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March 03, 2014

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Medical Assisting Graduate Returns to Recruit Students and Graduates

Medical Assisting Graduate Returns to Recruit Students and Graduates

Melissa Roach graduated from the Lynchburg Campus in May, 2008.  Since then, she has been employed by Team Nurse in Gretna.  Melissa returned to the campus on Wednesday, February 26th, hoping to recruit students and upcoming graduates for employment opportunities.

Before deciding to attend college, Melissa was a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Lynchburg General Hospital.  She wanted to be a nurse her entire life, so she made a decision to attend college to further her education in the healthcare field.  She chose National College to begin her journey after finding the institution in the phone book while researching different schools to call.

Melissa chose medical assisting because it was one step up from being a CNA and one step away from her dream job as a registered nurse (RN).  Melissa described her experience as great, positive, and helpful to her and her future.  She feels that instructors, especially director of healthcare education Sue Coleman, gave her every tool necessary to be successful, and she was so happy she chose National College for her healthcare training.  She went on to say how supportive Sue was when they were learning different parts of the job that seemed intimidating.  Melissa also said that the Oral Communications class has been the biggest help in her career as it has taught her how to handle people and talk in front of crowds if needed.  She also feels that she can better handle administrative duties because of her training at National.

Melissa’s overall experience with National was pleasant and one that she encourages others to pursue.  She hopes to become a registered nurse over the next five years and move into a corporate job at Team Nurse.  Melissa said, “One of the best things I did for myself was going to college.  You should always further your education.  You will never make it in today’s world without [a degree].”      

Graduate Melissa Roach is employed by Team Nurse in Gretna as a recruiter.

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Fort Wayne, IN
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Danville, KY
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Akron Area, OH
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Dayton Area, OH
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Bartlett, TN
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Charlottesville, VA
Danville, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Lynchburg, VA
Manassas, VA
Martinsville, VA
Roanoke Valley, VA

West Virginia
Parkersburg, WV
Princeton, WV

Campus Reaches Out to the Community in More Ways than One

Campus Reaches Out to the Community in More Ways than One

The Fort Wayne Campus hosted a Volunteer Expo on Thursday, January 30th.  Seven area not-for-profit organizations were on hand to discuss various opportunities for volunteering and participating in the community.  The organizations included: The Rescue Mission Corporate Office and Foundation, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana, American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, the March of Dimes Northeast Indiana Division, and the LEARN Resource Center.  Students were encouraged to visit each booth and speak with the organizations’ representatives about service to the community.  The event was open to the public. 

“I enjoyed the information I received.  Organizations were on campus that I wanted to inquire about but never took the time,” said Adrienne Tucker, one of the student participants.  “It was a good experience to learn ways to help the community.”  The representative from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Manny Martinez, said, “I met with a number of students who want to become ‘Bigs’ for our organization.  This was a good event for us.” 

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette was on hand to take pictures and interview the students as well.  This will become an annual event for the Fort Wayne Campus as it has helped to inspire a spirit of community service in the students and expanded their professional networks.

Student Adrienne Tucker speaks with representatives from the March of Dimes Northeast Indiana Division.

Former Pharmacy Technician Chair Still Serves as College Advocate

Former Pharmacy Technician Chair Still Serves as College Advocate

Forming bonds within the community is a sure way to create lasting professional partnerships and is mutually beneficial.  Gina Baer, an operations trainer, has been with Walgreens for 23 years.  Gina takes advantage of being part of the Campus Advisory Board at the Dayton Area Campus to network and seek out new employees, along with helping with career placement of the graduates.  In the past, Ms. Baer was the department chair for the pharmacy technician program at the Cincinnati Campus.

The opportunity to have students reach their goals is what draws her to American National University.  This is accomplished by having the opportunity to offer externships to them, so they can get their hands-on training and in return, Walgreens gets the benefit of meeting students and getting to know them before an official hire.  Ms. Baer also uses the campus for meetings and trainings which provides publicity for the facility.

When asked what main qualities she seeks when hiring, Ms. Baer said; “Professionalism, presentation skills, speech, how students conduct themselves, customer service skills and initiative.”  She is most impressed when students and graduates know how to express themselves appropriately, can answer questions without freezing up, and have the ability to multi-task.  American National University students have met her expectations.  A few examples of American National University graduates working at Walgreens are new hire Karen Fontenot, and students Molly Pritchard and Lauren Stewart.

What she believes makes Walgreens stand out from competitors is their customer service, the way they build relationships with their customers so that they want to return, and advocating for health and wellness for their customers.  American National University students help Walgreens fulfill their mission, so this is why Ms. Baer contacts the campus first when she has an opening.  On a final note, Ms. Baer said, “I encourage all students to get their certifications, practice data entry, and make sure they have the customer service oriented personality combined with the technical skills needed.”

