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March 02, 2015

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Career as Certified Pharmacy Technician Just What the Doctor Ordered

Career as Certified Pharmacy Technician Just What the Doctor Ordered

As a certified pharmacy technician working in the doctor call division of Humana, Tracey Mosby works closely with the organization’s pharmacists to assist physicians with questions and concerns that they have about their patients’ prescriptions.  

Accuracy and attention to detail are a must for Tracey as she works with the pharmacists to dispense the myriad medications, including specialty and generic drugs, which she learned about in her pharmacy technician program at the Cincinnati Campus. “The instructors that I had really grilled me,” she recalled of her program at American National University. “Working with Humana now, the pharmacists are very strict and will check you. They make sure you stay on your toes.”

Before starting her job at Humana, Tracey worked in a retail pharmacy setting during an externship at Walgreen’s. She also gained valuable experience working on contract at Omnicare, a company which provides pharmacy services to long-term care facilities. “It’s a pharmaceutical manufacturing company and that’s a big deal,” she explained. “A lot of people don’t realize that experience puts you in a broader horizon due to the fact that you’re working with so many medications and so many prescriptions at one time. There might be a thousand orders going out across the city, and it is dependent on you to get it out on time.”

With certification as a pharmacy technician and job experience in a variety of pharmacy settings in hand, Tracey feels that her future in the pharmacy field looks bright. “[My program at National] gave me a good foundation to get my hands wet in a career. Working in the field now, I see that that’s something that I actually want to do,” said Tracey.

“I just thank God for the opportunities that he’s provided for me and the people that I met along the way because it’s all helped me get to where I am,” Tracey stated. “Every day I wake up and say, ‘I’m a pharmacy technician,’ and at the end of the day nobody can take that from me where ever I go.”

A- Cincinnati Campus graduate Tracey Mosby is working as a certified pharmacy technician in the doctor call division of Humana.

B- Tracey is shown with her pharmacy technician certificate, which she earned after completing her program at American National University. The knowledge gained in her classes prepared her to pass the national certification exam required to earn this distinction.

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Students Learn Importance of Good Credit and How it Affects Employment

Students Learn Importance of Good Credit and How it Affects Employment

Did you know that a potential employer can pull up your credit report and use that to help decide whether to hire you or not? Did you know that having no credit established could be a negative mark on your report? Students at ANU’s Lynchburg Campus learned this and more when Wells Fargo representatives presented a series of credit workshops on campus.  

Chris Anderson, personal banker with Wells Fargo, suggested to students that they begin by pulling up their own free credit report, which federal law states that everyone is entitled to every 12 months. “You might be surprised to see on your report a $20 medical bill you forgot to pay that went into collections,” explained Mr. Anderson. “You can pay it off and instantly improve your credit score.” 

Mr. Anderson explained to the students that it’s important to be vigilant regarding their credit reports because when applying for jobs, potential employers sometimes have applicants sign a release giving them permission to pull their reports. Certain jobs require a good report, and some employers consider applicants with bad credit to be a security risk, especially for jobs requiring security clearance. Therefore, Mr. Anderson advised, it’s important not to wait until graduating or when looking for a job, but to establish good credit now and, if necessary, begin taking any necessary steps to repair it. 

Finally and most importantly, Mr. Anderson explained that credit can be fixed and offered suggestions for how students can begin to restore their credit, such as keeping in touch with medical and credit card companies, working out payment plans, and meeting with a personal banker to take the necessary steps to build or rebuild credit. “Use your negative credit experience as a growing point to rebuild your credit,” said Mr. Anderson. “Each negative credit repair you make improves your credit score instantly.”

Business administration-management student Cody Mabry found the information presented in the workshop series helpful, especially “not to get discouraged when dealing with credit – take it one bite at a time to fix it, and learn to save more than you spend.” 

“Just because you get in debt doesn’t mean that you can’t get out of it,” agreed fellow business administration-management student Shannon Bowling. “Bad credit isn’t ‘bad credit,’ it is an opportunity.” 

Wells Fargo personal banker Chris Anderson shares tips on building and rebuilding credit at a recent Lynchburg Campus workshop.

Student Gains Hands-On Experience during Externship

 Student Gains Hands-On Experience during Externship

Shaniece Oliver was working two jobs to make ends meet when she enrolled in the medical assisting program at the Memphis Campus. “I moved out when I was nineteen and got my own place,” Shaniece recalled. “I was in two dead-end jobs that I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to make a career out of, so I decided that before I turned twenty, I had to get in school.”

After visiting a number of local colleges, Shaniece was excited that she could get started right away in her program at National. “The next term was starting, and I went to orientation that Saturday; so, boom, boom, boom – [it was] that quick,” she said. 

Shaniece has particularly enjoyed her clinical classes. “I’ve learned a lot,” she stated. “My hands-on classes that I had, that was the most exciting part to me, because it’s exactly what I’m going to be doing [in the field].”

