austere medicine, wilderness nurse, musculoskeletal injuries, training


Registered Nurses (RNs) make up the largest proportion of healthcare workers in the United States. As such, RNs are frequently involved in responding to emergencies in austere settings such as natural disasters and wilderness environments. Many injuries in the austere setting are categorized as musculoskeletal. Currently, nursing programs do not provide any curricular training on austere medicine. This leaves nurses unprepared to face the challenge of responding to emergencies in the austere environment.

Purpose: Create and pilot test an effective training for a nursing program at a private university in the Western United States on musculoskeletal injuries in the austere setting through online modules and simulation scenarios.

Methods: An online learning module on musculoskeletal injuries in the austere setting was developed and administered to nursing students.

Outcomes: Participating nursing students completed a pre- and post-test questionnaire which indicates the learning module improved their knowledge of musculoskeletal injuries in the austere setting.

Conclusion: The online learning module is effective at improving participant knowledge on musculoskeletal injuries in the austere setting. Future implementation will include field training simulations and will be incorporated into a comprehensive austere medicine course named “Wilderness RN.”

Document Type

Master's Project

Publication Date








University Standing at Time of Publication

Graduate Student

Included in

Nursing Commons