NURS R: Nurse Refresher Program for Registered Nurses

Nurse Refresher Program for Registered Nurses (banner image)

North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program

offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing and the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

This Nurse Refresher Program is for registered nurses who have successfully passed the NCLEX examination and have, at some time, been licensed in one of the fifty states. It consists of a Theory Course—Medical-Surgical Nursing Review—administered through the Friday Center for Continuing Education, and a Clinical Practicum administered through the North Carolina AHEC program.

The Nurse Refresher Program addresses a full range of common adult nursing problems. Depending on your needs, you may take both parts of the program or you may choose to take only the Theory Course. Please note that the Clinical Practicum is available only to residents of North Carolina.

The Theory Course is approved for 140 contact hours, which is equivalent to 14 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Successful completion of the Clinical Practicum provides an additional 160 hours (16 CEUs). You must complete the Theory Course prior to beginning the Clinical Practicum.

image of nurse studyingVisit the following sections for more information:

Enrollment Options

Option 1—Theory Course and Clinical Practicum

If you are a registered nurse who is a legal resident of North Carolina, who has had a lapsed or inactive license from any of the fifty states for five or more years, and want to return to nursing, you must enroll in Option 1. Option 1 will meet both your educational and license reactivation needs.

Prior to enrolling in Option 1, you must establish your eligibility for this option at a North Carolina AHEC office (see How to Register for additional information). Upon successful completion of both parts of Option 1, you will be eligible to apply for reinstatement of your nursing license in the state of North Carolina.

If you have an active North Carolina license but have not worked in a few years, Option 1 may also be the best choice for you, since it provides the current clinical experience that many clinical agencies require for employment. Discuss both options with the AHEC nurse refresher coordinator to determine which one best meets your individual needs.

Option 2—Theory Course only

If you wish to review, expand, or update your knowledge base in the field of medical-surgical nursing, you may choose to enroll in the Theory Course alone. This option is intended primarily for licensed nurses who have been practicing during the past five years and desire to update their knowledge of medical-surgical nursing, but do not need a supervised clinical experience.

Nurses who plan to change practice areas, such as from nursing administration to direct patient care, may also benefit from Option 2. Residence in North Carolina is not required. This option does not satisfy relicensure requirements in North Carolina.

How the Online Theory Course Works

The Theory Course consists of twenty-four modules, and each module includes two main components: The textbook chapter provides detailed content necessary for understanding the learning outcomes for each module. The online module outlines the learning outcomes and includes interactive learning activities, additional in-depth and evidence-based notes, and key points that support the learning outcomes. Each online module also includes an ungraded self-test so you can test their knowledge. Every module culminates in a twenty-five question, multiple-choice exam that assesses your mastery of the learning outcomes. View the list of modules in the Theory Course.

How Long Does the Theory Course Take to Complete?

You will have nine months to complete the Theory Course, but you may finish it in less time. Experience has shown that most students take four to six months to complete the course. See the Policies and Restrictions section for more details.

Technical Requirements

You will need a computer, email, and high-speed Internet access to complete the online Theory Course. The course is designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of experience using a computer, so you don’t need to be an expert, but you will need to be comfortable sending email and navigating the Internet. If you do not have Internet service at home, you need to make arrangements to go to your local AHEC or public library for access to the exams and online parts of the course.

Course Access and Materials

Your course materials will be delivered primarily online in a learning management system called Sakai and in a comprehensive textbook, which will be mailed to your home address. You will be able to work at your own pace to complete the online modules; after completing each module, you will take an open-book, online final examination using Sakai and receive immediate feedback with your exam grade. In order to receive continuing education credit for the Theory Course, you must pass the final exam for each module with a grade of 80 percent or higher. You may fail no more than five examinations, including exams you retake. If five or more exams are failed, the course must be retaken and repaid in full.

Policies and Restrictions

As a student in the online Theory Course, you will be expected to abide by the following policies and restrictions.

