Wilderness Medicine Courses for Nurse Practitioners

My husband and I honeymooned in Bora Bora. It was all it was cracked up to be and more. Blue waters, tropical fish, tiki huts, and even an unwelcome tropical downpour graced our vacation. The entire time we were on the island, however I had this slight unsettled feeling. “What if I had an appendicitis…where would I go?” I thought. The island was so remote that for any medical care other than a simple laceration or sprained ankle, med evac would be necessary.

My affinity for the outdoors has always left me interested in wilderness medicine continuing medical education courses. Unfortunately, so far, my schedule has yet to line up with one of these amazing offerings. So, I continue to dream…

If you too are intrigued by topics like lightning-related injuries, treatment of snake bites, and reducing dislocated joints in the bush, check out these companies that offer compelling wilderness medicine continuing education courses.

1. Wilderness and Travel Medicine, LLC

Wilderness and Travel Medicine, LLC offers stand-out conferences. From the bucket-list worthy Everest Base Camp Trek to a Fiji Scuba Diving and Multi-Sport Adventure for sun-lovers, and a Hiking Tour of Provence and the French Riviera, this company has something for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Conferences are quite pricey, but you deserve it- right?

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2. Advanced Wilderness Life Support

Brain child of the University of Utah School of Medicine, the Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) certification course trains medical providers to manage emergency medical situations outside of a traditional medical facility. Courses in topics like avalanche avoidance and survival as well as dive medicine prepare providers to handle real-life medical situations in a variety of outdoor scenarios. Not to mention, AWLS hosts conferences in locales across the globe from Cape Town, South Africa to Big Sur, California. Less exotic location offerings make some conferences more affordable and easier to fit into a continuing medical education budget.


3. Wilderness Medical Associates International

Wilderness Medical Associates International offers a hard-core medical experience for those providers likely to use their outdoor medical education. For example, Battlefield Medical Response prepares those likely to find themselves in active war zones while Travel Medicine First Aid covers topics like improvised splinting and infectious diseases. Course attendees won’t have to sacrifice an exotic conference location for this substantial education. Conferences are hosted worldwide from China to Finland and Brazil.


While I must admit, there is a near zero chance I will ever splint a fractured radius at the summit of Everest, or diagnose Dengue Fever in the Brazilian rainforest, I like to know that I could. The allure of adventure and the opportunity to learn makes these wilderness continuing education options worth looking into.


You Might Also Like: Road Warriors- Tips for Travel Nurse Practitioners


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