Foot Care as a Wellness Service

More salons and spas are incorporating “wellness” into their culture. ANTs can easily slip into this role.        


Nail services have evolved over the years–the original “nail salons” were focused mostly on artificial nail enhancements, but today’s nail departments now encompass a wide variety of nail services. Not only are artificial nails a part of the service menu, but there are now slots for natural nails, pedicures, “spa” treatments such as hand facials and reconstructed toe nails. As an ANT, you can add soakless, safe “routine foot care” and become a resource for the elderly and those with special health needs.

As a part of wellness, you can be the first party in the team to observe and recommend additional treatments if needed: medical providers, orthotic specialists, physical therapists and so on. You have the luxury of spending more time with your clients than many other professionals, and you can get to know them and they become comfortable with discussing their little aches and pains–when they might not “bother the doctor.” As their confidant and advocate, you can steer them in a direction for relief and wellness.


Take steps to develop this ethos in your work – create special brochures that discuss the wellness aspect of foot care. Did you know that the toes and toe nails are highly indicative of many health conditions in the body? You are in a position to demonstrate your caring by being educated and taking the time to explain why nail trimming must be done correctly on a timely basis, for example.

You can reach out to your target group of potential clients – specifically focus your marketing activities on wellness and foot health. Volunteer to speak at community events, have a table at a health fair or offer lectures in senior facilities.

Don’t forget to ask your current clientele if they know anyone who has a chronic illness…ANTs are specifically trained to help those who need them the most.


When is the last time you looked at your client list, and thought…hmmm…I haven’t seen this person in a while? Why not take a few minutes and run through your contacts to see who’s missing? They might love to hear from you! Surprise them with a pretty post card with a hand written note.

A wellness attitude is rewarded by great response and loyalty, but you must extend some effort and commit to taking actions which enhance this aspect of your business.



Random Acts of Kindness

It only takes one tiny handful of snow to start an avalanche of kind acts.

Recently one of our Advanced Nail Tech (ANT/MNT) students shared her frustration with us – her phone sound is not working correctly to allow her to learn the materials in the courses, and she does not have access to a computer. She tried using her public library, but reserving a computer is difficult with her schedule. She shared that she had saved for a long while to purchase the courses, and she is hoping to change her career to one of “taking care of those who need me the most – the elderly and people like diabetics.”

Feeling her frustration, but at a loss to help her with her phone, we posted an inquiry in our groups in Facebook: “Does anyone have an unused tablet sitting around, we have a student in need.” Very shortly, a true “Angel” sent a private note asking “Would this do the trick?” along with a screen shot of a fully-tricked out, latest-and-greatest tablet from Amazon.  We had been hoping for someone’s used tablet, just praying they would still have the charge cord!

That tablet arrived 2 days later at our mail center, and we took it straight to the counter to forward it out to the student in California. In calling to verify her shipping address (good thing – she’d moved!), the shipping agent overheard the situation and asked for details. Teary-eyed, she discounted the shipping!

The interwebs are a scary place sometimes. But stories like these give us hope that we can each be the reason someone believes in the goodness of others. Thank you to our special “Angel”… your anonymous gift will end up changing the lives of so many clients who need this Medical Nail Technician the most.

Offsetting the Cost of Your Lost Time

Do you have no-shows and late cancellations every week? Have you ever taken the time to add up all the potential income you have lost?  What about the clients you turned away because you were “booked out”….would they be more respectful of your time than the ones who no-showed you? Here’s how one Owner/Operator took control of her schedule and began offsetting her losses! 

Lauren Denney, Owner/Nail Technician at Gimme the shimmers in Glendale Arizona recently shared her point of view on “selling our time.”  We could learn from this nail veteran!

