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Credit Programs for Part-time Students


NURS R: Medical-Surgical Nursing Review for Registered Nurses

Self-paced Online or Correspondence

The 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, 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. 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.

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 who would like to return to nursing, you must enroll in Option 1. Option 1 will meet both your educational and relicensure 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 five or more 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.

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 for this option, which does not satisfy relicensure requirements in North Carolina.

How the Theory Course Works

You may enroll in the Theory Course at any time. There are two ways to take the Theory Course—via correspondence or online.


If you choose to take the correspondence version of the Theory Course, your course materials, which include 24 modules, support resources, and examinations, will be sent to you in four printed manuals. Once you receive your course materials, you may proceed through the modules at your own pace. When you complete each module, you will take a final examination and submit it by mail to the Friday Center. An instructor at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing will grade your examinations, and the Friday Center will return the exams to you. The final module of the course requires that you access video content via the Internet. If you do not have Internet access, you may purchase the video on DVD from Friday Center Books & Gifts by calling 919-962-7481 and requesting Taylor's Video Guide to Clinical Nursing Skills, 2nd edition.


If you choose to take the online version, you will need a computer, email, and high-speed access to the Internet. The online course is designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of experience using computers, so you don’t need to be an expert, but you will need to be comfortable sending email and navigating the Internet. Your course materials will be delivered to you primarily via the Internet, in the form of 24 online modules. You will also receive a two-volume printed Reader. As in the correspondence version, you will work at your own pace to complete the online modules. After each module, you will complete an online final examination.

The examinations for the correspondence and online courses are identical. In order to receive continuing education credit for the Theory Course, you must pass the exam for each module with a grade of 80 percent and may fail no more than five examinations, including retaken examinations.

How Long the Theory Course Takes

You will have nine months in which 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 Theory Course.

Important Information Regarding the Theory Course

You will be expected to abide by the policies listed below:

  • You may enroll at any time. 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 $15 for regrading the exam.
  • If you withdraw from the Theory Course within thirty days of enrollment, you will receive a refund of $475. No refunds are made after thirty days.

Cost of the Program

The following fees apply:

Option 1 (Theory Course and Clinical Practicum)

  • Administrative fee (paid to the regional AHEC): $100
  • Theory Course (paid to the Friday Center): $575
  • 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 including malpractice insurance and fees for a criminal background check. Please feel free to discuss these charges with your AHEC coordinator.

Option 2 (Theory Course only)

  • Administrative fee (paid to the regional AHEC): $100
  • Theory Course (paid to the Friday Center ): $575

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. Click here for a map and contact information for the regional AHECs.
  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. 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 completed application and you will pay the $100 AHEC administrative fee at this time. In some AHECs, you may carry out part of the process by mail according to directions provided by that AHEC.
  3. Send your approved application (signed by the AHEC coordinator) with your $575 fee for enrolling in the Theory Course to the Friday Center. Your enrollment materials will be sent to you upon receipt of your application and fee, and you may begin work as soon as you receive them.
  4. 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 Nurse Refresher Coordinator at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing AHEC office, which will serve as your regional AHEC, by calling 919-966-3736.
  1. Once you have discussed your enrollment, send your completed application to the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing AHEC along with your $100 AHEC administrative fee. 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.
  2. Send your approved application with your $575 fee for enrolling in the Theory Course to the Friday Center. Your enrollment materials will be sent to you upon receipt of your application and fee, and you may begin work as soon as you receive them.

More Information

You can email and ask that a brochure be mailed to you, or download the Nursing Refresher Program brochure.

Click here for a map and contact information for the NC regional AHEC offices.

For questions on enrollment, contact:

Credit Programs for Part-time Students
toll free (800) 862-5669
local (919) 962-1134
fax (919) 962-5549
student services:
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (except on Tuesdays hours are 9 am to 5 pm).

For questions on the content of the course, contact:

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