AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program

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AHEC Nurse Refresher Program

The NC AHEC Registered Nurse (RN) Refresher Program was developed in the late 1980’s in response to an ongoing nursing shortage. Between 1990 and 2012, over 3,400 nurses enrolled in the RN Refresher Program offered through each of the nine regional AHECs and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Almost 2,500 of those enrollees completed the didactic portion of the program, and 1,650 also completed the clinical component. More than 67% of nurses who completed the full program over the past five years have returned to work in nursing in North Carolina. 

The NC AHEC RN Refresher Program consists of a 24 module self-paced medical-surgical nursing review and a 160-hour clinical practicum. This program is a collaborative effort of the NC AHEC Program, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing and The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. Program details, including fees and eligibility, are provided on the Friday Center Web site.

Upon successful completion of both the didactic and clinical portion of the course, the participant is eligible to apply for reinstatement of his/her nursing license through the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

Participants must contact the RN Refresher Coordinator at the regional AHEC for your county to obtain more information and to determine program eligibility. Contact information listing:


Counties Served: Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, Wilson

Patty Collins, MAEd, BSN, RN

Email: Patty.Collins@arealahec.org

(252) 972-6958

Charlotte AHEC

Counties Served: Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Union

Kathryn Fitzpatrick, RN, MSN

Email: kathryn.fitzpatrick@carolinashealthcare.org

Phone: 704-512-6579

Eastern AHEC

Counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Greene, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne

Laura P. Bliley, RN, MSN

Email: blileyl@ecu.edu

Phone: 252/744-5216

Greensboro AHEC

Counties Served: Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham

April B. Schamberg, RN, BA, MSN

Email: april.schamberg@conehealth.com

Phone: 336/832-8297

Mountain AHEC

Counties Served: Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey

Bonnie Garner, MS, CPN, RN

Email: bonnie.garner@mahec.net

Phone: 828/257-4458

Northwest AHEC

Counties Served: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin

Kay Herr, MSN, RN

Email: kherr@wfubmc.edu

Phone: 336/713-7720


Counties Served: Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender

Saralyn Gillikin, MSN, RNC

Email: saralyn.gillikin@seahec.net

Phone: 910/667-9347

Southern Regional aHEC

Counties Served: Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Robeson, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland

Patricia Ness, MBS/HCM, BSN, RN

Email: patti.ness@sr-ahec.org

Phone: 910/678-7216


Counties Served: Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Vance, Wake, Warren

Kathy Clark MS, RN

Email: kgclark@wakemed.org

Phone: 919/350-0481

Chatham/Orange/Durham/Person Counties


Jennie Wagner MSN, RN

Email: jmwagner@email.unc.edu

Phone: 919/966-0579