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Training the Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals, Boosting Education and Talent Retention

Distributed On Behalf of Premier Nursing Academy


These Goshen High School seniors represent hundreds of students trained this past year through Premier Nursing Academy, based in Fort Wayne with additional locations in Warsaw and Goshen.

Taylor Coulter is a Goshen High School senior, who is completing her Certified Nurse Aide certificate (C.N.A) while also finishing high school. She has joined hundreds of students who have been trained this past year through Premier Nursing Academy, based in Fort Wayne with additional locations in Warsaw and Goshen.

Coulter plans to enroll as a B.S.N., R.N. student at Indiana University, South Bend and graduate with four years relevant work experience. She is a student in one of the first C.N.A. classes to go through Trilogy Health Services—all expenses (classes, books, licensing fee, scrubs) paid for her C.N.A. classes. Upon graduating, she has an opportunity for employment within one of over 100 healthcare provider campuses throughout the Midwest. Most importantly, in an environment where student load debt in the U.S. has escalated to $1 trillion, her loan debt will be much less due to tuition reimbursement by her employer.

“Premier Nursing Academy offered me the opportunity to meet residents sooner in the process to better understand their needs. My career goal is to become an RN, and this training will help me to become a better one. I know the job market will be competitive once I graduate so figured I’d get a jump on it now. Having my job already set up is a bonus for me,” said Coulter.

According to Chris Palevich, COO, Premier Nursing Academy, its business strategy is to implement an enrollment-to-employment model. This results in its graduates providing elevated levels of care for residents and reduced turnover rates for long-term care. The intention is to provide a bridge, not an end goal. “Our vision in forming Premier Nursing Academy was to transform the entry level nursing community from the ground up. By focusing on students pursuing nursing/healthcare careers and transitioning a freshman pre-nursing/health sciences major into a C.N.A role, we provide a way for the student to earn a license, at no charge, and provide a way to gain valuable workplace experience. Simultaneously, we are providing our employment partners with a far superior employee, enhancing the continuity of care provided to residents, and guaranteeing employment for a period of time. ” said Palevich.

“Soft skills, talent development, attraction and retention are keys to a thriving community. They continue to be a real challenge for Northeast Indiana and our state. Premier Nursing Academy, headquartered here at The NIIC, provides an innovative approach and comprehensive solution for connecting the talent pipeline to important careers with plans for statewide expansion,” said Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC.

From education, talent recruitment, and talent retention perspective, Jodi Duran, Regional Recruiter, Trilogy Health Services, credits their partnership with Premier Nursing with significantly increasing its talent pool with associates to fill much needed second shift vacancies. “Premier Nursing has blazed a trail for us with their connections with local high schools and their students. Working with them has significantly increased our ability to grow the nursing field by offering C.N.A classes to high school students and igniting a passion for working with the elderly at an early stage in their professional career path. Premier has created a streamlined process for the students to receive training, connect with local employers, and gain employment in their field. From first connection to employment can be as little as six to eight weeks. The sky is the limit for these students. They can start with certification and continue to grow with their new employer into the next steps of their nursing careers,” said Duran.

Auburn Village Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing started a similar program January 22, 2018, with Dekalb County Eastside High School seniors. Each of these graduates is guaranteed employment at Auburn Village prior graduating high school. Premier recently started additional classes in Fort Wayne with Leo Jr./Sr. High School, New Haven High School, Heritage Jr./Sr. High School, and Woodlan Jr./Sr High School. This is possible through a fundamental change in the way we approach post-secondary education. “Employer based, sponsored education is the wave of the future. We recruit and train talent, our employment partners hire that talent, and our graduates get a healthcare licensure, work experience, and bridge to further their future educational goals. During this time, we’re increasing the patient care experience within our employment partners with a more vibrant candidate, one that is using C.N.A. or Q.M.A. experience as an educational enhancement opportunity,” said Chris Palevich, COO, Premier Nursing Academy

Premier was recognized by the Office of Career and Technical Schools, a division of Workforce Development to provide Post-Secondary Education throughout Indiana for C.N.A., Q.M.A., and Phlebotomy. Premier Nursing Academy purchased 100 percent of Brown Mackie’s training equipment to rollout new programs in 2018.

For more information, including how to enroll as a student, visit the Premier Nursing Academy website.