RN Refresher Program

Considering the challenge and rewards of returning to an up-to-date patient care practice? We are here to help you re-invest in your wonderful nursing career!

Dear Prospective RN Refresher Student, Welcome!

In response to our current healthcare crisis, there is now an Accelerated RN Refresher (ARNR) Program option.

We appreciate your interest in the ARNR Program offer for the free 90-day trial of the didactic/theory course.

The NC AHEC RN Refresher course content from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing through the Friday Center will not change at all.

The Accelerated RN Refresher Program is basically the same as the regular RNR Program, except the difference of the time deadline being condensed with a savings of the $725 registration fee being waived.

Each applicant must meet the following criteria to qualify for ARNR program offer enrollment:

  • You must have passed the NCLEX exam and your past NCBON licensure status must be unencumbered without any past occurrences.
  • You must have a minimum of one-year clinical practice as an RN since you obtained a RN license.
  • You must be a permanent resident of North Carolina and provide two proof of residency documents. Based on your residency you will enroll through your regional AHEC center (MAHEC).
  • Complete the UNC-CH Friday Center theory/didactic portion of the program within three months (The $125 local AHEC enrollment fee and the UNC-CH Friday Center online registration fee is waived for a $725 savings)

If you are unable to finish the online ARNR theory course within 3 months, you will be un-enrolled in the program with the option to re-register. For those who re-register after 90 days, you will be able to keep maintaining the course modules you have already previously completed. You would then be charged the full $725 registration fees in order to continue completing the theory course.

You would not be able to waive the $250 fee for the practicum but you would not be required to pay that fee until after you finish the didactic portion.

Do you meet the criteria listed? If so, I need the following information in an email from you:

  • Full legal name as it appears on your license
  • RN license number and state that issued it
  • Home address
  • Proof of residence – generally a copy of your drivers license and a utility bill will do.
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thank you for your interest in the RN Refresher Program,

Elaine Alexander, BSN, MSN, RNC-OB
Simulation Center Director and CE Nurse Planner
Department of Continuing Professional Development
UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC

Annie Taft
AHEC Program Assistant


The RN Refresher Program is a collaborative professional development program offered through each of North Carolina's nine regional AHECs and The University of North Carolina School of Nursing at Chapel Hill.

  • The Nurse Refresher Program consists of two components: 1) a self-paced online theory course of 24 modules and 2) a regionally based clinical practicum.
  • The North Carolina Board of Nursing requires the completion of these two program components for nurses who have not held an active license for at least five years. If your NC license has been inactive, expired or retired for less than five years, you may elect to complete this program.
  • Nurses with currently active licenses, and who have either been away from direct patient care for an extended time or are considering a change of practice area, may choose to enroll in the program to update their knowledge and clinical skills.
  • The self-paced theory course, "Medical-Surgical Nursing Review," includes 24 recently updated and enhanced modules on all aspects of adult medical surgical nursing. The Friday Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill enrolls the RN Refresher student and monitors course progress through their distance education program services. Upon program completion, the Friday Center awards 14 continuing education units, which is equivalent to 140 Contact Hours, with the student's certificate of completion.
  • The clinical practicum is individually arranged by the regional AHEC nurse coordinator following the student's successful completion of the online theory course component. As required by the NC Board of Nursing, it consists of a total 160 hours (120 hours in a medical-surgical unit working one-on-one with a preceptor) and 40 hours of clinical skills preparation, including simulation lab. As clinical placements are subject to availability, advanced planning is required. RN Refresher students with an inactive nursing license are given priority to facilitate their license renewal/reinstatement process. MAHEC awards a certificate of completion for the 160 clinical activity hours.
  • An RN Refresher Clinical Skills Checklist is available for tracking your clinical skills preparation and simulation labs.
  • Upon successful completion of both the didactic and clinical portion of the course, RN refresher students with an inactive/expired license must apply for renewal/reinstatement of his/her nursing license through the North Carolina Board of Nursing. This is a separate state regulatory process and not under the regional AHEC program jurisdiction. More than 67% of nurses who completed the full program over the past five years have returned to work in nursing in North Carolina.

Please email Elaine Alexander, BSN, MSN, RNC-OB, or call her at 257-4414 to discuss your eligibility or other concerns.

For detailed program information, visit The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC or the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

Annie Taft
AHEC Program Assistant