Program Summary

The Courier Program is a summer service learning program distinguished by its legacy and the adventuresome nature of its site placements. The 2019 Courier Program is currently accepting applications until February 17, 2019.


Who can apply?

Eligible applicants must be at least 20 years old and have completed two years of higher education. Applicants should be interested in learning about public health, health care, social work and related fields, share a commitment to Frontier’s mission of serving the rural and underserved, and be ready for an adventure! Formal training or educational background in healthcare is not required.


What will I do as a Courier?

Responsibilities will vary by site. Couriers will work approximately 35-40 hours per week at a clinical site and will also engage in the community through secondary projects each week. During the 8 week program, Couriers will:

  • Participate in Courier Bound orientation, 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)  
  • Present at least once about Frontier's mission and vision for rural health care and the purpose of the Courier Program
  • Meet with Courier cluster (fellow Couriers living nearby) and submit weekly journal entries\


What kinds of clinical sites will I be serving at?

The 2019 Courier sites can be found here. When applying, you will rank based on the current sites listed. Once a full list becomes available, it will be sent to all applicants so they can finalize their rankings.


What are the goals of the Courier Program?

  1. To introduce Couriers to the value of public health, advanced practice nursing, and primary healthcare services to people living in rural and underserved communities;

  2. To support clinical and other community sites;

  3. To foster cultural humility through Courier engagement with diverse communities and fellow Couriers;

  4. 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 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



Requirements & Qualifications

Successful applicants will be curious, adaptable, self‐motivated and self‐structured, 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. Applicants should be interested in learning about public health, health care, social work or a related field, share a commitment to Frontier’s mission of serving the rural and underserved and be ready for an adventure! Formal training in these fields is not required.  

Applicants must be at least 20 years and have completed two years of higher education. Personal transportation (a car) and a valid driver’s license is required.


This is an unpaid position. Couriers will pay their transportation costs (gas) and a $1500 fee, which covers all housing, board, uniform and other program costs for the entire program. Half of the fee is due upon acceptance of the position, and half is due at the start of the program. FNU arranges room and board situations for all participants. Once accepted, Couriers will be required to undergo drug screen and background checks.


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 internet, food choices and other amenities typically associated with urban areas.

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.

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.

Couriers at outpost sites will mostly be living with families to gain an enriching cultural
experience. Couriers based in Hyden and Hazard will be living at Frontier
dormitories.  Couriers will report to on‐site mentors and telephone or email access to their program supervisor, the FNU Courier Coordinator.  

Couriers are expected to wear a uniform of khaki pants, shorts or skirts that come to the
knee and white tops while engaged in Courier work. Two uniform white shirts will be
provided, but Couriers are encouraged to bring additional white tops.

Hearts On, Hands Off Policy Couriers are not, under any circumstances, to touch clients or provide any medical treatment whatsoever. Couriers are required to adhere to this
approach with respect to all client interactions.


After the Work Day

After the work day is finished, Couriers are encouraged to explore the rich art, history and environment of the sites in which they will be staying. There will be ample time for hiking and exploration beyond the requirements of the position. Host families will be a great resource for recreational activities for outpost sites and FNU staff will provide such ideas to Couriers staying at Wendover.

*Frontier Nursing University Mission: 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.