Wilderness Medicine Certification


Credit: Bethany Elson

Step forward on your next adventure with the preparation, confidence, and knowledge that comes with a NOLS Wilderness Medicine certification. Whether you are or aspire to be a professional in the outdoor industry, or if you're a pro at being a weekend warrior, wilderness medicine skills provide an invaluable foundation to backcountry experiences.

Our initial trainings are for anyone, from outdoor recreationists to professionals. Each course provides different skills, scenarios, and depth of curriculum specific to your needs. These courses will prepare you to take the lead in backcountry safety.

Wilderness Medicine Certification Options

Wilderness First Aid

Prepare for the unexpected with this fun, hands-on introduction to wilderness medicine, taught over the course of two to two and a half days. If you enjoy weekend outdoor activities, work at a summer camp, or spend any time in the wilderness, this course is for you!

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Police Officers carrying a patient into a hospital room as a team

Wilderness Advanced First Aid

If you travel or work in remote areas and need more extensive training than a Wilderness First Aid course, our Wilderness Advanced First Aid course is the perfect choice!

Over five days, you'll learn to stabilize, treat, and make evacuation decisions for patients in backcountry environments, with an emphasis on long term patient care management and specific injury evaluation. In addition to plenty of time practicing skills and engaging in scenarios, you'll work in small teams and practice your leadership.

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Wilderness First Responder

If you work or recreate in the outdoors or in other remote environments where access to medical care is delayed, or where communication is unreliable, our 9-10 day Wilderness First Responder course is for you! It is the industry standard for professional guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, outdoor recreationists, and international travelers.

Upon completion, you will be able to conduct a thorough physical exam, obtain a patient history, assess vital signs, provide emergency care in the wilderness, and make crucial evacuation decisions.

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A Wilderness EMT student stands in front of a helicopter at the NOLS Wyss Campus.

Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician

Combine wilderness and urban medicine in this intensive, month-long program.

After four weeks of classroom education, practical skills, clinical rotations, scenarios and full-scale mock rescues, you'll be ready to handle medical emergencies in the backcountry or in town. You'll earn both your EMT and your Wilderness EMT certifications, preparing you to work on an ambulance, for an outdoor organization, or for a land management agency.

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Student assessing a patient's eyes in the field

Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT plus WUMP format)

The Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT plus WUMP format) is a combination of a three-week urban EMT intensive program followed by a 5-day Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals (WUMP) course. You may participate in one or both sections of the program. Learn from the best instructors, with the EMT intensive taught by instructors from Landmark Learning and North Carolina EMS, and the Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals course taught by NOLS Wilderness Medicine.

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Emergency Medical Responder Bridge Course

Several federal agencies may require you to have Emergency Medical Responder certification as an employee, and this bridge course covers the EMR topics that aren't addressed in a Wilderness First Responder course.

Qualify for your National Registry Emergency Medical Responder (NR-EMR) written test with this online class. (To take this course you must already have a current WFR certification.)

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Wilderness Medicine Semesters

If you are looking for a longer immersion experience you'll find wilderness medicine courses embedded in many NOLS semester programs. Some semesters include Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, or Wilderness First Responder courses to help you prepare to travel on your own. If you are interested in pursuing medicine, fire, EMS, ski patrol, or search and rescue, the Wilderness Medicine and Rescue semester includes a full Wilderness EMT course as well as technical rescue skills and certifications.

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