Best free online nursing research courses

Best free online nursing research courses


Traditionally, medical specialists, physicians, and scientists have been the driving forces behind medical research. But today, nurses and other medical professionals have joined the frame and are now playing crucial roles in healthcare research. If you are a Registered Nurse, you can now become a nursing researcher in USA. Many universities, colleges, nursing schools, NGOs, and governments offer institutional or in-person and massive open online research courses for RNs that want to become researchers.

If you are a holder of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, you can find many nursing research masters programs in areas like clinical research management. These programs are also available for other Licensed Practical Nurses, including those that hold ADN, ASN, and AAS degrees. Here are some of the best free online nursing research courses to consider.

Center for Public Health Continuing Education

University of Albany School of Public Health provides model education for the healthcare and public health workforce. It is a helpful platform where students can get access to nursing courses online free. Its distance learning training has numerous self-paced, webcast series, and interactive online courses for professionals in the health industry. The institution’s Center for Public Health Continuing Education (CPHCE) has both free courses and affordable non-academic certificate programs for nurses.

Nurses can learn and discover more about chronic diseases, environmental health, and evidence-based public health/best practice, among other topics. To qualify for a Public Health Nurse Ready online certificate program, one must be:

  • An RN working in public health
  • LPN interested in knowing about how public health works
  • A public health worker with limited training or formal education in public health

CPHCE also offers an online MPH in Public Health Practice. All MPH courses are available entirely online.

Global Health e-Learning Center

The Global Health e-Learning Center offers many online courses organized into Certificate Programs. Its programs help professionals in the healthcare industry to focus their learning with an all-encompassing study of essential topics of global health. As a nurse practitioner, you can find one or two courses that will earn you a certificate in various global health areas.

Some of the certificate courses available include:

  • Certificate in Child Survival
  • Certificate in Cross-Cutting
  • Certificate in Early Childhood Development
  • Certificate in Family Planning Methods
  • Certificate in Gender and Health

Apart from certificate programs, you will also find courses aimed at increasing your knowledge in various technical areas of global health. For example, you can learn research topics like Case Management of Childhood Illness, Essential Steps for Improving Newborn Survival, and Social and Behavior Change for Nutrition, among others. The primary audiences for these courses at the learning center are:

  • Health sector staff at all USAID Missions worldwide
  • Staff at USAID/Washington
  • USAID Cooperating Agencies

Registration is free and easy and is courtesy of USAID and the American people. 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Open Courseware (JHSPH-OCW)

JHSPH-OCW is a collection of comprehensive course materials and medical research courses that support JHSPH education. It is useful for students that want to augment their current learning or for LPNs that want to continue their nursing education. You will find images, study materials, and many courses designed by the JHSPH faculty.

As a nurse, you can learn many research topics like adolescent health, infectious diseases, genetics, population science, and public health preparedness, among others. Courses can include case studies, epidemiology of infectious diseases, health issues for aging populations, and obesity economics, among others. All JHSPH OCW materials are free and open to all students or nurses interested in continuing their education. Since OCW is not a degree-granting or credit-granting initiative, it does not require registration or educational requirements for people to view the course materials.

Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER)

Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER), in collaboration with the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute (OMPHI), has a collection of free online training courses for professionals in the medical industry. As a free online training program, it aims to bring together world experts to help resolve maternal and perinatal health problems.

The courses help to engage social scientists, medical researchers, and experts in health management in issues affecting the health of newborn babies and mothers. If you are a prenatal or postpartum nurse, you will find the courses to be helpful in your nursing research online. You can use it to help expectant and recovering mothers to maintain their general health and that of their unborn and newborn children.

At the end of each course, you have the option of taking a knowledge assessment test. You will receive a certificate if you get a pass mark of 70% and above, depending on the course. The certificate will be jointly signed by GFMER and the University of Oxford or by the group that collaborated on the content.

University of Alabama School of Public Health

University of Alabama School of Public Health has produced several learning materials for individuals that want to learn about the Basic Biostatics Concepts and Tools. The material included in the course is a set of instructional modules. Each module consists of several slide images and a video clip of a related lecture. The material is part of the requirements for a Master’s in Public Health degree from the institution. If you have a BSN, you can learn different topics on Basic Biostatics Concepts and Tools. You do not need any prior exposure or knowledge in biostatistics to learn the material. All modules are available to interested students for free.


Many colleges, universities, governments, and NGOs, among other institutions, offer free courses for any individual that wants to train to be a nurse online. Some of the courses offered have certificates that will enable a person to get the recognition as a nurse. You can also use many of the materials provided to complete your nursing research or enroll for a master’s degree program. Depending on the course, prior knowledge of the topic may not be necessary for you to get started. That means people who have no educational background in nursing and those that are already registered as nurses can take part some of these online programs. 


I am Dr. Marion Johnson, a Nurse Supervisor, Educator, and A clinician with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) both from Walden University. I have worked as a nurse in the healthcare industry for over 15 years. Presently, I am doing something I love most, which is being an online instructor. In this position, I believe I can learn, educate, create and implement positive input into the nursing field. Besides work, I am also an avid reader of nursing journals and articles that is why I have a passion for reading, learning and sharing on the trending topics in the nursing arena.

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