Melissa Moore (l), career center director of the Dayton Area Campus, presented the Distinguished Community Employer award to Gina Baer, an operations trainer with Walgreens.

Medical Class Takes Field Trip to Job Fair

Medical Class Takes Field Trip to Job Fair

The medical assisting Invasive Clinical Procedures class at the Knoxville Campus recently took a field trip to Tennova’s North Knoxville Medical Center, where they were having a job fair for a newly created position called care partner.  The care partner requires that the individual be a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a junior in nursing school that has completed clinical training, or a certified medical assistant (CMA)—the last of which was relevant for medical assisting students.

Barb Neblett, director of healthcare education, and Shay Riggs, career center director, accompanied the students.  Kristi Owenby, human resource director for Tennova’s North Knoxville Medical Center, spent several minutes speaking with the class and answering questions regarding the position and the hiring process.  Medical assisting student Rialda Braden said, “It was very insightful and helped me gain confidence for future interviews.”

Shay took the résumés of upcoming graduates who were not able to attend the event.  One candidate in particular, Amanda Carter, stood out because of her prior experience as a CNA and that she was preparing to sit for the RMA certification.  After discussing Amanda’s qualifications with human resources, they set up an interview and she was hired for a care partner position.  “I’m very excited about having a job coming out of graduation,” said Amanda.  “They are also going to train and certify me for phlebotomy and EKGs.  Ms. Neblett and Shay were a great help and I wouldn’t have this position without them.”

Kristie Owenby, (seated), human resources director for Tennova’s North Knoxville Medical Center, speaks to students about the facility’s hiring process. 

Student Wants to Save Lives on an Oil Rig

Student Wants to Save Lives on an Oil Rig

Hailey Jeffries always wanted a career in the medical field, but it wasn’t until talking with her cousin who works on an oil rig in Corpus Christi, Texas that she finally knew what kind of medical career she wanted. She has decided that she wants to work as a paramedic on an oil rig, but first she needs the career training that can help her accomplish that goal.

Before that conversation with her cousin, Hailey had enrolled in the medical assisting degree program at the Roanoke Valley Campus. She enjoyed the medical part of that program, but she decided she wanted more direct patient contact in critical care. In December 2013, she enrolled in the campus’s emergency medical technology – paramedic program for the intensive critical care training she would need to work on an oil rig.

With a fully functioning medical lab equipped with lifelike mannequins that can simulate many different health problems and other equipment, Hailey likes that ANU’s program offers a lot of opportunities for hands-on learning. “I like how ANU offers its students practical experience,” Hailey said of her instructors’ efforts to organize real-life situations during class time where the students can practice their new skills.

She said she also likes that ANU’s program is shorter compared to other similar programs in the area, so she can reach her career goal and move to Texas sooner than later.

Paramedic student Hailey Jeffries is pictured with instructor Jack Guilliams as she practices using a nebulizer to give a “patient” a breathing treatment.

Veteran Earns the College Degree that She Always Wanted During Her Retirement

Veteran Earns the College Degree that She Always Wanted During Her Retirement

When Shauna Isgrigg retired from the Kentucky Army National Guard she considered finding a 9 to 5 job with the federal government, but decided that after many years of serving her country and taking care of her family that she deserved to focus on herself and her true passions. “When I retired in 2009, I thought, ‘What do I want to do?,’” recalled Shauna, who most recently served as Command Sergeant Major of the 751st Troop Command at Fort Knox.

Her thoughts quickly turned to her love of animals, which led her to apply for a job with the Lexington Humane Society, where she now works as an adoption specialist helping to secure “forever homes” for the cats and dogs that are in the organization’s care.

In addition to the career change, Shauna also wanted to use her retirement to earn a college degree, something that she’d never had time to pursue when she was working long hours as a single mom.  “All through your army career and [raising] your kids, you’ve done for everybody else but you.  It’s your turn,” she said of retirement.  “[I want to] enjoy my life, but get an education. I need to learn about what is really going on out here in the civilian world.”

Shauna chose to utilize her Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at American National University, earning her associate’s degree in the office technology program at the Lexington Campus. “I had always heard it was a great school, just from other veterans talking.  They’re very veteran-oriented, but not only that, they’re for the student,” she explained.  “I do much better in a small setting.  I was unsure of myself, but they give you that ‘You can do it.’  You don’t see that in a big college.”

