ procurement, and your role as the primary nurse [Organ Donation and Procurement modules]
  • Why neuro docs cares so much about sodium levels and how to safely correct them [It's All About the Salt section]
  • What to expect from your orientation into a neuro nursing unit and how to optimize it so you can begin to work as autonomously as quickly as possible [Neuro Orientation module]
  • How to receive nursing report like a pro, know what questions to ask, and what red flags to watch out for [Neuro Report modules]
  • How to give a thorough yet concise neuro nursing report and sound like a highly experienced neuro nurse [Neuro Report modules]
  • All the common neuro procedures like thrombectomies, craniotomies and so many more! [Common Procedures section]
  • Common neuro equipment and monitoring like external ventricular drains, bolts, vents, art lines, Licox® catheters, and ICP monitoring [Equipment section]
  • How to detect and manage neurological emergencies [Neurological Emergencies section]
  • ... and so much more!

Enroll now and get instant access to...

  • Over 70 modules of text, audio, video, and downloads
  • Multiple downloads – including checklists, worksheets, charts, and more, specifically designed to print and bring to work with you to supplement and support your learning process
  • Videos demonstrating neuro anatomy and pathophysiology – illustrating the top disease processes impacting acute care neuro patients
  • 19.8 contact hours + 10 hours of supplemental content!
  • A pre and post test to check your knowledge (complete with rationales)
  • Talking points to get you through challenging moments
  • Sample CT scans of what neuro disease processes actually look like
  • An insider’s look into etiquette, unwritten rules, tips, tidbits, and nurse hacks
  • Encouragement from experienced nurses who care about your progress and development - and want to see YOU succeed!

Get started now!

📚 Experience Unmatched Learning Opportunities!

Ready to take your nursing education to the next level?

Upgrade to our All-Access Pass and get unlimited access to a diverse range of premium courses. Empower yourself with a wealth of knowledge and stay at the forefront of your field. Don't miss this exclusive offer!

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Hear what some of our learners have to say about Neuro Wise!


Get started now!

Meet Your Instructors, Encouragers, and Motivators...

Course Curriculum


After completion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify peak swelling time for cerebral edema after a neurological injury and discuss warning signs of increasing intracranial pressure
  2. Describe how hyponatremia causes cerebral edema
  3. Formulate common neuro examination findings, abnormalities, intrinsic and extrinsic factors for alteration
  4. Describe signs of a neurological emergency and outline appropriate immediate interventions
  5. Outline immediate nursing interventions and considerations in the event that a new neurological change is detected during a nursing assessment

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 14 days and we will give you a full refund. The only refund requirements are: The refund must be requested and issued within 14 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 contact hours cannot be claimed.
Do I get continuing education credit?
This course is approved for 19.8 hours of continuing education credit.
Will my state board of nursing accept these credits?
This continuing education activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an Ohio Board of Nursing approver. (OBN-001-91) When in doubt, check your BON's website to verify that our approver falls under a category accepted by your state board.
Can students or non-neuro nurses take this course?
Anyone can take this course! There are no requirement for enrollment.

Get started now!

What current Neuro Wise students would say to someone considering purchasing this course...

"Do it. You'll appreciate the information, Kati's enthusiasm and support , and the confidence it will instill for talking all things Neuro!" - Brian Smith RN BSN, Neurosciences

"Great content and very realistic to what you actually encounter on the job." - Michelle Dretke BSN RN, Neuro ICU

"I highly recommend this course for anyone working in a neuroscience unit. The course made me feel more comfortable with what I do. I was a new grad when I landed my first nurse job in the Neuro ICU. Prior to working, I had limited neuro knowledge. I was, of course, very intimidated because I was told that the learning curve will be very steep. Through this course, I was less intimidated. It's a useful tool to have in conjunction with orientation classes I was taking. It made me feel more comfortable and less scared ." - Lillian Ruan BSN RN CCRN, Neuro ICU

"Totally worth it - go through all steps and take notes." - Nicole Beyer, BSN RN Neuro Intermediate

"Very informative and helpful, especially for new nurses." - Latasha Pitts BSN RN, Neuro Stepdown

"As a new Neuro nurse, I look back to my women’s health days and all the strokes or possible strokes I saw and how they were handled. I wish I had known about this course to empower myself back then. No matter what kind of nursing you work in, chances are you will see some kind of neurological pathology, so go ahead, take the course! Empower yourself !" - Paige Morrison BSN RN, Neuroscience ICU

"If you’re looking to take your career in Neuro and nursing confidence to another level! This is the course." - Sandy Louis, BSN RN, Neuro Stepdown

"Definitely enroll!" - Veronica Pope BSN RN, ER Nurse

"There's nothing better than genuine advice and knowledge from nurses that have been in your exact spot at one point, and being able to carry that knowledge into your own experience . This course definitely gives you that." - Laura Slaven BSN RN, Neuro ICU

"Worth it!" Josylou Nuesca RN, Intensive Care Unit

"I took this course as a refresher after a year long MLOA. It was a great refresher to get my head back in the game and it helped build my confidence as a Neuro nurse working in acute care." - S.Kalt RPN

"This course is visually attractive and layout systematically so you can always go back and refer to in future." - Anusuya ADN, Stroke Unit

"Highly recommend." - Rachel Dzurilla BSN RN, Neuro ICU/PCU

"It’s the best." - Brittany Ko BSN RN, Trauma Neuro ICU

"This helped me move from neuro med surg nurse to neuro ICU nurse manager. Do it!" - Kari Epperson BSN RN, Neurosurgery

"Do it!!" - Jennifer Sprung BSN RN, Neuro ICU

"It's worth it." - Nicole Hill BSN, Neuro Trauma ICU

"Excellent resource for new nurses and someone who wants to invest in neuro knowledge." - Karolina RN, Neuro- Stepdown

"It's a good review for anyone. I am a neuro Bridge nurse who works in an Neuro IMC and once a week in a neuro ICU." - Dawn Meadows BSN RN, Neuro Stepdown and Neuro ICU

"Great tutorial for new grads and review for the experienced nurse." - Tanya Lyte MSN RN

"I started right out of nursing school on a neuro icu floor and this has helped me fully understand strokes and I am now able to actually explain to family members what is going on with their family member. Buy it !!!!" - Rebecca Babbitt RN

"It’s comprehensive and worth it!" - Kristen Rapp, MS RN Neuro ICU

"Absolutely worth it." Nisha Salimon BSN RN, Neurosurgery Stepdown unit

"Reduced my stress on Neuro pts, made me confident." - Sarah BSN RN

"DO IT! IT IS WORTH THE MONEY!!" - Nicole Underwood BSN RN, Emergency Department

"It helped me simplify Neuro content for pre- licensure nursing students in my classroom. Excellent content. Delivers value!" - Katrina Watson RN MSN CNEcl Educator

"I’ve already suggested it to other newbies." - Kristen Dagenais BSN RN SCRN, Neuro-Trauma ICU

"Do it! I found so much value in this course." - Chelsea Tahan, BSN RN, Trauma/Neuro PCU

"Useful and good web interface." - Herbert Mumford BSN, RN SCRN ASC-BC, Stroke Program Coordinator


Neuro Wise

A Crash Course for New Neuro Nurses - 19.8 Contact Hours