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Joanna Farrell

Student Profile

woman with lovely smile in ski gear with medical cross on shoulder

Above: Joanna "Jo" Farrell enjoying her medical role as ski patroller


Showing up a Leader / Leaving a Leader... Outdoors!

An important component of BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) education is Leadership, so by the time a student graduates from the UWYO nursing program, faculty have done their best to make sure each student is equipped to be a leader in the workplace, or at the bedside, or wherever the student plans to apply their nursing education. In Joanna Farrell's case, that "wherever" will likely be outdoors!

Leading in her "passion" area

Farrell came to college already a leader, plunging ahead into activities that stoked her joy. She became a ski instructor for the Snowy Range Ski Area, teaching both children and adults. Moving from ski instructor to ski patroller, Farrell responded to, assessed and treated injured skiers as well as enforced ski area policies. Jo won the Snowy Range Ski Area's "Patroller of the Year Award" in 2019. 

At the same time, Jo somehow found time to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Laramie Care Center. At considerable contrast to nursing home elderly care, Farrell sashayed into becoming a “High Adventure Guide” through Yellowstone High Adventure Outpost, which is affiliated with Camp Buffalo Bill (a scout camp outside Cody, Wyoming). Jo led the clients (mostly scouts, children up to age 18 and their adult leaders) in backpacking, climbing and whitewater rafting in Yellowstone National Park. 

Leadership in UW Outdoor Program

Farrell has been a trip leader since 2016 in University of Wyoming’s Outdoor Program for clients which include students, staff and community members. Trips and clinics have included backpacking, backcountry skiing, avalanche beacon clinics, hiking and snowshoeing. Jo teaches American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid along with CPR/AED/ and Basic First Aid.

Upcoming graduation

Amazingly, all of the afore-mentioned took place concurrently with Farrell's studies as a nursing student (with a minor in Outdoor Leadership, in case you didn’t imagine that already!) Jo has a great head start, already plying her trade, it seems. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing this May after her semester-long “Capstone Practicum,” where she will be placed at Steamboat Springs hospital ("Yampa Valley Medical Center"). And it’s our guess she will most likely see some ski time!

We are all looking forward to hearing what Ms. Farrell will do with her nursing following graduation this May. She's hinted at pursuing "Wilderness Nursing". Stay tuned for the (outdoor) sequel!


Story placed: 1/31/2020

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