Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much is the Courier Program?
    • The program fee is $500, which includes on-site meals, lodging at Wendover, and 2 Courier shirts. There is no temporary housing provided in the area, and this fee helps us cover these costs. Additional funds will be needed for initial transportation costs to Wendover. You will also need funding for travel to and from your site; however, you will be reimbursed for this travel at the Frontier Nursing University volunteer mileage rate. You will submit a mileage reimbursement claim at the end of each month.
  • 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. Most colleges provide funding for summer internship programs. However, Couriers may apply for a travel stipend to attend 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 regarding this travel stipend.
  • 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 2020 Courier Program are Monday June 1 2020 through Monday August 3 2020
  • When is the application due?
    • Applications for the 2020 Courier Program are due by 11:59pm EST on February 29 2020.
  • Where will I live during the Courier Program?
    • Couriers will live at the Historic Wendover, where Mary Breckinridge, the founder of Frontier Nursing Service, made her home. We no longer provide off-campus housing opportunities as a way for our Couriers to bond as a group, and with the community.
  • 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 during your first week.
  • 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 through August. Couriers will 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?
    • Couriers must be at least 20 years of age at the time of the program, no older than 25, have completed two years of formal higher education, and must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program. This program is not advised for graduate or professional students, as it is a program to prepare students for their future.
  • How many Couriers are accepted each summer?
    • As of 2020, we can accept up to 10 Couriers.
  • Can international individuals apply?
    • The Courier Program welcomes international experience so long as the individual 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, Tara Dykes, at courier.program@frontier.edu
  • Do I have to have a vehicle to participate?
    • Couriers must have a vehicle to attend. Couriers who do not have a vehicle due to extenuating circumstances 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, which will be live on our website on November 11 2019. 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. These must be sent from the individual composing the recommendation-NOT the Courier applicant. This is a final step in the process and can be submitted at a later time (up to February 29 2020). After these materials are received, applicants may be offered an interview with the Courier Program Coordinator as well as 1-2 related individuals. Interviews are on a rolling basis. After all interviews have been completed by March 2020, the Courier Program Coordinator will send an acceptance packet with valuable information to your home address, as well as an acceptance letter to your email address. Acceptance is also contingent upon successful completion of all credentialing materials including a Drug and Alcohol Screening and Background Check. The Drug and Alcohol Screening and Background Check must be paid for by the individual, but will be reimbursed upon arrival to Wendover for the Courier Program.
  • 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. Feel free, also, to join our Facebook group and research Frontier Nursing University's blogs and Courier Coffees (also on YouTube) for more firsthand accounts.
  • 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; 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 Nashville. There are also many other opportunities not listed here! Should you be accepted as a 2020 Courier, your welcome packet will include information regarding the area.
  • 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, 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.