After graduating from the health information management (HIM) program at the $$Bartlett Campus in 2011, Nikki Stafford has quickly advanced in her career with United Health Systems, moving from extern, to medical records clerk, to director of medical records at Lakeside Behavioral Health.
Nikki first visited Lakeside Behavioral Health during a class field trip to the facility. She inquired about externship opportunities during the visit, and she was accepted there as an extern a short time later. “It’s been a whirlwind,” Nikki said. “I started here as an extern, and I was right back here two years later as the director. It seems like everything just fell into place.” —
She feels that the externship that HIM students participate in at ANU is a vital learning experience, putting the knowledge that they gain in the classroom to work in a medical facility. “The basic knowledge that they give you [at ANU] really sets you up for success,” she stated. “And then, if you use your externship to get hands-on experience, that’s even better.”
[img]Nikki’s successful career was recently acknowledged by ANU when she was selected to receive the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award during the $$Bartlett Campus’s commencement ceremony. Today, she has several ANU graduates working under her, and she feels that it’s important to accept externs from ANU as often as possible. “I love taking on externs. I teach them every aspect I can possibly teach them,” she explained. “It gives me an opportunity to give back.”
A- Nikki Stafford graduated from the $$Bartlett Campus in 2011 and has advanced to become director of medical records at Lakeside Behavioral Health after starting there as an extern during her HIM program.
B- Career center director Sammie Hawkins (left) presented Nikki with the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award.