Program Summary

The Courier Program is a summer service learning program distinguished by its legacy and the adventuresome nature of its site placements. The 2020 Courier Program will accept applications beginning on Monday November 11 2019 through February 2020.


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, therefore being a current undergraduate student is a requirement. This program is not appropriate for those currently enrolled in a graduate or professional program. 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 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 orientation, 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 and submit weekly journal entries.
  • Participate in Courier Coffees - an online podcast interview with Couriers.


What kinds of clinical sites will I be serving at?

The 2020 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. 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. 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. Student should be flexible. Formal training in a medical field is not required, thus the reason we cater to undergraduate level participants.


Applicants must be between 20 and 25 years of age, must have completed two years of higher education, and must be presently enrolled in undergraduate studies. 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 $500 fee, which covers housing, board, uniform and other program costs. 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, which they will pay for, but be reimbursed for upon their arrival.


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. This should be expected upon arrival.

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 also 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.

Couriers will reside in Wendover, KY - The homeplace of Mary Breckinridge. Females will reside on the third floor of The Garden House, while males shall reside in the Barn Apartments.

Couriers are expected to wear a uniform of khaki pants, modest khaki 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. The polos will be embroidered with the Courier Program logo. Couriers will also be given a nametag. All of the above are to be worn at all times to ensure that Couriers are easily identified in and around their communities.

Hearts On, Hands Off Policy 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.


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. FNU staff will provide such ideas to Couriers staying at Wendover. There are also many opportunities for Couriers to volunteer within the community after their time serving their site is complete for the day.

*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.