Please keep in mind, the information provided here is regarding licensing and practices in New York State where I am licensed and certified. Other states may have varying requirements and levels of certification, as well as differing practices both allowed and/or restricted by policy or law.
A Licensed Nail Technician in New York is required to take 250 hours of training and then pass a state board written and practical examination. There is no advanced training or continuing education required to recertify the license. Licensed Nail Technicians are trained to identify (not diagnose) possible nail conditions, nail diseases, and nail fungus as well as refer clients in certain cases to a Podiatrist or Medical Doctor when conditions appear to be outside their scope of practice. However, in my experience, I would say that very often in traditional nail salons, most of these conditions are overlooked (and sometimes even aggravated) as long as there is no seriously broken skin during a traditional salon pedicure.
There is also no advanced licensing levels or requirements for nail technicians in New York, so any Licensed Nail Technician that wishes to further their education will do so electively and become certified (not licensed) in advanced care practices and techniques. This can include Advanced Pedicure certification, Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) certification, Medical Nail Technician (MNT) certification, Certified Master Pedicurist (CMP), Clinical Certified Podiatric Medical Assistant (CCPMA), and several others.
Programs such as these are offered through various national training academies like the Global Meticulous Manicurist Nail Academy, the MediNail Training Center, or the Nailcare Academy. Many of these programs are accredited by one or more of the nationally recognized podiatric medical associations such as The American College of Medical Foot Care & Esthetics (ACMFCE) or the North American School of Podology (NASP). Training academies will provide documented certification to the nail technician upon successful completion.
What is different about services with an Advanced Nail Technician?
The Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) Certification is a credential I chose to pursue so that I could know more, and provide better care to my clients. As I began my basic nail technician training, I quickly learned that I wanted to provide more comprehensive service, focusing on healthy natural nails, and ensure I could best care for at-risk clients and those with troublesome foot and nail conditions in the safest and healthiest way possible.
The ANT certification includes 15 additional modules of training that cover a large amount of information on:
- Anatomy of the feet and nails
- Specialized care for clients with specific conditions and circumstances
- Enhanced cleaning and sterilization measures
- Client screening, education, and follow-up care
This has provided me with a stronger foundation to safeguard clients from infection and injury, better care for individuals with pre-existing medical concerns affecting the legs and feet, and promote healthy growth of natural nails in restoring them to their healthiest state.
Some of the main differences you will notice at my salon versus a traditional nail salon are:
- I created and utilize an Advanced Pedicure Consultation to gather information about your unique health conditions and concerns to ensure I provide you with the highest level of appropriate care
- I conduct a full assessment of your hands and/or feet to determine the appropriate level of care needed before each service
- I will discuss with you and make a professional recommendation in cases where certain nail and foot conditions are recognized or found to be out of my Scope of Practice, and determine whether to continue with a modified service or refer you to a podiatrist or physician
- I utilize enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures both daily and between every client, including thorough cleaning of surfaces and equipment (with appropriate solution wet-times)
- I use Physician directed asepsis techniques including an autoclave system to thoroughly sterilize all high-quality stainless steel non-disposable implements and tools between every use
- I utilize disposable single-use tools and implements whenever possible, such as files and buffers, that will be opened from sealed sterilized packaging in your presence, and disposed of in your sight
- I use natural and organic hand and foot care products and treatments (including lotions, cuticle oils, antiseptic soaks, and cleaners) to provide you the healthiest possible results with your skin and nail, while being safer with less chance of waterborne infections. Most products we use are 100% natural and/or organic, and many are additionally vegan.
- I utilize appropriate Personal Protection Equipment including gloves, masks, eyewear and aprons which guard against injury and transfer of infection
- I will provide each client with education and at-home care recommendations to promote healthy nail growth between services and help you maintain the results of your services
I provide high-quality home-care products to promote healthy nail and skin growth between services, to give you the best change of maintaining healthy skin and nails.
The biggest difference you will notice is that the level of care you will receive from an ANT. If you are seeking safe, careful care of your hands and feet, you are in good hands with me. I do not rush services, so the time needed will be taken to fully care for you and ensure your areas of concern are appropriately addressed during each service.
MediNail Advanced Nail Technologist Program
I chose to pursue my ANT certification through the MediNail Learning Center due to their long-standing reputation in the nail and podiatry industries as a leader in advanced nail care training and salon safety. This program gave me a much more in-depth knowledge of proper asepsis techniques to protect my clients, as well as advanced training in anatomy and dermatology of the feet, recognition (not diagnosis) of foot conditions, and best care practices for individuals with diabetes, chronic illness, and other conditions that put them at-risk during pedicures.
The MediNail program has been in existence for almost 25 years, and was founded by Dr. Robert Spalding who is a leading expert in salon safety, asepsis techniques, and nail care. MediNail was created to develop mastery of knowledge and skills, to promote safe delivery of effective services, and to establish collaborative partnering with the medical and other communities. Dr. Spalding is still a practicing Podiatrist today, and provides training for Physicians, Nail Technicians, Podiatry Assistants, Medical Assistants and Foot Care Nurses.
To learn more about the MediNail Learning Center, check out their site here.
As of the date of this post, I am currently pursuing my next advanced certification through MediNail, which is the Medical Nail Technician Certification. This is a much more in-depth training that will provide me the skill set needed to perform medical pedicures in a Podiatry practice under the supervision of a Podiatrist.
Although I will not be able to use this level of care in my salon, it will allow me to better care for my clients as I will have established relationships with local Podiatrists, will have performed 40 hours of hands-on interning in a Podiatry Practice, and will have a working relationship with a local Podiatrist to provide appropriate client referrals when foot and nail conditions are recognized to be out of my scope of practice.