NOLS Wilderness Medicine for the Professional Practitioner

This course is designed for current EMTs, physicians, and RNs who wish to upgrade their pre-exisiting skill set to be able to provide comprehensive patient assessment and treatment when in remote or wilderness environments.

NOLS Wilderness Medicine Updates to COVID Disclosure Jan 2021

The 2-day module is pre-approved for 16 hours of Basic EMT continuing education units (CEUs) by the Commission on Accreditation for Prehospital Continuing Education (CAPCE, formerly CECBEMS). Through joint sponsorship with the Wilderness Medical Society physicians may earn 16 hours of category 1 CME’s for participation in the Wilderness Medicine for the Professional Practitioner course. This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of theAccreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the Wilderness Medical Society and NOLS Wilderness Medicine. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Wilderness Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum 15 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of his or her participation in the activity. NOLS Wilderness Medicine is a non-profit educational organization that is not, in any of its activities, sponsored by any proprietary entity. Active members of the Wilderness Medical Society may earn up to 16 hours of credit towards a Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM).

Course Outline

NOLS WMPP Course Schedule

Packing List

We try to be outside as much as possible regardless of the weather. Please come prepared so that you are comfortable.

WFA, WMPP Gear List

General Information

Course Length

2 days


Licensed medical professional.

Certifications Received

NOLS Wilderness Medicine certificate of completion.

Course Length

  • This course is pre-approved for 16 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours by the State of Colorado and CAPCE (formerly CECBEMS).
  • Through joint sponsorship with the Wilderness Medical Society physicians may earn 15 hours of continuing education for participation in this course. Additional costs apply.
  • Active members of the Wilderness Medical Society may earn up to 16 hours of credit towards a Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM).

Course Expectations

Managing a patient in a wilderness, remote or disaster setting requires you to adapt your existing medical knowledge into a new context. Building on your background in urban emergency care, you will develop competency in the critical wilderness medicine skills needed to take care of a patient in an extended care environment. These skills include: orthopedic injury management and improvised splinting, focused spine assessment, improvised litter construction, environmental emergency management and leadership and communication skills.

We will provide you the latest information on decision-making principles and practices guiding wilderness treatment and evacuation decisions. This 2-day intensive module takes a hands-on approach toward presenting curriculum utilizing practical scenarios, role play and case studies. Expect to spend plenty of time applying your knowledge.

Successful completion is based on student participation and instructor observation. Your rescue gear needs to be packed and ready to go at any moment throughout the course. Please refer to and follow the WFA Gear List closely, as you will still need to have a well-stocked rescue pack. Please be in touch if you need further clarification in order to prepare.

Bad things happen outdoors and usually in bad weather! So, be prepared…dress in layers that you can remove indoors or in the sun, and layer up when we go outside. Full rain protection is a necessity, both raintops and pants. Your comfort and ability to pay attention during this intense course will be helped if you stay well-hydrated and have snacks on hand to munch during class. The course ends near 5PM on the last day with student evaluations of the experience, and graduation. Please do not make travel plans that require an earlier departure or you will have to make alternative testing arrangements at a later course.

Additional Details

All course materials will be given at the course. If you would like to read ahead, you can visit the NOLS bookstore online. You will find some great resources there, particularly Todd Schimelpfenig’s NOLS – Wilderness Medicine. Other resources will be provided during your course, so it is not necessary to purchase any ahead of time.

Students Annually

Course Types


Years Established

Get In Touch

Mailing Address: PO Box 1888, Cullowhee NC 28723

Telephone: (828) 293-5384


Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am - 4pm EST