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First two students to earn USI Graduate Certificate - Administrator-in-Training pass boards, land new jobs

April 26, 2022

The first two students to enroll in USI's Graduate Certificate - Administrator-in-Training (AIT) Residency Program have passed the National Long Term Care Administrators Board (NAB) exam on their first attempt and have accepted jobs as health facility administrators in southern Indiana. 

Morgan Branning and Jennie Deyne both earned an MBA degree from USI in 2021 and started the AIT program during the 2021 Fall Semester. They are in the process of completing nine credit hours of online courses and successfully completed the required 1,040 hours of residency at their respective nursing facilities. Prior to taking the NAB exam, they attended exam prep sessions at USI with Karla Diekemper, Instructor in Gerontology. 

"It is a long journey to earn professional licensure in the field of long-term care, and not everyone who takes the NAB exam passes the first time taking it," said Diekemper. "I am extremely proud of Morgan and Jennie for this achievement. Plus, they both were offered and accepted jobs as health facility administrators prior to finishing their AIT residencies." 

Diekemper said both Branning and Deyne are now eligible to take the Indiana State Jurisprudence Exam. Once they pass this second exam, they will be issued a Health Facilities Administrator (HFA) license from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA). 

Offered by USI's College of Nursing and Health Professions, the new hybrid Graduate Certificate - AIT Residency focuses on long-term care management, human resources, finance and patient/resident care, in addition to the hands-on experience with a qualified preceptor at a long-term care setting. 

Branning received a bachelor's degree in health service management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2020. She completed her AIT at Bethel Manor, Evansville, where she is currently working as a health facility administrator (license pending). Her AIT preceptor was Josh Bowman, who earned two degrees from USI-a health services bachelor's degree in gerontology in 2009, and a master's degree in health administration in 2019. 

Deyne, a 2020 graduate of USI with a degree in health services, completed her AIT at River Pointe Health Campus, a Trilogy Senior Living Community in Evansville. She is the health facility administrator (license pending) at another Trilogy facility, Scenic Hills at the Monastery in Ferdinand. Her AIT preceptor was Jordan Shots, a USI graduate with a health services bachelor's degree in health administration in 2016 and a master's degree in health administration in 2017. 

Dr. Katie Ehlman, Director of the USI Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), said a partnership was forged with Trilogy Health Services in 2017 which allowed USI to break new ground as the first academic institution in Indiana to have an AIT residency program incorporated into the undergraduate and graduate curriculums. USI was able to add the new AIT course because of changes in the Indiana statute allowing students to complete an AIT program prior to receiving a bachelor's degree. 

The addition of the Graduate Certificate - AIT Residency Program in Fall 2021 and the inclusion of the AIT residency component in USI's new Bachelor of Science in health administration degree program are both initiatives of the USI GWEP, which is focused on improving health outcomes for older adults and providing educational opportunities for students and health professionals pursuing careers in geriatrics. 

"Embedding the AIT residency into the USI curriculum is a win-win situation for the community because students of high caliber are entering the workforce fully prepared to pass NAB licensure exams and also promote culture change and quality of care for residents and staff," said Ehlman. "USI graduates serve in a variety of leadership roles in nursing homes throughout southern Indiana. Our GWEP'S addition of the Graduate Certificate - AIT Residency Program is another way we provide our students head starts in launching their careers." 

For more information about AIT residency options at the graduate and undergraduate levels, contact Diekemper at 

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