Is there such a thing as a wilderness or rescue nurse?

By | 2022-02-08T14:46:22-05:00 November 20th, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I am currently attending nursing school. In addition to being a student, I am a whitewater raft guide and a ski patroller. As you can see, I enjoy being active and in the outdoors. Is there such a thing as a wilderness or rescue nurse? Do you have any recommendations or helpful resources?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Caitlin,

Wherever there are people, there are nurses. Nurses work for national parks, wilderness adventure companies, and other outdoor sport/adventure programs. If you are free to relocate and travel, you might start exploring wilderness vacation companies, as well as therapeutic wilderness experiences. Some of these companies specialize in working with cancer survivors or troubled adolescents as an example. Check out Vision Quest’s Web site at as one example of the latter.

An Internet search for “wilderness expeditions” will turn up many hits. You can systematically contact these companies and ask them about the medical staff they use. If they don’t use any medical staff, be prepared to tell them why they should (e.g., how it could minimize lawsuits and enhance their credibility, marketing efforts, customer service, safety, and comfort).

If you search for medical wilderness excursions, wilderness first aid, wilderness therapy programs, or anything along those lines, you’ll come up with some interesting information and prospective opportunities.

Happy trails!

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit


Discover how can help you find your next dream job.
Just sign up and wait to be paired with your perfect match.

About the Author:


Leave A Comment