Now in the last term of her program, she is also getting hands-on experience working in a medical office during an externship at Wolf River Foot Care, where she takes vitals, performs phlebotomy, and assists with minor surgical procedures. “I love my externship site; [I’m] basically the doctor’s right hand for whatever he needs help with,” she explained.

Shaniece can’t wait to begin her career as a medical assistant and plans to continue her education in the medical field. “I love people; I love helping people,” she said. “I always smile, and I love to put a smile on people’s faces, so I feel like I should be in the medical field.”

Shaniece Oliver came to National College for training in the medical field after working in two dead end jobs to make ends meet.

Amber Blair – Admissions Representative – Bartlett Campus

Amber Blair – Admissions Representative – Bartlett Campus


Amber Blair – Difference Maker at the Bartlett Campus


Admissions Representative

Member of student activities council (SAC) committee


National College staff member since 2013


Holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Memphis


“I have always been passionate about education, and being the first in my family to attend college and graduate, I understand there is confusion and apprehension when enrolling in school. I want to help others avoid that situation so people don’t miss the opportunity to change their lives.

“My favorite moments are when students find out they made the Dean’s List or it’s finally their time to graduate. Now that I’ve been here almost two years, some of the students I enrolled are starting to graduate, and it’s a great feeling seeing someone come so far.

“The biggest transformation I’ve seen is not just in one student, but in a group of students. Their school shut down and they felt as though they had nowhere to turn. They had unanswered questions and felt completely lost. We enrolled the students at National and helped them get back in school. Their attitudes completely changed; their spirits have been uplifted, and they’re able to trust us.”

Admissions representative Amber Blair is a Difference Maker at the Bartlett Campus.

Summa Akron City Hospital Named Distinguished Community Employer

Summa Akron City Hospital Named Distinguished Community Employer

The Akron Area Campus recently recognized Summa Akron City Hospital with the Distinguished Community Employer Award in thanks for the long and productive relationship the two organizations share. Since 2010, Summa Akron City Hospital has provided externship opportunities for American National University students in the surgical technology program. The hospital also currently employs six surgical technology graduates in their operating rooms. 

According to Valerie Grant, the hospital’s OR educator, they would hire more National graduates if they could. She values that the students and graduates come prepared with all the necessary skills and are ready to work. “They all come a bit more mature from the American National University program,” said Valerie. 

Like any good relationship, this one works both ways. “I would send every student that I have there for their externship if I could because of the fantastic experience that they receive,” stated Akron Area Campus Surgical Technology Director Cari Gallagher. 

OR educator Valerie Grant (2nd from left) and American National University graduates Jamie Borbely (center) and Kayla Heisel (2nd from right) accept the Distinguished Community Employer Award on behalf of Summa Akron City Hospital presented by Akron Area Campus surgical technology director Cari Gallagher (far left) and career center director Amy Hickman (far right). 

Career Center Puts Graduate a Step Ahead

Career Center Puts Graduate a Step Ahead

After graduating from the pharmacy technician program at the Nashville Campus, Gabrielle Sanders is working in the pharmacy at CVS where she enjoys caring for her customers by sending them home with the medications that they need.

“I got in the pharmacy and I love it,” Gabrielle said of her new career, which she achieved through her program at National College. “The learning process was fun for me,” she recalled.

Career center director Terri Davis-McCall played a big part in helping Gabrielle land her new job, working closely with her to assist with her job search, interviewing skills, and her résumé. Terri alerted Gabrielle to the opportunity at CVS and assisted her with the job application process, as well. “She knows the right things to say to try to put you in a place where you’re thinking a step ahead instead of being a step behind,” Gabrielle said of Terri.

Participating in the Nashville Campus’s graduation ceremony was a very proud day for Gabrielle. “It felt great to realize that I’d accomplished something and I actually did it,” she said of completing her program. “It put me in a place to make a step in the right direction and to actually make something of myself.”

Nashville Campus graduate Gabrielle Sanders is enjoying caring for her customers in the pharmacy at CVS.

Graduate's Degree is a Stepping Stone into Family's Legacy

Graduate's Degree is a Stepping Stone into Family's Legacy

As the fourth generation in his family to operate Hawkins-Taylor Funeral Home, Johnathon Taylor is poised to take his family’s business, and his own career, to the next level using the knowledge he gained while earning his business administration-management degree at the Lexington Campus. 

“It’s a funeral home, but it’s a business too, so I wanted to learn a little more about business,” Johnathon explained of his decision to enroll at American National University. Hawkins-Taylor Funeral Home has provided outstanding care to families in the Bluegrass area since 1921, and Johnathon feels that his classes in small business management, accounting, and computer technology gave him the skills that he needs to keep the business growing and operating efficiently.

