Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much is the Courier Program?
    • The program fee is $1500, which includes meals, lodging, and 2 Courier shirts. Additional funds will be needed for transportation costs to Wendover and for travel to and from your sites.
  • Are there scholarships available to cover cost and fee?
    • We do not provide scholarships to Courier Program participants. We highly suggest Couriers contact his/her college or university (if enrolled) to see if they can help secure funding. However, Couriers may apply for a travel stipend if he/she attends Diversity Impact, which can offset the expense of traveling to Eastern Kentucky. Couriers may contact the Courier Coordinator at courier.program@frontier.edu for more information.
  • Can I receive academic credit?
    • FNU does not award academic credits for the Courier Program. However, we highly suggest contacting your college or university (if enrolled) to see if this experience is eligible for academic credit through the Courier’s college or university.
  • How long is the Courier Program?
    • The Courier Program is an eight week summer experience. The dates for the 2017 Courier Program are Thursday, June 1, 2017 - Saturday, July 29, 2017.
  • When is the application due?
    • Applications for the 2017 Courier Program are due by 5pm EST on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
  • Where will I live during the Courier Program?
    • Many Couriers will live at the Historic Wendover, where Mary Breckinridge, the founder of Frontier Nursing Service, made her home. Others will stay at homestay sites if they are placed out of Hyden/Wendover. Examples include someone’s home or volunteer facilities. All housing is arranged by the Courier Program staff.
  • What is a home stay site?
    • In most circumstances, a home stay site is provided for Couriers who will be serving outside of Leslie County and Perry County for most of their service. Couriers will stay in the home individuals associated with Frontier and will be provided their own space and meals at that residence.
  • What is Courier Bound?
    • Courier Bound is an orientation to the Courier Program, Appalachia, rural healthcare, and the history of Frontier Nursing Service/University. This takes place in early June for 4 days.
  • What is Midterm?
    • Midterm takes place in Week 4 when Couriers meet together at Wendover to have workshops and discussions. They will also share their Community Health Assessment with other Couriers.
  • What is Courier Crossing?
    • Courier Crossing is the last few days of the Courier Program experience in July. Couriers will all come to Wendover to reflect on their experience with the Courier Program Coordinator. Couriers will also share a recap of his/her summer and share the special projects he/she worked on throughout the summer experience.
  • How old do you have to be?
    • We recommend that Couriers be at least 20 years of age and/or have completed 2 years of formal higher education.
  • How many Couriers are accepted each summer?
    • As of 2016, we can accept up to 8 Couriers.
  • Can international individuals apply?
    • The Courier Program welcomes international experience so long has an educational VISA or meets US residency requirements.
  • I have a conflict where I need to come late/leave early/leave for a few days in the middle of the program. Can I still participate?
    • It is possible to accommodate certain situations, but not always. If you have special circumstances, please contact the Courier Program Coordinator, Mandy Hancock, at courier.program@frontier.edu
  • Do I have to have a vehicle to participate?
    • It is highly recommended Couriers have a reliable form of transportation to get to sites. Couriers who do not have a vehicle and are still interested in participating in the Courier Program, please contact the Courier Program Coordinator at courier.program@frontier.edu.
  • What is the application process?
    • The first step is to complete the online application. Courier applicants must also upload a copy of this/her Driver’s License and unofficial academic transcripts. Courier applicants will also need three letters of recommendation sent to CourierApplicants@frontier.edu with the applicant's’ name in the subject line. After these materials are received, applicants may be offered an interview with the Courier Program Coordinator as well as 1-2 related individuals. After all interviews have been completed, the Courier Program Coordinator will send an acceptance letter. Acceptance is also contingent upon successful completion of all credentialing materials including a Drug and Alcohol Screening and Background Check.
  • Is there any way to speak to Courier Program alumni? I would like to hear a first hand experience before applying.
    • We have many alumni willing to speak about their experience with the program. Please email the Courier Program Coordinator at courier.program@frontier.edu to request this.
  • What is Frontier Nursing University (FNU) or Frontier Nursing Service (FNS)?
    • Mary Breckinridge created the Frontier Nursing Service in 1939 as a demonstration project in the care of the mother and child and rural areas of Kentucky. In 2011, FNS was absorbed and officially renamed Frontier Nursing University. However, the mission never changed: “Our mission is to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical and compassionate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations.” For more information on the history of FNU and FNS, please visit www.frontier.edu/about-frontier. For more information about the history of the Courier Program, specifically, please visit https://portal.frontier.edu/web/fnu/courier-history .
  • What is Wendover?
    • The Historic Wendover Bed and Breakfast is the home of Mary Breckinridge, found of the Frontier Nursing Service. Built in 1925, Wendover became a home for many of the midwives and Couriers that helped shape the healthcare in Southeastern Kentucky. Couriers that stay at Wendover will either live in the Garden House or the Wendover Barn. For more information, visit www.frontier.edu/wendover
  • Can my family visit me during the summer?
    • Yes! We highly encourage family members come visit the Couriers during the program. Family members may stay at Wendover by making reservations at http://www.frontier.edu/wendover. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Family visits should not impact a Courier’s service hours.
  • What is a sample schedule of a "day in the life" of a Courier?
    • Each Courier's schedule will differ, and after the first two weeks, the schedule will be decided between the Courier and their sites. However, a sample of this schedule could look like the following: 7:45 AM - Breakfast; 8:15 AM - Travel to site; 8:30 AM - Serve at primary clinic site (shadow experience, administrative work, special project); 2:00 PM - Travel to secondary community partner; 2:30 PM - Serve at community partner site; 5:00 PM - Return to Wendover/homestay site; 5:30 PM - Dinner, free time in the evening to explore the Southeastern Kentucky and the community the Courier is serving in.
  • What kinds of things are there do in Southeastern Kentucky?
    • Kentucky is full of adventure and opportunities. Some of the places past Couriers have enjoyed include Berea (hike the Pinnacles and go contra-dancing!), Benham Mining Museum, Hurricane Miner's Memorial, exploring hollers (which can sometimes include seeing wild horses), Cumberland Falls, Lexington, Louisville, and visiting other Courier's homestay sites and counties. There are also many other opportunities not listed here!
  • Is there internet/phone service where I will be located?
    • Phone service and internet are limited in rural Southeastern Kentucky. While there is wireless internet at Wendover and some other homestay sites, it is not always reliable. Phone service is very limited as well, specifically in Hyden and Wendover. Be prepared for limited communication unless connected to the internet.
  • What happens if I have special dietary needs?
    • Wendover is willing to accommodate special dietary needs. Couriers need to communicate all dietary needs/restrictions to the Courier Program Coordinator prior to Courier Bound.