Course Overview

This online series of courses will provide an in-depth understanding of Motivational Interviewing (MI) as an evidence based approach to support health behavior change. A health care provider's skill in recognizing patients' readiness, responding effectively to both sides of the patient's ambivalence and supporting motivation for change is essential to improving health outcomes. Attendees will participate in practice exercises and participatory learning experiences, and after courses 1 and 2 will be ready to try MI in patient encounters. Access to an interactive website for follow-up networking and peer support is also included. 

Featuring:  Motivational Interviewing for Primary Care: Opioid Abuse/Misuse - learn MI techniques specifically designed for working with patients who misuse or abuse opioid medications.

Enduring Material Updates:  This course was originally released January 2014 and was fully updated in January 2016, January 2018 and again in January 2020.  Updates occur as needed and a full program review and update will occur no later than January 2022.  The current program expires January 2022.


Now aligned with Motivational Interviewing 3rd Edition!

Click here to view a sample video!

Target Audience

All health care professionals who work directly with patients will benefit from this program. This includes registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, health coaches, patient advocates, health educators, community health workers, and others who work with clients on issues related to health promotion and/or chronic illness.

Course Faculty

Paul Cook, PhD*
Associate Professor, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
University of Colorado College of Nursing

Laurra M. Aagaard, MA, MS*
Senior Instructor Behavioral Health, Motivational Interviewing Trainer
University of Colorado College of Nursing

Continuing Education Credit

A single cumulative certificate of completion (CNE, CPE or General Attendance) will be issued at the expiration of your course access. It will contain credit for the courses you have completed. Certificates will be issued during the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month. Contact us if you have concerns.

Nursing (CNE Credit)
The University of Colorado College of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Colorado Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
This offering for a total of 13 contact hours is provided by the University of Colorado College of Nursing Office of Continuing Education.  Course 1 = 1 contact hour; Course 1a = 2 contact hours; Course 2 = 6 contact hours; and Course 3 = 4 contact hours.

Pharmacists and Pharmacy Professionals
Pharmacy (CPE Credit)
The CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. To receive CE credit, participants must attend the program, complete the online evaluation and provide their NABP eProfile ID number and month and day of their birthdate.  CE credit will be uploaded to CPE Monitor within 30 days after the program.

A certificate of attendance is available upon request.

Access and Certificate Issuance

Each individual course includes 1 month of access to the course and the MI Practice Network with social media capabilities, discussion and a map of general locations of other participants.  All courses are self-paced and may be taken in any order. Each course consists of individual modules. Upon completion of the course, you will be required to finish a short quiz along with a course evaluation. Content time for each course varies, but is comparable to the amount of contact hours.

RETURNING FOR ANOTHER MODULE: If you have purchased one or more of the single courses and would like to purchase another please select "Start a new registration".

You are welcome to register and pay for courses at any time.  Course enrollment takes place on the 1st and 15th of each month (or the following business day).

Upon enrollment you will receive 2-5 course invitations from Instructure Canvas (1 for each module, 1 for the network) containing information about access to your Motivational Interviewing online course(s). You must accept all invitations within 2 weeks before the invitation expires.

The timeline given for completion is based on how many courses you choose to take: 

  • 1 course 30 days of access to complete
  • 2 courses 60 days of access to complete
  • 3-course series (3 courses in total) - 90 days of access to complete all 3
  • 4-course series (4 courses in total) - 120 days of access to complete all 4

A single cumulative certificate of completion (CNE, CPE or General Attendance) will be issued at the expiration of your course access.  It will contain credit for the courses you have completed. Certificates will be issued during the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month. Contact us if you have concerns.

Refund Policy

Our programs are priced to provide the best value possible for current healthcare CE.  