The computer skills that she gained in her office technology professional program are vital to her work as an adoptions counselor, and with plans to start her own in-home pet sitting service, she’s continuing her education at National in the business administration-management bachelor’s program to develop the skills she needs to be a small business owner.

“My second goal is to pursue this bachelor’s degree and then maybe down the road pursue the master’s [degree],” Shauna said, adding that she wants to increase her knowledge of marketing, accounting, and contract law, and to learn how to build a solid business plan.  “I feel like I’ll get all of that from a business management degree.” 

Shauna said that she wants to continue to learn her whole life, and she looks forward to each class at National.  “I enjoy going to college.  It just makes me feel good every time I go.  The whole experience is awesome.  American National University has made me a better person in the civilian world.”

Student Shauna Isgrigg is a former Command Sergeant Major of the Kentucky National Guard.  She is now working as an adoption specialist with the Lexington Humane Society. 

Angela Andrepont – Instructor – Danville, VA

Angela Andrepont – Instructor – Danville, VA

Angela Andrepont—Difference Maker at the Danville, Virginia Campus

Instructor of business, accounting, computer, administrative professional, and college preparatory courses

• ANU instructor since 2009
• Has gained 18 years of experience in the business sector (working for large international corporations, small locally-owned businesses, and non-profit organizations) and 11 years of experience in education (educating both children and adults)

• Obtained Associate of Applied Science degree in business management from Danville Community College, Bachelor and Master of Business Administration degrees from Averett University, and Master of Science degree in education leadership from Radford University
• Middle school teacher of business and information technology for Pittsylvania County Schools

“I have a passion for teaching, learning, and helping others. American National University has afforded me the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills with others to help them become competitive and successful in the 21st century.

“I admire my students’ dedication for continuing their education. I always say, ‘Education is an investment that no one can take away from you.’ I encourage them to rise to the challenge, no matter what it may be, and to tread the depth of the unknown, even though it may be uncomfortable or scary for them. I continuously remind my students that they can be successful and achieve whatever they want out of life if they are willing to work hard, believe in themselves, and invest in their future.”

Danville Campus Director Carlene Jefferson-Wilson says: “Angela delivers outstanding energy in making sure the knowledge transfer of the information is obtained by the students in all classes that she is responsible for teaching. She has said that her success is based on her students’ success, and that is a positive and professional attitude that is worthy of noting as a Difference Maker.”

Angela Andrepont, Difference Maker at the Danville, Virginia Campus with student Barry Wood.

Company Representative Would Recommend National to Anyone Wanting to Make a Career Change

Company Representative Would Recommend National to Anyone Wanting to Make a Career Change

Paula Beth Ciolek, director of healthcare education, and Cynthia Hansel, career center director for the Richmond Campus, presented Lisa Hisle of the Kentucky Back Center with the Distinguished Community Employer Award.

The Kentucky Back Center employs one American National University graduate and has also supervised numerous medical assisting externships.

Ms. Hisle said that graduate Ashley Young is an excellent employee who is able to work independently and is able to adapt and be flexible with the changing needs of the office on a daily basis.  Ms. Hisle added that she would highly recommend National to anyone wanting to make a career change and would hire another National graduate when the opportunity is available.

Ms. Hisle added, “The American National University graduates and students have been a positive attribute to our practice.  Students are always eager to learn and help in anyway.  They contribute not only to our practice but to the community with their knowledge.”

Left to right: Ashley Young, graduate, Paula Beth Ciolek, director of healthcare education, Lisa Hisle, medical receptionist, accepting the Distinguished Community Employer Award for the Kentucky Back Center.  

One Hundred Percent of Nursing Class Become Registered Nurses and are Employed

One Hundred Percent of Nursing Class Become Registered Nurses and are Employed

Aristotle was quoted in saying, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”  This statement could not be truer than when describing the most recent nursing class at the Pikeville Campus.   

Denise Clements, nursing administrator, states this group of students worked very hard to not only meet the standards, but exceed them.  One hundred percent of the class earned a passing score on the NCLEX exam to become licensed as registered nurses.  In addition, all of the graduates were hired to work in their field before graduation.  This class now maintains a 100% in-field employment rate. 

Several of the students have already enrolled in higher nursing education which exemplifies their pursuit of excellence in nursing.  The class had their ups and downs, losses and gains, but in the end did not give any excuses and excelled in their careers.  

These graduates of the Pikeville Campus nursing program class achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX exam to become RNs and 100% are employed in-field.  Pictured are (front row, left to right): Jessica Pinion, Brandy McGuire, Christen Coleman, and Rebecca Fuller.  (Back row, left to right): Tara Case and Ryan Dotson.  (Not pictured: Sabrina Akers and Farrah Mullins).

The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.