Online Nurse Advice: UNC Is Number One Once Again

CHS nurse Kimberly Bossian reviews online messages with Eva Erber.

UNC has a long tradition of being first, starting with being the FIRST public university opened in the United States. Well here is another one to add to the list—UNC’s Campus Health Services is the first in the nation to offer Online Nurse Advice, an online service designed to help students make better medical decisions! And get this- the app was even developed by a fellow Tarheel, Masters in Information Science student Oakkar Oakkar.

After learning that nearly 90% of college students look online for health information, only to find sites like WebMD, which don’t provide personal guidance Oakkar and his team at Keona Health began work to develop a better system. The result- Online Nurse Advice! An online app where students can easily get personalized advice from medical professionals. With  accurate, personalized advice students come away with a clearer understanding and action plan. Are their symptoms more or less serious? What kind of treatment should they seek? Where should they seek treatment? Additionally, not only do the the medical professionals providing information tailor their reponses based on symtpoms, but can provide information on resources here at  at UNC! No more shleping through the piles of internet information, o more long waits in the doctor’s office.  just one simple internet app! This is great news considering…

  1. Roughly 20 percent of student’s health issues can be solved without an appointment.  There are often first steps you can take right from home.
  2. The average appointment in the US takes 41 minutes (23 minutes waiting and 18 minutes with the doctor). And that’s not including the travel and re-scheduling that’s necessary. Of course, when you really need to see a doctor, it’s worth it! If you just have a question, ask a nurse online.
  3.  The average time in the emergency waiting room is 4 hours. And the average emergency bill is nearly $1,000! Most Online Nurse Advise responses are within 15 minutes, and it’s free!

So, how does it work? The app is super easy to use. If you have a question you can visit Online Nurse Advice. Where you’ll first asked to enter your Onyen and password. From there, you’ll see a next see a page explaining the precautions taken by the site to protect your health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, called HIPPA for short. (Want to learn more about HIPPA, check out Human Health Services’s webpage). If you’re comfortable with the terms of service, “Agree.” From there you’ll be asked for your contact information (so the nurse can get their response to you!). From there, you’ll be taken to a form that should seem pretty familiar- it asks for information on medications, allergies, ect. as well as your specific complaint/question. Make sure to fill this out as fully and accurately as possible, this is the information the nurse will use to formulate your personalized advice! Once you’ve done all that a campus health nurse will get back to you promptly!

Please keep in mind, the Online Nurse Advice app is currently running for non-urgent problems during business hours Monday-Friday only. If you submit your question now, you will likely receive a response from a nurse by the next business day. Caregivers and friends should not fill it out for the patient. For urgent problems, call the Campus Health Center at (919) 966-2281, or call 911 for emergencies.

So the next time you’re feeling a little ill, try this Online Nurse Advice before you schedule your appointment.

7 thoughts on “Online Nurse Advice: UNC Is Number One Once Again

  1. tay June 11, 2013 / 12:55 pm

    My period has been steady for the past few months, but im three days late. Could i be pregnant?


    • tay June 11, 2013 / 12:56 pm

      And i have had cramps and back aches for the past four days..


    • Sara Stahlman June 12, 2013 / 11:12 am

      Tay, we do not provide health advice on this blog. To access UNC’s online nurse triage service (available to UNC students), please go to If you are not a UNC student, please contact your medical provider.
      Good luck.


  2. Elissa May 5, 2013 / 4:44 am

    I was shaving my legs and have cut what seems to be a vein under the side of my knee. It bled a fair bit. My leg is feeling a little funny. Like light but heavy. What should i do? Should i go seek help?


    • Sara Stahlman May 7, 2013 / 9:48 am

      Elissa, we don’t offer specific medical advice on this blog. We do have an online nurse advice service for UNC students. Learn more at If you’re at UNC, you can also access us for care by walking in or calling for an appointment. Details are at Good luck, and hope you’re feeling better soon.


  3. Lacy November 22, 2012 / 5:06 am

    Hi I am about 8 weeks pregnant, if I calculated correctly. Last period date was september 20th. Well after me and my husband had intercourse the other night i noticed light spotting then got heavier, not enough to soak a pad or no blood clots. Then today there was hardly anything still light bleeding but no cramps and no clots. Is this normal?


    • Sara Stahlman November 30, 2012 / 11:00 am

      Hi Lacy,
      We recommend talking with your OB/GYN. Light spotting during pregnancy can often be normal. Your best bet, however, is a call to your OB/GYN.
      Good luck.


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