Becoming a NIMAA Student
A Day in the Life of a NIMAA Student
Are you interested in learning more about being a NIMAA student? Meet James Kelley and take a look at these short video clips as James highlights his NIMAA experience.
Why James joined NIMAA
James decided to join NIMAA because he always had an interest in the medical field. When he learned about NIMAA, he knew it was the perfect opportunity for a great career.
The NIMAA experience: If you're determined in yourself and in your career, this is the program for you
The NIMAA program is both challenging and rewarding. Getting hands-on and online learning at the same time is the key advantage of NIMAA.
For James, clinic work and schoolwork bounced off each other well.
For James, clinic work and schoolwork bounced off each other well. A rough day in the clinic was followed up with a cool homework assignment and vice versa. The two together were fantastic.
While training in the clinic James learned other medical assistants wished they had the opportunity to have the same training while they were in school.
What to know about the program
When you join NIMAA you learn with students from states all over the country. NIMAA is not just an online or in-person program, it's a nationwide collaboration James is happy to be part of.
All clinics follow a similar curriculum and they take part in weekly synchronous sessions, meaning students from different states learn together.
Clinics are constantly supporting each other. For example, if students in Connecticut were struggling with something, they could reach out to the students in Colorado for help.
Seeing patients transform: The most rewarding part of the program
When James first started the NIMAA program, he struggled with taking a simple blood pressure. As time went on and his skills improved, his patients began to take notice. The majority of the time his patients would tell him how great he was learning how to be a high-performing medical assistant.
James also had a patient who was on the heavy side. After talking to him and learning more, James gave the patient some suggestions to help with his weight-loss journey. He suggested the patient start parking in the back of the lot when he traveled to various places so he would need to walk a little further. By the time James finished the program his patient had lost 15 pounds. James was thrilled he had the opportunity to watch and be a part of the transformation.
Meet the first Connecticut NIMAA Volunteer Participants!
Before beginning the NIMAA program, I had gone to a traditional MA school and was an acting MA at Rushford for drug and alcohol detox/rehab for close to 3 years. I had done my externship at Rushford and was offered a job in the Admissions department. The atmosphere was a very tough one to work in, but I loved being able to help the clients that came in. I always knew helping people was where I needed to be.
I am also a hairdresser of 20 years and a mom of 4. When I left Rushford, I went into working in the administrative part of the medical field. I was good at what I did as I am a people person but I felt something was missing. Working with the patients was always so fulfilling and I missed that. Wanting to get back into the MA role I could not find a job that did not require having the state certification. I never went for the certification as Rushford did not require it. NIMAA has prepared me to sit for the certification and has upskilled me into primary care. NIMAA has taught me more than I expected.
I came into it as a refresher course to sit for the certification but quickly learned that I was getting so much more than that. The NIMAA team has been truly amazing! From learning Team-based Care, Health Coaching, Panel Management and more to working with so many people who are willing to teach you and care about who you are.
Before NIMAA, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted but learning and going though NIMAA I realized there’s so much more I can do. I am currently working for CHC as a per diem MA and I love that. I will be applying for a school-based MA position and hope to continue to work with NIMAA. Working with NIMAA as a part of this amazing team has been incredible. I’m so blessed to be a part of it and hope I can continue to be a part of it as it grows. I don’t fully know where I want to be in 5 years but I’m on the right road! I will continue with education and see where this leads me.
I was approached with the question “Nabil have you ever considered of becoming a medical assistant?” Before NIMAA, I was working at Community Health Center for about four years as Patient Service Associate. I thought about going back to school every single day, but dismissed the idea when I contemplated everything that was going on in my life. Working fulltime at a very demanding organization, being a fulltime single mother, entertaining the possibility of going back to my second job to make ends meet, when would I ever have the time to go back to school, yet alone afford it? NIMAA was explained to me in detail and was very clear that this would be a very challenging but extraordinary opportunity. Without a doubt my superiors knew that this tremendous experience would be something that I could master with a lot of hard work and dedication.
I continued working as a PSA as I went through the NIMAA PIOLT Program. I worked as a PSA, study, completed assignments, quizzes, projects, tests, core skills, and externship hours, became CPR certified, went to meetings, the conference, stayed up way past my bedtime (sometimes going to sleep at 4AM)! Meeting as a class with Colorado and Connecticut was always enlightening to see that some of my peers were going through the same struggle or having the same questions as I did which was always nice to share common experiences.
Not only was I going through a program but I was shaping the curriculum with positive and of course some negative feedback to help our future students go through a wonderful curriculum with more understanding and guidance. NIMAA has been such a monumental accomplishment in my life and in knowing that the experience was a huge success has been an honor.
Now that graduation is right around the corner I have been asked plenty of times now what? What happens after NIMAA? NIMAA has opened so many doors of opportunities for me to grow hopefully with Community Health Center.
I have always admired my colleagues but now I can actually appreciate the amount of work, time and dedication that is given each and every day to all of our patients! I will continue to study and prepare myself for the exam on May 9th after PASSING, I will explore different opportunities and hopefully assist in any way that I can as an Medical Assistant, Mentor to our new NIMAA students always keeping an open mind with any new openings or possibilities that may come knocking my way, as I have with the NIMAA Program. I look forward in further developing the skills that I learned and apply them in my current position and in my future!
