Meet Concorde – Aurora Alum Lyle Nelson

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Today, Lyle Nelson holds a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in human resources management. After earning his diploma in the Medical Assistant program at Concorde’s campus in the Denver area, he’s well on his way to a career in health care that, a few years ago, he had yet to consider.

It all changed for Nelson about 15 years ago when he discovered Concorde after leaving a telecommunications job with a call center. Unemployed and being supported by his partner, Nelson learned about Concorde and its various health care programs.

“I met with an admission administrator, learned more about the (Medical Assistant) program, registered in August of 2002, received financial aid, and the rest is history,” he said.

Nelson said it helped that the Concorde campus at that time still was located more downtown in Denver, near Lincoln Street and Colfax Ave. (it has since moved to suburban Aurora). It was a convenient location he could get to quickly and easily.

Why Medical Assistant?

Nelson said he was drawn to Concorde’s Medical Assistant program because of the duality of the profession. Not only did the program focus on the clinical side of being a Medical Assistant, it also focused on the administrative aspect. The opportunity to become a versatile team player within the medical environment and in a position that’s universally accepted was appealing, he said.

“I particularly enjoyed the sterile technique classes and specimen collection procedures, but also learning about billing and coding and conceiving how doctors diagnose how they come to such conclusions with human anatomy and physiology,” Nelson said. “It was all so fascinating to me. Maybe in another life, I would have gone to medical school and become a physician or certified physicians’ assistant or nurse practitioner.”

As it turned out, Nelson made the most of his Medical Assistant training he received at Concorde. He quickly gained supervisory and hiring experience at one of the clinics he worked at in north Denver, which led him to think about and pursue further education in human resources management.

Pursuing further education

Nelson returned to school a couple years ago, and in May 2016 graduated from the University of New Mexico with his master’s in public administration with a concentration in HR management in the public sector. He also got his RMA (registered Medical Assistant) certification reinstated and recently was employed at one of the Centers for Disease Control’s regional offices in Albuquerque, N.M.

He said he’s currently seeking a position in management in an MA-related health care field.

“I never intend to abandon the (MA) profession,” he said. “I’m seeking MA-related positions more associated with advancing into upper management.”

The basis for all this ambition and upward mobility, Nelson said, comes back to the Medical Assistant training he received at Concorde.

“Without my experience at Concorde, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said. “Choosing a career in medical assisting is not something you should take lightly. It’s a serious position and even can become part of your identity.”

It’s an identity Nelson is intent on taking as far as he can.

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Davina Thomas-Clark | Medical Assistant, Vocational Nurse graduate

“I have taken the MA program and the LVN program. Concorde is a wonderful school. There is a difference between passion and a paycheck, and most of my instructors had a passion for what they do. The program was challenging but well worth it. I love this college!”

Marcus Streator | Respiratory Therapy graduate

“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”

Andrea Nolan | Dental Assistant graduate

“Knowing I could be working as a Dental Assistant in eight months was crazy to me! I loved going to class and would drive an hour there every day. I’m truly happy that I took the step to go to Concorde. It was the best thing I have done for my family.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”

Randall Hines | Polysomnographic Technologist Graduate

“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”