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A Living Document – History of the ANT

Nailcare Academy is proud to announce its 4th Edition of the Advanced Nail Technician Certification Program.

Co-Founders Janet McCormick and Karen Hodges announce the release of their 4th Edition of their trademarked ANTTM certification program this fall.  “I’m just so happy with the updates we’ve been able to make. As we teach the course over the months, we become aware of new studies, new products and new protocols, so we update our training programs every 2 years to keep them relevant,” shares McCormick.

This course of study was originally inspired by the desire to help nail technicians work at a higher level of professionalism, and therefore to command a higher rate of pay. Over the years it has been a living document with many revisions and upgrades, but the underlying focus has been based on the growing need for safe, healthful foot care for three increasing population sectors:

  • The chronically ill – according to the CDC, more than half of adult Americans have one or more chronic illnesses, of which, the most devastatingly dangerous, in terms of foot care, is diabetes.
  • The fragile elderly – ‘Boomers, the largest population sector in America, have passed the threshold of age 65.
  • Those who have become fearful – due to the constant media coverage of injuries in nail shops.

Certified Advanced Nail Technicians set themselves and their services apart from the “ordinary” nail experience by becoming “extraordinary” at what they do. They do things in a visibly different manner, and their clients immediately notice and appreciate the difference.

Originally written in 2007-2008, McCormick developed the course when she was brought on board as a partner at Medinail Learning Center to expand a new emerging credential: the “Medical Nail Technician.” The three original podiatrist-conceived modules of the MNT were not easy for nail technicians to navigate and McCormick’s grasp of the disparity in training from state to state — anywhere from 150 hours to 6oo hours — made the need clear for a level playing field for nail techs to proceed to the MNT.  She utilized her degree in Adult Vocational Learning to conceive of a bridge course and named it the Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) and insisted on requiring nail technicians take the ANT as a prerequisite to the MNT.

As time went by, as often happens in business partnerships, the goals and focus of the partners change, and McCormick elected to leave Medinail in the summer of 2014. Over the next few months, she and her former partner negotiated an agreement, and she left with her copyrighted work product to partner with nail industry educator and veteran, Karen Hodges. Together they launched the Nailcare Academy and completely revised and revamped the ANT program in a much better format to be delivered by a cutting edge web Learning Management System platform.
The program has been since been revised and updated in 2016, and again this fall, and is helping nail techs work at a much higher standard.

Hodges states, “From the moment you enter a salon or spa which has the ANT program in place, you will know you are in good hands!  The practice of ‘Hi….have a seat, what color do you want?’ has been replaced with a comprehensive intake and consultation process. Each client’s health concerns are taken into account before the first drop of water hits the pedicure bowl.” This difference will grant nail technicians much higher status and prestige in the eyes of their clients, and it’s been demonstrated will never leave for another salon. “There are clients out there that are happy to pay for ‘foot care’ versus ‘fast care.’  We know some of our ANTs are making in the six figures, because they have taken what they’ve learned and hustled.”

The ANT program is made up of 10 modules of theory, with solid adult learning principles in each module. For example, once a module has been viewed, the learning is reinforced with Study Questions which require the student to utilize the module search feature to organize their answers. After viewing all 10 modules, and the downloadable Handbook which accompanies the course, there is a comprehensive exam based on 100 random questions taken from the question data base.  Each person has 2 attempts to pass the exam, and once they have, they are eligible to purchase their Certification Packet. Each layer of learning is a building block for the next, just as the ANT is the first step toward achieving status as an MNT.

To read more about the ANT Certification program, checkout the course description!