“I’m sharing a move I’ve made with my business and hopefully it might help anyone else struggling with this. I’ve had online booking available for the past 7 or so years and it’s worked great. I have also always had a cancellation policy which is stated as follows:

•Must cancel appointment at least 24 hours prior to your appointment if need be
•If it’s inside 24 hours then it’s a 50% charge of original service
•If you no-show, it’s a full charge of original service
•If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will be rebooked (for the sake of not putting other clients behind) and you will have to pay for the originally booked slot

“I’ve never been great about enforcing the policy—I can sometimes be a softy. But then I realized, it’s just not good business to be constantly absorbing all of the business’s losses single-handedly. Here’s the real deal though—our industry is one of the only industries I can think of that doesn’t have a solid plan for recovering loss. Here’s what I mean:  essentially we are selling our time. Yes we have overhead (rent, equipment, products) and, of course, our talent, but you can’t put a price tag on our time because it’s priceless. Time is a finite resource and if you are selling it, it should never come cheap. Most importantly it should never ever be wasted. When your time is wasted, that is considered a loss; and a great one at that. It should bother you if you are constantly the one who is absorbing the loss, not only by not getting paid for your services, but also never having the opportunity to get that time back since it’s impossible.

“Every successful business has a plan to offset or recover their losses. You can return the Nikes that you’ve worn every day for the last 6 months back to Macy’s because that’s their return policy but I promise you that it’s not coming out of the CEO’s pocket. That cost is passed along to the customers. When it comes to nail techs, when people cancel last minute why should the entire weight of that loss lies solely on the owner/operator? That’s a problem!

“Say you’re booked 8 clients a day 5 days a week and if you see them every 2 weeks, you have 80 standing clients. There’s always a variable there, things happen, people need to move their appointment, stuff comes up, etc., but if clients give you enough notice, you can juggle things and move stuff around to make it work out for everyone. Ok so let’s take this same full book, only you allow your clients to get away with no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Let’s say 5 do that to you in one week. Your 40 hour work week now turns into a 45+ hour work week because you have to come in on your day off to service the clients who cancelled last minute on another day just to make your projected income for that week. Now you have to pay a babysitter to watch your kids on a Sunday, and you also have to pay the salon owner for a sixth day on top of your 5 days. So now you’re working unpaid overtime because you were counting on that income and budgeted your bills and expenses that way. Unless you take some extra clients and work more than the 5 hours, you’re still short because of all the extra expenses of taking those clients at alternate times. What’s worse, this imposes on your time that you have with your family, your friends, your dogs, your cats, or heck, your “me” time which is all so incredibly valuable! We need to offset this loss!

“I recently made the decision to implement credit card guarantee with online booking which most clients were understanding of, though it didn’t settle well with some. I will tell you why I am 100% standing behind my decision. My time doesn’t come cheap. Think of this analogy: your day is basically the same thing as a hotel. Because the hotel is only allotted a static amount of rooms to let out each night, if every room is booked every night, they’re doing great. If only part of the rooms are booked they’re actually losing money. Whether or not people show up to occupy those time slots, the bills still need to be paid. That is the bottom line. Just as every night a hotel is short on occupants loses money, every minute that you don’t have someone in your chair you are losing money. This is totally just business. I know that crap happens and people have bad days and there are circumstances where it would be impossible for clients to make that appointment that they set with me, but as I establish these boundaries for myself and for my business, I can deal with these situations more effectively because I realize how precious and worthy my time is. It will never be anything personal. I will never be mad about someone having a bad day, but I can still effectively resolve my loss and hold my client accountable for their end of the transaction which was reserving that hour of my time with a promise to pay me for it.

“Maybe the general public doesn’t feel that nail techs are that important to be making these types of moves in their business. I believe it’s partially our fault for not treating our trade seriously ourselves. We’re too scared and worried that our clients won’t receive it well or value our time like we would like them to. I think that the way we run our businesses in this industry is flawed and we need to take steps to get it right!”

All beauty service providers should value their time in order for their clients to value it, as well. What steps will you take in your practice to “offset your losses?”


Podiatry Providers Seek Assistants: Cosmetology Licensed Foot Care

In a recent issue of PM News [April 26, #5913] a podiatrist asked about the possibility of hiring cosmetology trained assistants to help relieve the load of Routine Foot Care. This is a legitimate question for busy podiatry offices who are finding innovative ways to take care of their patients. Here are some points to consider in deciding if this might be viable in your busy podiatry practice:

Do you have a large amount of “nail trimming only” patients?