1. If you have purchased one course, there will be no refunds available upon cancellation.  

2. If you have purchased the package of 3 or 4 courses, refunds are available for 48 hours after purchase and you will be assessed a $50 processing fee. If you need to cancel your purchase of 3 or 4 courses please contact:
NursingCE@ucdenver.edu or call 303-724-6883

Course Descriptions

Course 1:  Motivational Interviewing for Primary Care
Learn about motivational interviewing methods, the research behind this emerging best practice, and how this technique can help to make your interactions with patients more positive, more collaborative, and more productive. In this course you will see examples of MI applied to exercise, diet, and smoking in primary care. This course provides approximately 1 hour of content (1 hour of continuing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

Course 1a
Motivational Interviewing for Primary Care: Opioid Abuse/Misuse
Learn about motivational interviewing methods and how to use this technique with patients who overuse or abuse opioids.  MI can make these clinical interactions more positive, more collaborative, and more productive. In this course you will see examples of MI applied to discussions about opioid use/abuse in primary care. This course provides approximately 2 hours of content (2 hours of continuing nursing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

Course 2:  Motivational Interviewing Techniques in Practice
This course will help you build and apply MI skills with video examples and hands-on exercises. Topics include open-ended questions, affirmation, reflection, summary statements, assessing patients' readiness for change to target your interventions, and using the elicit-provide-elicit method for effective patient education. This course provides approximately 6 hours of content (6 hours of continuing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

Course 3:  Using Motivational Interviewing with Difficult Patients
This course will help you use MI techniques with patients who are resistant, disengaged, or have challenging personalities. An ideal next step for those who have completed the previous two courses or have prior experience using MI, this course goes above and beyond the basics providing you with a toolbox of MI-consistent interventions that are not typically covered in introductory motivational interviewing training. This course provides approximately 4 hours of content (4 hours of continuing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

If you choose one of the 3-course package options (either course 1 or 1a, plus courses 2 and 3 above) you will have 3 months of access from initial enrollment to complete all 3 courses.  If you choose the 4-course package option (all 4 courses above) you will have 4 months of access from initial enrollment to complete all 4 courses.

MI Practice Network
Use the powerful social networking features of the Canvas learning platform to meet clinicians using MI in other settings, participate in moderated discussions on emerging topics in MI practice, and consult with peers online via messaging or web conference. (Access to the network is included with course(s) for the duration of enrollment. A 1-year subscription is also available for additional access outside of course enrollment.)

Consultation
One-to-one or group consultation with our clinical experts may also be available on a fee-for-service basis, depending on faculty schedules and need. If interested please contact NursingCE@ucdenver.edu or call 303-724-6883. 


  • includes courses 1, 2 and 3, for a total of 11 CE contact hours

  • includes courses 1a, 2 and 3, for a total of 12 CE contact hours

  • includes all 4 courses, for a total of 13 CE contact hours

  • Motivational Interviewing for Primary Care (1 CE contact hour)
    Learn about motivational interviewing methods, the research behind this emerging best practice, and how this technique can help to make your interactions with patients more positive, more collaborative, and more productive. In this course you will see examples of MI applied to exercise, diet, and smoking in primary care. This course provides approximately 1 hour of content (1 hour of continuing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

  • Motivational Interviewing for Primary Care: Opioid Abuse/Misuse ( 2 CE contact hours)
    Learn about motivational interviewing methods and how to use this technique with patients who overuse or abuse opioids. MI can make these clinical interactions more positive, more collaborative, and more productive. In this course you will see examples of MI applied to discussions about opioid use/abuse in primary care. This course provides approximately 2 hours of content (2 hours of continuing nursing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

  • Motivational Interviewing Techniques in Practice (6 CE contact hours)
    This course will help you build and apply MI skills with video examples and hands-on exercises. Topics include open-ended questions, affirmation, reflection, summary statements, assessing patients' readiness for change to target your interventions, and using the elicit-provide-elicit method for effective patient education. This course provides approximately 6 hours of content (6 hours of continuing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

  • Using Motivational Interviewing with Difficult Patients (4 CE contact hours)
    This course will help you use MI techniques with patients who are resistant, disengaged, or have challenging personalities. An ideal next step for those who have completed the previous two courses or have prior experience using MI, this course goes above and beyond the basics providing you with a toolbox of MI-consistent interventions that are not typically covered in introductory motivational interviewing training. This course provides approximately 4 hours of content (4 hours of continuing education credit). (Access to course available for completion for one month from initial enrollment.)

  • MI Practice Network - 1 year subscription
    Use the powerful social networking features of the Canvas learning platform to meet clinicians using MI in other settings, participate in moderated discussions on emerging topics in MI practice, and consult with peers online via messaging or web conference. (Access to the network is included with course(s) for the duration of enrollment.)

    This 1-year subscription is available for additional access outside of course enrollment.


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