Health and Medicine

Carolina waives tuition and fees for online nurse refresher program

The program will help trained and licensed nurses quickly get back into the field as COVID-19 caused a surge in the state’s need for health care personnel.

A nursing student examines a patient.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is helping to address the state’s nursing shortage in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, the UNC-Chapel Hill Friday Center for Continuing Education, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program announced they have waived tuition and fees for an accelerated version of their online, self-paced Registered Nurse Refresher theory course for April.

The program will help trained and licensed nurses quickly get back into the field as COVID-19 caused a surge in the state’s need for health care personnel.

“This pandemic underscores an urgent need for experienced healthcare professionals across our state,” said Nena Peragallo Montano, dean of the UNC School of Nursing. “We’re hopeful that by offering this fast-track program and making it more accessible we can help nurses across the state as they continue serving North Carolinians in our fight against coronavirus.”

Recent industry data and projections show North Carolina is expected to have the second-largest shortage of nurses in the nation by 2025 – a deficit of nearly 13,000 nurses in the state.

The program includes a self-paced, online theory course and a clinical practicum. The clinical practicum fee of $250 cannot be waived. The program for registered nurses can be utilized by both those who have lapsed in their licensure and active RNs who are looking to refresh and update their knowledge.

Historically, the theory course takes up to nine months to complete. To graduate nurses in time to meet the highest need, the accelerated version must be completed in three months. The condensed timeframe provides nurses the same breadth of knowledge and training in the most updated technology and approaches.

Nurses who want to apply for the program and waived fees can visit nurserefresher.web.unc.edu for more information.