Course Description

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s RN Refresher Theory Course coursework is online and self-paced, helping you continue to balance work, life, and your career. 

The program offers a Theory Course (offered by UNC-Chapel Hill), and a Clinical Practicum (administered by NC AHEC). If you’re a Registered Nurse who is a legal resident of North Carolina, who has had a lapsed or inactive license from any of the 50 states for five or more years, and want to return to nursing in North Carolina, you must enroll in both. If you’re an RN who wishes to review, expand, or update your knowledge base in the field of adult nursing, you may choose to enroll in the Theory Course alone. This option is intended for registered nurses who have been practicing during the past 5 years and desire to update their knowledge of adult 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 the Theory Course.

This enrollment is for the Theory Course only. To learn about how to register for the Clinical Practicum, visit nurserefresher.web.unc.edu

The RN Refresher Theory Course is offered by UNC-Chapel Hill’s nationally ranked School of Nursing, the Friday Center for Continuing Education, and the North Carolina AHEC (Area Health Education Centers). It is part of the larger RN Refresher Program offered by NC AHEC.

Course Outline

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.

The Theory Course consists of 24 modules, and each module includes 2 main components:

  1. The textbook chapter provides detailed content necessary for understanding the learning outcomes for each module.
  2. 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.

Every module culminates in a 25-question, multiple-choice exam that assesses your mastery of the learning outcomes. View the list of modules in the Theory Course.


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. Consult the Welcome note you will receive for your completion deadline.
  • 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 plan your time appropriately to complete the Theory Course in the time you have to do so.
  • If you need additional time, you may renew your enrollment at the full cost of the program for an additional 9 months.
  • If you withdraw from the Theory Course within 30 days of enrollment, you will receive a refund less a $100 administrative fee. No refunds are made after 30 days.


Program Requirements: For registered nurses who have passed the NCLEX exam and have been licensed in the United States.
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Section Title
NURS R: RN Refresher Program
Start Now, you have 275 days to complete this course once enrolled.
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee non-credit $1,000.00 Click here to get more information
Section Notes

This course is completely online.  Please ensure you have ready access to a device connected to the internet to complete your work.  While phones and tablets will work with most of our content, a laptop or desktop is HIGHLY recommended.

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