If so, you may find the following interesting:

  1. Routine foot care, as defined by Medicare, includes the following tasks: trimming and thinning thickened nails, reducing calluses and applying moisture. Cosmetology-licensed nail technicians can perform these exact same tasks under their licenses. Specially trained nail technicians who have achieved certification in advanced foot care will not only be able to perform these same tasks, they are trained to recognize and refer any “out of normal” observations they make upon their intake evaluation.
  2. Nail trimming is usually not reimbursable by insurance or Medicare: these treatments are usually cash services, payable upon rendering. These services are healthy for the practice–they can be the “bread and butter” but non-medical nail trimming by a trained assistant can bring in that same cash.

Is your schedule jam-packed with Routine Foot Care?

If non-medically driven trimming services are overwhelming the physician or podiatrist, higher-level treatments compete for appointed time. Hiring a well-trained assistant who can take on the non-medical nail trimming, callus reduction and foot care is a good way to free up the schedule.

Is it legal for your office to hire a nail technician?

The answer to this question is…”Yes, if done right.”   Here are some considerations:

In a practice facility, you can have both a Medical Board-sanctioned podiatry practice as well as a Cosmetology Board-licensed “salon” IF ALL REQUIREMENTS OF THE BOARDS ARE MET.

With an existing licensed medical practice you already know what is allowed in your facility. In most states, NO cosmetic services may be performed in the medical treatment rooms….but there is nothing that says there can’t be a separate non-treatment space designated for “cosmetic services only.”

Also generally, you cannot perform medical treatments in a licensed Cosmetology Salon, but there’s nothing to say a salon can’t be adjacent to a medical treatment area. Usually, in a cosmetology salon (or a salon “room”) you must meet the requirements as set forth by the Board of Cosmetology in your State. In most states:

  1. There is a minimum space requirement (usually a certain number of square feet per practitioner, which most treatment rooms will fulfill)
  2. There is a need for access to hot water (in some states, it must be in the same room, in some states just “near by”)
  3. There may be a requirement for access to a restroom (in some states, within a certain number of feet away)
  4. There might be a requirement for ventilation in the room (which is often already in place with A/C intake and venting)

The idea is to set up a separate room, licensed as a “Salon” and all the cosmetic services are done in this space by a cosmetology-licensed nail technician or cosmetologist. No medical treatments in this room. In other rooms, medical-only treatments may be performed–no cosmetic services in those rooms. The patient can move between the rooms…being seen for a medical evaluation or treatment by the podiatrist in a treatment room and then “cleared” for cosmetic services in the cosmetics room.

How do you go about setting up this type of practice?

You must carefully designate the spaces, follow all the rules for BOTH your Medical Board and your Cosmetology Board. This take some planning:

  1. Working with a nail technician who is already familiar with her licensure and scope of practice is ideal.
  2. We suggest hiring a consultant versed in this concept — Janet McCormick has assisted with several successful “foot spa” facilities and podiatric/cosmetology practices. You can contact her directly to book a consultation at (863) 273-9134.
  3. View the materials provided in the newest addition to Nailcare Academy’s course line up:  Cosmetic Foot Care in a Medical Practice .

Click here to read more about this course.


Setting up a “cosmetology salon” room in your medical practice can have many benefits – you not only are making sure your patients are getting excellent nail trimming in a safe, aseptic environment and keeping them out of public “nail shops” which don’t have your high standards, you are creating a physician extender which will allow you more freedom in your practice of medicine.

Cosmetic Foot Care in a Medical Setting

Announcing a New Course –  Available to Podiatrists, Physicians, other Medical Providers

Nailcare Academy is pleased to announce the launch of a new course in their line up of career-changing offerings.  Cosmetic Foot Care in a Medical Setting is a five-module program which covers the various components needed in order to successfully integrate cosmetic foot care, an intriguing new service, into practice. This business model is suitable for a podiatry office, clinic, assisted living facility, hospital, etc.

