AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Agnes Aller

Agnes Aller, RN, MA at Cape Fear Hospital
RN Refresher Program

New Hanover County | South East AHEC

Agnes Aller, RN, MA at Cape Fear Hospital – RN Refresher Program

“I was an ‘older’ nurse when I graduated many years ago with an associate degree in applied science and took the Registered Nurse Licensure Examination,” said Agnes Aller. “The need to be a full time mother to three little girls had been more important to me than work or school. However, with the RN, I eventually pursued a BA and an MA and spent 26 years as a full time nurse, usually in management positions. Retirement followed, with 7 years spent crossing off my retirement list of ‘things to do’ when I was free of the work world.

“In May of 2005 my husband and I flew to Colorado to attend the college graduation of our oldest granddaughter and to participate in the pinning ceremony of this brand new Registered Nurse. The nurses in the audience were invited to recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge with the new graduates. The old love of nursing came flooding over me. I left Colorado yearning to feel like a nurse again.

“After inquiring at the local university and the community college, I found the South East AHEC Nurse Refresher Program. I promptly enrolled, not really expecting to work again. I just wanted to feel like a nurse. In April of 2006, I began the clinical obligation, spending 160 hours with a preceptor in the Intensive Care Unit at Cape Fear Hospital. I met many wonderful people at that time and was encouraged to apply for a position at Cape Fear Hospital.

“On July 10, 2006, I began as a full time RN on the Orthopaedic Unit at the hospital. The many staff and management nurses that I work with have been accepting and encouraging.

“I am thrilled to be an active nurse again. The rewards are both tangible and intrinsic. The added income allows me to be a more indulgent Nana to our six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. And each time a patient shows appreciation for my efforts to provide the best care that I am capable of, my heart becomes more full of love for nursing.

“I feel that I stand a little taller and walk a bit straighter as I pursue this wonderful art of nursing. I would encourage other nurses to consider the Refresher Program.”

Judith Moore, nurse educator at Cape Fear Hospital adds:

“Agnes Aller is an inspiration to all of us! After completing her refresher clinical at Cape Fear Hospital, Agnes joined our staff on the Orthopaedic Unit and needed some support to meet the challenges of managing a full patient assignment on a very active in-patient unit. But, Agnes quickly adapted and welcomed the challenges with enthusiasm.

“Her depth of experience in other nursing roles shows in her ability to problem solve effectively and her willingness to adapt as needed to our busy work environment. We recently implemented an electronic medication administration system and Agnes tackled the challenge of the change in workflow with her usual upbeat attitude. I think that everyone who works with Agnes would agree that her passion for her role as a bedside nurse is contagious. Because she loves what she is doing, her patients, their families and her co-workers all benefit! We thank our AHEC for helping Agnes ‘refresh’ and join our staff. She is one of several refresher nurses who work on the Cape Fear Hospital Orthopaedic Unit and we appreciate the expertise that we have gained from all these nurses. We look forward to Agnes precepting a refresher nurse soon so we can recruit yet another refresher to our staff.”