Premier Nursing Academy Expands—Educating Early Level Medical Professionals

Tammy Y. Allen, Director, Marketing & Programs, The NIIC
Danielle Foster, Premier Nursing Academy student, Fort Wayne, Indiana, plans to use her CNA license to gain valuable experience in patient care. – photo provided Premier Nursing Academy

New Parent Company Fuels Growth

June 6, 2019—Fort Wayne, Ind.  Premier Nursing Academy began two years ago as a local, family-owned business, with a plan to provide accessible CNA training. They have since turned the early level medical education model upside down and changed the lives of the 1,250 students who have graduated its programs and started their careers.

According to an article in the Washington Post, U.S. student loan debt is $1.53 trillion. With that model in mind, Chris and Rob Palevich asked, “How can we have students graduate a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Certificate Program with 0% debt and 100% employment the day after graduation? That’s exactly how it works for students graduating from our program,” said Chris Palevich, President of Premier Nursing Academy. “Something we’ve learned from being a client at The NIIC is to disrupt business models to solve big problems. That’s what we do.”

Premier’s goal was to create an enrollment to employment model. The model guarantees graduates the opportunity to earn their healthcare license, gain post-graduate employment and pursue tuition reimbursement for future collegiate studies—while gaining relevant work experience. “We believe this is the way secondary education should be,” says Palevich. “We are educating applicants on what’s being hired for and developing our programs around those employers. For students who want a career in healthcare and may not otherwise have the opportunity, we serve as a bridge to their futures.”

Premier Nursing Academy is on track for high growth, including national expansion and expanded program offerings to medical disciplines experiencing a shortage. Thruline, its new parent company, supports and is investing in the company’s vision.

“The NIIC is very excited for the next chapter in Premier Nursing’s strategic growth story. Parent company Thruline brings additional infrastructure, expertise and resources,” states Karl R. LaPan, President and CEO of The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC). “Premier’s growth trajectory to meet the long-term needs of the health industry will make it an important healthcare engine in the communities it serves. We are very proud of what Premier has accomplished as a NIIC client and for what is to come with the expanded reach.”

In an economic climate where talent gaps impact communities, Premier Nursing Academy serves as a talent pipeline for the medical communities. It also attracts individuals who want to gain healthcare experience. Healthcare spending is about 18 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and nursing is the single largest profession in the U.S. healthcare workforce. CNN Business projects a shortage of 446,300 home health aides and 95,000 CNAs by 2025. “Our current educational model is broken and will not address this shortage,” says Palevich. “We offer a different way to enroll students and provide healthcare delivery to the masses.”

Since starting out in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Premier has experienced success with their CNA programs throughout the state, including Goshen, Elkhart, Warsaw and South Bend. Expansion plans for future campuses include targeting cities with populations of one million or more individuals. In May 2019, Premier Nursing Academy opened its first campus in Florida with plans for additional campuses in the near future.

Media Contact:

Chris Palevich, MBA, MSM, President, Premier Nursing Academy

Telephone 260-450-9647, Chris.Palevich@premiernursing.org

About Premier Nursing Academy

Premier Nursing Academy is a contract training provider serving aspiring healthcare professionals.  Founded in 2017 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Premier Nursing offers an innovative no cost training program with guaranteed job placement to graduates.  All students enrolled at Premier Nursing are matched with an employer sponsor which pays for their cost of training along with offering them employment after they pass required licensing exams.  Premier Nursing engages with employer partners by offering training to their existing workforce or helping to recruit and train new employees for entry level healthcare positions.  Premier Nursing currently focuses on training Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in four to six-week programs that prepare graduates to pass their CNA exam. Premier Nursing operates in Tampa, Florida along with Fort Wayne, Goshen and South Bend, Indiana. Premier Nursing is licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health and Florida Board of Nursing provide CNA programs. For more information, visit premiernursing.org.


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