These “cash-on-the-counter” services are much needed in every community–there is a growing demographic of “Baby Boomers” who are seeking safe, careful care of their feet. Americans are living longer–and they have more chronic health conditions that require special consideration in their foot care. These persons are paying attention and do not want to risk the dangers that are portrayed in the media of common “nail shops” where corners are often cut. They are seeking safe, healthful foot care, and who better to provide it than their trusted medical provider?

For many years, plastic surgeons and dermatologists have incorporated cosmetic procedures into their practices.  This option is also available to podiatrists, foot surgeons, diabetes specialists and others through the addition of cosmetic foot care. Rather than reinventing the wheel, why not learn from experts who have a successful track record setting up this type of “boutique” clientele.

Resources included in the Modules are:

-Checklists of supplies, equipment and materials needed to set up a “cosmetic foot care room”

-Timelines for the practice and the staff with activities for creating a successful launch

-Information on compensation packages

-Discussion of pricing strategies

…and much more

If you are a medical provider who does foot care,  this course has been infused with proven marketing activities which will create a buzz in your community and bring awareness to an important safety issue, especially for the elderly. Offering cosmetic foot care in a properly staffed practice will free up medical providers for more crucial–and lucrative–procedures such as surgeries.

If you are a nail technician seeking to change your career–take it to a higher level of care for your clients–then this is a course you can recommend to your local podiatrist as you negotiate your new career track. There are guidelines for both the nail technician and the business owner in this course.

Click here to read more about this course.

Nailcare Academy Introduces Medical Advisory Board

Nailcare Academy is thrilled to introduce our Medical Advisory Board Members — two nationally known foot care specialists who care about nail technicians! Both are Board Certified Foot Surgeons at the top of their game and have reviewed the modules in the Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) Certification Program. We are proud we’ve earned their seal of approval for our content.


Anna Marie Chwastiak, DPM

DPM: Temple School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Residencies: Long Beach Memorial Hospital, in Long Beach, New York, Community Medical Center in Scranton, PA, Surgical Exchange Program: Institute of Orthopedics Galeazzi, in Milan, Italy, and the Institute of Orthopedics Rizzoli, in Bologna, Italy
Concierge Practice in Lake, Sumter and Marion counties, FL
Practice, Spa Marbella at Mission Inn Resort and Club, Howie-in-the-Hills, FL
Health specialist for the Weather Channel’s nationally syndicated TV series, Your Life Redefined



Stephen Frank, DPM 

BS: Pre-Med, Penn State 1992
DPM: Penn College of Podiatric Medicine 1996
Surgical Residency Germantown Hospital 1996-1998
ABPS Surgical Board Certification 2004
The Foot and Ankle Center, St. Louis, MO 1998-2007
Feet for Life, Chesterfield Valley, MO 2007-2008
Private Practice, St. Louis, 2008 – Present Specializing in sports medicine/injuries, corrective surgery of deformities, diabetic foot/wound care, pediatric foot ailments and revisional surgery.

New Delivery Format & Features!

The just-released 3rd Edition of the ANT Program offers user-friendly viewing options

One of the many changes made in this latest edition of the Advanced Nail Technician Certification Program is the ease of access to the module material. Co-Founder Janet McCormick says, “We have been working on a solutionnew-features-on-ant-modules that would give some flexibility to our students and instructors for months! Some prefer to click “Play” and sit back and take notes, while others wish to have the ability to stop and advance at will. This new delivery software handles both methods–a huge win for all!”

“Part of the equation is being able to deliver the slides in a user-friendly way while protect them from pirating. Our web designer, Claudio Barbieri of Page1Ranking in Fort Myers, FL is a genius!” shares Co-Founder, Karen Hodges.  “We now have the ability to offer students a choice and the ability to move freely among the slides–a huge boon in the class room,” she adds.

Another new and very helpful feature is the ability to instantly search the entire module for any word or phrase. This will help enormously when the students need to review a topic at a future date. Sometimes they’ll remember they saw some information they need in the salon, and now it’s so easy to find the exact reference.

