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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

NOLS Wilderness Medicine is the international leader in wilderness medicine education. The dynamic curriculum is accurate, practical and empowering. WMI’s seasoned instructors facilitate an active, fun, and engaging educational experience that provides students with the skills and confidence to manage emergencies in the backcountry. NOLS Wilderness Medicine is fully accredited, and NOLS Wilderness Medicine certifications are recognized throughout the world.

Courses combine focused and entertaining lectures, skills practice, and realistic scenarios. The classroom setting is comfortable and informal. Scenarios are realistic and challenging to ensure that students are comfortable and confident with their new skills.

Courses include classroom presentations as well as plenty of time outside practicing your new skills. It’s essential that you wear adequate clothing and footwear to be outside even if the weather is cold, wet, snowy, hot, etc. You should also bring a large daypack with plenty of extra clothing, a water bottle, waterproof jacket and pants, sturdy waterproof boots, headlamp or flashlight (for WFR and WUMP night rescues), and a watch with a second hand. Also, be sure to bring a pen or pencil for taking notes in class and a reusable mug for coffee and tea.

You should plan to arrive at 7:45 AM on the first day of the course.

Courses are held at many different locations throughout northern Arizona. See the course description for the location of your course. Your confirmation email will also note the course location, and you’ll receive an email just prior to the course start date that describes the course location.

If a student cancels or withdraws from the course greater than 30 days prior to the course starting date, Flagstaff Field Institute will retain a $50 administrative fee. All other funds will be returned. If a student cancels or withdraws within 30 days prior to the starting date and throughout the duration of the course all deposit and tuition moneys are non-refundable. All course registrations are non-transferable.  See our complete cancellation policy here. 

You’ll receive an email confirming your enrollment when you sign up for the course, and you’ll receive a second email about seven days prior to the course with updated logistics and directions to the course site. You won’t be mailed any course materials (books, notebooks, etc.) NOLS Wilderness Medicine ships the course materials to FFI just prior to the course so it’s not possible to then ship everyone the course materials prior to the course start date.

The WFR and WFR recertification courses include CPR training. The course includes training on adult and pediatric CPR, foreign-body airway obstructions, and the use of an AED. Upon successful completion of this portion of the course, you’ll receive a separate NOLS Wilderness Medicine CPR card. Please note that this course does not include infant CPR or hands-on training with BVMs – infants are rare in the backcountry, and WFRs rarely have access to oxygen or oxygen-delivery devices such as BVMs. This CPR course is appropriate for wilderness medicine providers, but the course and certification do not satisfy the requirement for ‘Healthcare Provider’ or ‘Professional Rescuer’ CPR for EMTs.

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll receive a certification card from NOLS Wilderness Medicine. If your course includes CPR, you’ll also receive a separate NOLS Wilderness Medicine CPR card. These cards are emailed from NOLS Wilderness Medicine HQ in Lander directly to the student approximately 4-6 weeks after the course. If you need proof of certification prior to this time, the instructors will provide you with a ‘verification letter’ that can be used in lieu of a certification card until your card arrives. Please speak directly with the instructors during your course, and they will provide you with a verification letter at the end of the class.