Johnathon’s father, Reverend John C. Hawkins Taylor, who serves as the funeral director at Hawkins-Taylor, said that he’s extremely proud of his son as he prepares to continue the legacy that his family built. “Johnathon is now in charge of the office work,” said Reverend Taylor. “Hopefully he can help get me to the 21st century. He knows about [technology], and I’m still a paper pusher, so that’s the reason that I wanted him to go [to National].”

Johnathon is currently completing an apprenticeship under his father in which he is involved in every aspect of the business in order to learn the funeral preparation and planning process.  The apprenticeship is the first step in his training to become a licensed funeral director, and after completing it, he will be continuing his education at Mid-America College of Funeral Service.  

He feels that the study habits and discipline that he developed as a student at American National University will help him excel in his program at Mid-America. “It’s a stepping stone for me,” Johnathon said of his program at National. “When I go to mortuary school now, I’ll be much more ready than what I was [before coming to National].”

A- Johnathon Taylor earned a degree in business administration-management at the Lexington Campus to gain the skills that he needs to grow his family's business and keep it operating efficiently. 

B- Lexington Campus graduate Johnathon Taylor (right) is working in an apprenticeship under the direction of his father, Reverend John C. Hawkins Taylor (left).

Medical Assistant Finds her Skills are in Demand

Medical Assistant Finds her Skills are in Demand

Brittney Wainscott has transitioned from a minimum wage job at a daycare into a career working as a registered medical assistant (RMA) at Georgetown Urgent Care after graduating from the medical assisting program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.

“I thought it was just RNs that were important; I didn’t realize what a big demand there is for medical assistants,” said Brittney, who works in both the administrative and clinical sides of the practice. Scheduling appointments, checking in patients, taking vitals, giving injections, and assisting with procedures are just a few of the many duties that she performs. “You never know what type of injury or illness is going to come through,” she explained.

Brittney advises others to be disciplined and determined if they’d like a career of their own in the medical field. “Your attitude really does matter, so that’s really important,” she said. “As a person, I’ve grown and matured; it’s helped my confidence a lot. If I hadn’t gone to National, I probably still would be working a minimum wage job.”

Click here to read more about Brittney's education at American National University.

Registed medical assistant (RMA) Brittney Wainscott works in both the clinical and administrative sides of the practice at Georgetown Urgent Care.

Medical Assistant Continues Education in Medical Billing and Coding Program

Medical Assistant Continues Education in Medical Billing and Coding Program

Kayla Lester loves the challenges that she faces as a health care professional. After earning her degree in the medical assisting program at the Pikeville Campus, Kayla is working as a registered medical assistant in Dr. Charles Lowe’s office, where her duties include giving allergy injections and drawing blood.  

When Kayla first entered the medical assisting program, she had a fear of blood and needles, but with the help and encouragement of director of health care education Wilma Storey she overcame her fears. She finds it ironic that her biggest fear has now become part of her daily routine.  

While a student at National, Kayla was placed with a medical coder during her externship at Pikeville Medical Cancer Center and developed an interest in the process. This led her to immediately re-enroll at National in the medical billing and coding program. “Billing and coding takes time and strategy,” she explained. “Coding can take different routes but always leads back to one code.”

The decision to re-enroll turned out to be instrumental in establishing her career. During her interview process at Dr. Lowe’s office, Kayla informed them she was taking the additional program to further her education, and she was offered the position based on her desire to be cross trained. Kayla is excited for her future and plans on obtaining all the certifications necessary to be the best healthcare professional she can be.  

Pikeville Campus graduate Kayla Lester, who is working as a registered medical assistant, returned to American National University to continue her education in the medical billing and coding program.

Mother of Four Has a Passion for Helping Others

Mother of Four Has a Passion for Helping Others

Melissa Crowe was a stay-at-home mom with four kids when she decided to return to school because she didn’t want to have to depend on her husband’s income alone. “I’ve always been a very self-sufficient person, and I like to work,” she said. “I wanted to be able to provide a good life for [my children].”

After a number of friends recommended American National University, Melissa enrolled in the medical assisting and pharmacy technician programs at the Richmond Campus. “I love how it’s honest, one-on-one, very close up with your professors,” she stated. “You’re able to get the training that you need on a personal level. It’s not like at a bigger university where you’re one in a crowd.”

Now halfway through her program, Melissa has become an active fixture at the Richmond Campus, organizing study groups, providing screenings to the community during local events, and serving as a work study student. “It’s great hands-on experience with the office, and it’s great experience with my medical director when I get to work with her; she has a lot of insightful advice and pointers,” she said of the experience that she’s gaining as a work study student.

After graduating, Melissa plans to find work in a medical practice, and her goal is to be running an office in five to ten years. “Helping people is where my passion is,” she explained.

Melissa Crowe enjoys the personal attention that she receives from her instructors at the Richmond Campus.

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.