RN Refresher Program

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Dear Prospective RN Refresher Participant,


The NC AHEC 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 RN 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 active licenses 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 clinical portion of the program is optional for those with an active license.

The UNC-Chapel Hill theory course is online and self-paced so you can balance work, life, and your nursing career. The Digital and Lifelong Learning program at UNC-Chapel Hill enrolls the RN Refresher participant in the 24 theory modules and monitors their course progress. An instructor from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing is also available to provide assistance during the theory course. Upon theory course completion, Digital and Lifelong Learning awards 14 continuing education units, which is equivalent to 140 Contact Hours, along with the student's certificate of completion.

The clinical practicum is individually arranged by the regional AHEC RN Refresher Coordinator following the student's successful completion of the online theory course component. MAHEC serves the 16 westernmost counties in North Carolina for clinical. As required by the North Carolina Board of Nursing, the clinical practicum consists of 140 hours total including up to 60 hours of simulation-based education. Clinical placements are subject to preceptor availability and facility contracts. Clinical placement sites include inpatient and outpatient settings. RN Refresher participants with an inactive nursing license are given priority for clinical placement to facilitate their license reinstatement process. MAHEC awards a certificate of completion for the 140 clinical activity hours.

Upon successful completion of both the theory and clinical portions of the course, RN Refresher participants with an inactive license must apply for reinstatement of their nursing license through the North Carolina Board of Nursing. This is a separate state regulatory process and not under the regional AHEC program jurisdiction.

Timeline for completion:

  • 9 months for completion of the theory course
  • Up to 1 year for placement in clinical. Once placed in clinical, the participant has 3 months to complete the 140 clinical hours

Costs for this program include:

  • $125.00 MAHEC enrollment fee
  • $1,000.00 Digital and Lifelong Learning modules
  • $250.00 MAHEC Clinical Fee (background check/drug screen and simulation-based education)
  • Additional items: Malpractice insurance, scrubs, and clinical facility badge

Scholarships and stipends are now available for those who qualify thanks to a grant from the Dogwood Health Trust.

Please email Katie Neligan, MSN, RN, CNL, PCCN, or call her at 828-257-4458 to discuss your eligibility or other concerns.

For more detailed program information, visit RN Refresher Course at UNC-Chapel Hill ( or
Refresher Course at North Carolina Board of Nursing (
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