The Courier Program is a summer service-learning program distinguished by its legacy and the adventuresome nature of its site placements.
Who Can Apply?
Eligible applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 25 and must have completed at least two years of higher education. This program is designed to cater to individuals in an undergraduate program and is not appropriate for those currently enrolled in a graduate or professional program. Applicants should be interested in public health, healthcare, social work, and related fields, and formal training or educational background in healthcare is not required. Applicants should also share a commitment to Frontier’s mission of serving the rural and underserved, and be ready for an adventure!
Requirements & Qualifications
Successful applicants will be curious, adaptable, and self‐motivated. Candidates will have a commitment to respect and tolerance and be able to independently engage in unfamiliar situations. Strong written and verbal communication and computer skills are preferred. Personal transportation (a car) and a valid driver’s license are required.
This is an unpaid position. Couriers will pay their transportation costs and a $500 fee to cover housing, board, uniform, and other associated costs. Half of the fee is due upon acceptance of the position, and half is due at the start of the program. If accepted, Couriers will be required to undergo a drug screen and background check, which they will pay for.
What are the goals of the Courier Program?
- To introduce Couriers to the value of public health, advanced practice nursing, and primary healthcare services to people living in rural and underserved communities;
- To support clinical and other community sites;
- To foster cultural humility through Courier engagement with diverse communities and fellow Couriers;
- To facilitate Couriers’ experience of FNU’s mission in action and encourage them to embody the Frontier legacy in their later vocations and personal lives.
What will I do as a Courier?
Courier responsibilities will vary by site. Couriers will work approximately 25-30 hours per week at a clinical site and will also engage in the community through secondary projects. During the 8 week program, Couriers will:
- Participate in Courier Bound, Diversity Impact, Courier Midterm, and Courier Crossing
- Complete a community health profile, paying particular attention to health equity issues
- Shadow clinicians in their work with patients
- Perform volunteer duties to meet critical clinical needs
- Assist in the clinics or other primary sites, helping administrative, management, and staff teams as needed
- Engage directly with the community through secondary project(s)
- Meet with other Couriers and staff members on a weekly basis
- Complete coursework on Canvas Catalog
The Courier Program does have a Hearts On, Hands Off Policy, meaning that Couriers are not, under any circumstances, permitted to touch clients without permission, nor provide any medical treatment whatsoever. Couriers are required to adhere to this approach with respect to all client interactions.
What kinds of clinical sites will I be serving at?
Courier sites will be rural and/or in primary or mental health care shortage areas serving medically underserved areas/populations. After applicants have been accepted, Couriers will have the opportunity to rank Courier sites based on their personal interests.
What will I gain by participating?
- Insight into the healthcare sector and the challenges and opportunities of public health and primary care in rural and underserved communities
- Mentorship from nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors, social workers, and/or nurse‐midwives
- Personal growth including responsibility, accountability, and working in a team
- Experience working with diverse populations
- Reputable internship experience for resume building
Working Conditions & Environment
Couriers will be working in rural and underserved areas. Some sites will be underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure, and Couriers should expect below‐average access to the Internet, food choices, and other amenities typically associated with urban areas around their clinical sites.
Each site varies in its level of structure and skill set desired. Successful applicants will be matched to sites in part based on their personal motivation level and skill set in addition to their personal preference. Though it is the ultimate goal of the Courier Program, its sites, and its staff members to ensure that each Courier receives a meaningful shadowing experience, there will be times of lull and delay in the daily schedule. This is simply the environment of rural healthcare; some days may be extremely busy, others may not. It is important for the Courier to be flexible and adaptable to schedules and daily demands. Additionally, Couriers should be self-motivated, seeking out opportunities to assist in areas without being told.
It is likely that Couriers will be working and living with populations unlike their community of origin in respect to economics, race, religion, and health status. They are expected to do so with respect and tolerance, both in the workplace, as well as the living quarters. Negativity and banter will not be tolerated.
After the Work Day
Couriers will reside on FNU’s campus in Versailles, Kentucky, and after the workday is finished, Couriers are encouraged to explore the art, history, and environment of the sites in which they will be staying. There are also many opportunities for Couriers to volunteer within the community. Information on potential volunteer sites will be provided to Couriers.