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Leadership, Faculty & Staff

Nikki Garbarino, CCMA

Medical Assistant Instructor/Program Coordinator

Nikki Garbarino, CCMA

Medical Assistant Instructor/Program Coordinator
Medical Assistant


Nichole (Nikki) Garbarino is an instructor and program manager for the Medical Assistant Certificate program at the University of Providence. Her previous clinical experiences as a medical assistant, combined with two certifications in clinical and administrative medical assistant practice, offer a dynamic understanding of the medical assistant field.

Garbarino’s education includes certifications as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant and a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant from the National HealthCareer Association. In addition, she holds a Certified Medical Assistant (CMAA) associates degree from Bryan University and is in the process of completed a healthcare administration degree from the same institution. Garbarino’s professional experience includes positions as a medication aide, practice coordinator, and clinical assisting.


Educational Background

  • Healthcare Administration, Bryan University (In Progress)
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMAA) Associate Degree, Bryan University


Professional/Clinical Background

  • Practice Coordinator
  • Medication Aide
  • Clinical Assistant


Faculty/Teaching Background

  • Medical Assistant Program Manager (Current)
  • Interum Medical Assistant Program Manager (2024)
  • Medical Assistant Program Coordinator (2023 – 2024)
  • Medical Assistant Instructor, University of Providence (Current)
  • Medical Assistant Instructor



  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), National HealthCareer Association
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), National HealthCareer Association
  • CPR
  • Online Teaching Certificate


Program Involvement

  • XMA: Medical Assistant Certificate


Three Questions With Nikki Garbarino

  • If you could give any piece of advice to an incoming student, what would it be?
    • As a medical assistant student, embarking on this journey is both exciting and challenging. My best advice to you is to approach each day with a sense of ease and mindfulness. Take care of yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your well-being is crucial, not just for your studies but also for your future patients. Remember to enjoy the experience. You’re stepping into a profession that offers unique opportunities for learning and growth. Embrace each encounter, each lesson, and each interaction with enthusiasm and an open mind. Additionally, rely on your support system. Whether it’s your classmates, instructors, family, or friends, surround yourself with individuals who uplift and encourage you. They’re there to celebrate your successes and provide guidance during challenging times. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help – we’re rooting for your success.


  • What was the most memorable patient experience you’ve had in your nursing career, and how did it impact you?
    • One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had as a medical assistant occurred during my time working in corrections for seven years. In this setting, I encountered individuals facing some of their darkest times, often struggling with mental health issues and a sense of hopelessness. Through the years, I had the privilege of providing support to many individuals who were on the brink of giving up on life. Witnessing their despair and vulnerability was truly humbling. It’s in these moments that the importance of empathy, respect, and compassionate care becomes most evident. These experiences not only changed the life of the individual I was assisting but also left a lasting impression on me. It reinforced the importance of compassion, resilience, and the power of human connection in healthcare. It’s moments like these that continue to fuel my passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others.


  • What do you enjoy doing outside of academia?
    • Outside of academia, I have a vibrant array of interests and activities that bring fulfillment to my life. Crafting hats for those in need, particularly for shelters in Great Falls and Missoula. I love the craft and providing warmth and comfort to individuals. Additionally, I find joy in spending quality time with my four dogs, which undoubtedly brings a sense of companionship, love, and joy to my days. Whether it’s going for walks, playing in the park, or simply enjoying their company at home, the bond I share with my babies enriches my life in countless ways. I also have a passion for painting, which serves as a creative outlet and a source of personal expression. Whether I’m capturing the beauty of nature, exploring abstract concepts, or immersing myself in vibrant colors and textures, painting allows me to unleash my creativity and explore new realms of imagination. Despite my busy schedule, I make time to attend college. Engaging in higher education is a passion of mine. Education has come in many forms to me and taking me such beautiful places. It is hard to take my student hat off.