Along with the crisp, clean new graphic design, the hundreds of graphic images and photos that have been incorporated and the revised and updated content, this program is better than ever. It’s a tremendous resource for nail techs.


Advanced Nail Technician Program Third Edition Announced

The Advanced Nail Technician Certification Program (ANT) biennial revision and update.
Below is a 4-minute excerpt from the ANT Program, Module 1, featuring our new presentation design:

“In this 3rd Edition of the ANT program, we have added new important information from agencies such as the CDC, OSHA and WHO to keep our programs up-to-date and relevant for our nail technicians,” states Janet McCormick, original author of this program and Co-Founder of Nailcare Academy. “We have committed to keeping our students informed when events such as the Zika outbreak and other health concerns hit the media. They need to know how it affects them in the salon.”

In addition to adding updated content, the entire program has been restyled. “We’ve changed the template design to something fresh and easy to read for portability to small hand-held devices,” shares Karen Hodges, Co-Founder and ‘Chief of all things technical,’ according to McCormick. “We’ve added hundreds of photos and graphic images, and and embedded several small mini-videos to demonstrate specific techniques,” she states.  There have been several changes in the program:

  • The program has been re-voiced to make each module more consistent in sound clarity and volume
  • New learning tools such as matching games and fill-in-the-blank quizzes have been added to the modules
  • Some of the forms and other collateral materials have been revised or improved
  • We are introducing our Advisory Board Members Steven Frank, DPM, and Anna Marie Chwastiak, DPM – both highly sought after podiatrists who have given us valuable feed back in refining the modules
  • For the first time the viewer will be able choose how to view the program: they can let the slide show advance by itself, or click through slide-by-slide, by which will make review and study easier. “This is quite a breakthrough for us, because in the past it has been a challenge to securely offer the slide show across all playback platforms. Our webmaster is a genius!” enthuses Hodges.

In celebration of this new rollout, Nailcare Academy is offering a Special Promotional Price – 50% off the ANT Bundle!

The ANT Bundle currently sells for $297 and includes both the Advanced Nail Technician Certification (ANT) and the Safe Salon Concepts Certification (SSC), regularly $57. That’s a total value of $354 for only $177! The price will never be lower…so grab it now!

 To take advantage of this special price

use Coupon Code:  SAVE50

What is an ANT?


To Clients Seeking Safe, Healthful Salon Services – We have a solution for you!20160330_103716

The Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) Certification is a credential your nail technician has earned through extraordinary efforts to know more so s/he can give more care to you…the client who can’t afford to risk an infection in a salon.

This nail technician is a licensed professional who has completed 10 modules of comprehensive training far beyond the minimum requirement of your state’s cosmetology board. S/he has learned a higher standard of practice than taught in any school where the ANT course is not offered. S/he knows more about these topics:

  • Anatomy of the feet and ankles
  • Discussion and definition of “at-risk clients”
  • Pedicures and precautions for at-risk clients
  • Home care education for clients
  • How to create referral relationship with medical providers
  • Diseases and disorders seen by the nail tech
  • Understanding Sanitation, Disinfection and Sterilization
  • CDC requirements for safe protocols
  • OSHA requirements and implementation in the salon
  • How to create a  Safe Salon® and introduce it into the community
  • And more

This nail technician does more in daily practice to safeguard clients than non-certified technicians will ever know. Typical foot care treatments with an ANT include these extra considerations:

  • Client questionnaires are utilized which gather information about your unique health conditions
  • Every service begins with an assessment of your hands and/or feet to determine the appropriate level of care
  • The technician is trained to recognize “not normal” and make a professional recommendation–whether to continue with a modified service or refer you to a podiatrist or other physician
  • Aseptic techniques are used throughout the salon in this Safe Salon
  • Modern “skin care based” hand and foot care treatments (rather than the old soak until you’re a prune) will give the skin of your hands and feet much better and longer lasting results — while being safer with less chance of waterborne infections
  • Disposable, single-use items are used and then thrown away in your sight
  • Quality stainless steel implements are disinfected in high-level disinfection techniques (Tuberculocidal) OR sterilized in an autoclave pouch which is opened in front of you
  • Personal Protection Equipment is used – gloves, masks, eye wear and aprons or smocks which guard against injury and transfer of infection
  • Professional recommendations are made for your home care in order to help you maintain the results of your services
  • If any out-of-normal conditions are observed during your services, s/he will talk to you about seeing the appropriate medical provider. This nail tech stays strictly within Scope of Practice and will not be talked into performing medical treatments during a manicure or pedicure.