I am originally from Naugatuck but I recently moved to New Britain, Connecticut. Before finding NIMAA, I worked at Ocean State Job Lot and played Semi-Professional Football for the Naugatuck Valley River Dogs. This was good fun for me up until I wanted to build my professional life so I can carry more responsibility. My father who works at Community Health Center has been known to help his family find quality jobs by pointing them in the right direction so he was the first one I called. He put me into contact with his fellow employees who were beginning to put the framework of NIMAA together and after a few successful interviews I found myself to be a great fit for this position.
Now that I have completed the NIMAA program, I plan on taking my certification exam on May 9th and I feel very confident. After I get my results I plan on applying to the Community Health Center and ideally work with my dad over at the New Britain site for a few years. I thank NIMAA for giving me a great head start on my health care career which I plan to expand on in some way down the road but for now I celebrate a wonderful start!
I am from Groton, CT. Prior to applying and being accepted to the NIMAA Program, I worked as a Sr. PSA for the New London Community Health Center. I’ve worked for the Community Health Center for almost nine years and have worked all modalities from Dental, Behavior Health and Medical.
I was always curious about what a medical assistant entailed and once given the opportunity, I jumped for that chance. What I enjoyed about the program was working together as a team & learning how to become a medical assistant with the assistance of professors & preceptors.
The program also facilitated with on job training and education. I am very grateful that this opportunity was given to me and glad that this program came together to further educate individuals such as myself and others.
Meet the first Colorado NIMAA graduates!
Dioseline Guadalupe Lares Franco
I am from Brighton, Colorado. Before I started NIMAA, I was a full-time high school student working part time at McDonalds. Ever since I was a little girl I was always dreaming of becoming a nurse or even a doctor. During my senior year, I took the CNA program provided by my school. I saw this as a chance to start into the medical field. The program lasted the first semester of the year. I was able to witness how CNAs worked by doing clinicals for two days. Although I had enjoyed the clinicals and the CNA program, I didn’t really like the fact that it was only older people. That is why I didn’t apply to work as a CNA. My time in the NIMAA program helped me out a lot. I enjoyed the program a lot. I loved it because it was mostly hands on and that was very helpful. I was able to meet new people and establish new friendships with everyone that was in the program.
Now that we graduated from the program, we will be taking our NHA exam on the 28th of April and hopefully, I’ll get certified as a medical assistant. After being certified, I will be looking for job at my site here in Brighton. As of right now, there are no openings at my site. I will be waiting to see if something opens up during the next few weeks/months. My plan is to work as a medical assistant for some time, and at the same time start attending community college and hopefully be able to receive my Associates degree in the next few years. My overall goal is to be a registered nurse, so being a medical assistant will help out a lot. NIMAA help me a lot. It allowed me to strengthen my communication skills and my customer service. I will forever be thankful for this wonderful experience. Thank you to everyone that was by my side during this journey.
Before NIMAA, I worked at Valley View Villa Nursing Home Center. I joined NIMAA because I wanted something better for myself. When I heard about NIMAA, I decided to be part of something big and new. The medical field was always my passion and my dream is of becoming a nurse one day. NIMAA was dream come true.
After NIMAA program I will be taking the certifying exam, and apply for MA jobs here at Salud. In the Fall, I will be applying the nursing program at our local community college. Hopefully, I will get in, and then my plan is to get my RN no matter how long it takes.
Luz M. Paredes
I was born in Midland, Texas but was raised in Fort Morgan, CO. Before starting NIMAA, I was and am currently working as a certified nursing assistant for Eben Ezer Lutheran Care. I joined NIMAA because I'm a strong believer in highering my education. Healthcare is my passion. Medical assisting has been another goal that I wanted to crush in my career goals. My favorite memory in the program was the connections we made even across the states. My favorite part of the program is the hands on. I enjoyed every step of the way.
After the NIMAA program, I will be taking my state exam and apply for jobs to be a great asset to any healthcare facility. My long term goal is to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I'm thankful for the opportunity of meeting such a great health care team and doing what I love, healthcare.
I am from Brighton, CO. Before NIMAA, I was working at McDonald's where I have worked since I was 16. I also attended Front Range Community College for one semester. Confused on what classes I wanted to take and what career was the perfect one for me, I decided to drop out after my first semester. I first found out about NIMAA by my aunt who works for Salud. After reading about the program, I thought it'd be a great opportunity and a great learning experience. NIMMA has truly taught me so much and has truly helped me grow as a person. It has especially taught me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I have met so many wonderful people thanks to this program
After NIMAA and after the certifying exam, I hope to apply for a job as a medical assistant. I have always loved helping others and thanks to everything I have learned throughout this program I am now able to help others more than ever. As for my long term plans, I am not quite sure of what exactly it is that I want to do. I know that I would love to work as a medical assistant for a few years and later on go back to school maybe for business or photography. NIMAA has encouraged me to believe in myself and has provided me with such a great start and I can't wait to see what lies ahead in my future.