  • You may enroll at any time after you have received approval from the regional AHEC Refresher Coordinator. Fees must be paid in full at the time of enrollment.
  • The enrollment period begins on the day your application is processed and ends nine months from that day.
  • You may proceed at your own pace through the modules. However, in order to ensure that you absorb and process the information, we recommend that you take at least twelve weeks to complete the Theory Course.
  • If you need additional time, you may renew your enrollment for four additional months by paying a $30 renewal fee.
  • If you are asked to repeat an exam, you will be charged an additional $20 for regrading the exam.
  • If you withdraw from the Theory Course within thirty days of enrollment, you will receive a refund of $500. No refunds are made after thirty days.

Cost of the Program

The following fees apply:

Option 1Theory Course and Clinical Practicum

  • Administrative fee (paid to the regional AHEC): $125
  • Theory Course (paid to the Friday Center): $600
  • Clinical Practicum placement fee (paid to the AHEC where your Clinical Practicum is administered): $250

Please note that for Option 1 you will incur additional charges that include, but are not limited to, malpractice insurance and fees for a health screening, criminal background check, and drug screening. Please feel free to discuss these charges with your AHEC coordinator.

Option 2Theory Course only

  • Administrative fee (paid to the regional AHEC): $125
  • Theory Course (paid to the Friday Center ): $600

How to Register

NC Residents

Persons residing in North Carolina should follow these steps:

  1. Contact the regional AHEC nurse refresher coordinator in your area (see the listing of regional AHECs and the North Carolina map in the Nurse Refresher Coordinator AHEC Regions section below). If you live in Orange, Durham, Chatham, or Person counties, contact the AHEC office at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, which will serve as your regional AHEC nurse refresher coordinator:

    UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing AHEC, L601
    CB# 7460
    Chapel Hill NC 27599-7460
    919-966-3736
  2. The coordinator will discuss the Nurse Refresher Program, the time requirements, and the appropriateness of each option. You will need to let the coordinator know whether you have an active, inactive, or lapsed license so that he or she can verify your license status with the Board of Nursing in which you are currently or were most recently licensed.
  3. If you have an encumbered license, you must bring a letter from the NC Board of Nursing describing remediation. If you meet with the coordinator in person, he or she will sign your approval form and you will pay the $125 AHEC administrative fee at this time.
  4. If you are approved over the phone, a signed approval form will be sent to the Friday Center.
  5. Enroll Online with the Friday Center. (Make sure to click the check box acknowledging that you read the course description or else you will not be able to complete your registration.) Send your signed approval form to the Friday Center. Once you are enrolled, your textbook will be mailed to you and the information on how to access the online course materials will be emailed to you.
  6. If you enroll in Option 1, be sure to discuss how to begin the process of arranging for your Clinical Practicum with the coordinator who signed your application. Your coordinator will be notified when you have completed the Theory Course and you may begin the Clinical Practicum.

Non-NC Residents

Persons living outside North Carolina should follow these steps:

  1. Contact the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing AHEC office, which will serve as your regional AHEC nurse refresher coordinator:

    UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing AHEC, L601
    CB# 7460
    Chapel Hill NC 27599-7460
    919-966-3736
  2. Once you have discussed your enrollment, pay the $125 AHEC administration fee to the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing. You will need to provide the certificate number of your unencumbered RN license to this office. The AHEC office will sign your application and return it to you.
  3. Enroll Online with the Friday Center. (Make sure to click the check box acknowledging that you read the course description or else you will not be able to complete your registration.) Send your signed approval form to the Friday Center. Once you are enrolled, your textbook will be mailed to you and the information on how to access the online course materials will be emailed to you.

Nurse Refresher Coordinator AHEC Regions

For NC Residents

If you live in Orange, Durham, Chatham, or Person counties, the AHEC office at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing will serve as your regional AHEC nurse refresher coordinator. 

View this map of the various AHEC regions and corresponding office locations. Use this web page to look up the RN Refresher Coordinator who you should contact at each AHEC.

More Information

For questions on enrollment, contact:

Self-paced Courses
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
Credit Programs for Part-time Students
Toll-free: 800-862-5669
Local: 919-962-1134
Fax: 919-962-5549
Email: stuserv@unc.edu
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (except on Thursdays, 9 am–5 pm).

For questions on the content of the course, contact:

Nurse Refresher Coordinator
UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing
Phone: 919-966-3736


Online Orientation

online_orientation

Whether you’re enrolled or just thinking about it, this orientation shows you how Self-paced online courses work. GET ORIENTED »