    ANT Logo Master

    Look for this logo – proudly displayed by graduates of Nailcare Academy

If you are seeking safe, careful care of your hands and feet, you are in good hands with a Certified Advanced Nail Technician. The ANT’s training is far above and beyond what can practically be taught in a standard curriculum. The required dedication and hard work required to achieve the ANT status is an indication of a technician who cares more and of his or her dedication to excellence.

Another Nailcare Academy Success Story

Advanced Nail Technician Letisha Royster seeks to bring safety back into the salon.

As a licensed and highly trained nail technician, Letisha Royster of Atlanta, Georgia, is on a mission to provide safe hand and foot care for all her clients—and especially for those who have health concerns. One of a growing number of nail professionals who has achieved the prestigious Advanced Nail Technician Certification (ANT), Royster is focusing her practice on providing safe, aseptic care for the hands and feet of her clients. “I was introduced to the Advanced Nail Technician certification program while attending the Nail Technology Program at International School of Skin, Nailcare & Massage Therapy (ISSNMT). I was thrilled to find this program because it perfectly fits my passion for taking care of my clients.”

ISSNMT is the exclusive school-based provider of the ANT Certification in the Atlanta Metroplex. ISSNMT owner Pamela Jones states, “We are excited aboutIMG_7413 sending our students out into the workforce with a higher level of knowledge and training. Also, we are bringing a new approach for safe, healthful nail services to our community.”

This is a much needed service for all American communities: according to the CDC diabetes has doubled, then doubled again since the turn of the millennium. “An estimated 12.6% of adults over 20 have diabetes (2011-2014.)” This number is expected to continue to grow unless major lifestyle changes are embraced by Americans. Why is this important to know when talking about nail salons? Because the potential for injury for a diabetic is catastrophic.

Diabetics often have neuropathy (failure of the nervous system-i.e. loss of sensation) as a symptom of their diabetes. This prevents them from feeling when they’ve been nicked by an implement, or abraded with a file or buffer. These small skin breaks or wounds would be insignificant for most people, but those with chronic illnesses do not heal as readily as those without. Persons with Diabetes, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Lupus and other chronic conditions simply cannot afford to risk infection.

Royster understands these risks very well and has set up
“waterless” or “soakless” manicure and pedicure services to reduce cross-contamination during hand and foot care. “I had a diabetic client who had a waterless pedicure for the first time. She didn’t know what to expect; however, she was very surprised and told me it was the best experience she’d ever had. She loved that she was relaxed, well pampered, and felt safe during her pedicure treatment.”

The Advanced Nail Technician program was written by Nailcare Academy Co-Founders Janet McCormick and Karen Hodges, who between them have over 50-years of experience in salons. McCormick shares, “My background in dentistry before I moved into the beauty industry in 1980 gave me a very different view of safety and sanitation in salons. I was appalled by the lack of aseptic techniques in all phases of salon services, so I have devoted this career to education and safety training.”

Nailcare Academy offers other certification programs. Royster has also completed her Safe Salon Concepts Certification and is enrolled in the Medical Nail Tech Certification Program. To achieve certification as a Medical Nail Tech, Royster will complete another 10 modules of training, pass a comprehensive examination and perform a 40-hour proctored internship under the direct supervision of a foot care physician or podiatrist. She will be among the most highly qualified nail care providers in Atlanta salons.

Clients who require nail services at this higher level will be able to find Royster at Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa by emailing her at or by calling her at (404) 981-4841.

For more information about ISSNMT, Atlanta, visit or call 404-843-1005.

To find out more about the Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) Certification, contact us:  here