I Got Over “I’m Just a Diploma RN” to Rise Up and Become a Successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultant*
by Julie R. Gunn, RN, CLNC
I graduated from nursing school 33 years ago, when a diploma RN program was anything but the dinosaur it is today. My program included a large amount of clinical experience, which was of great benefit in getting my clinical nursing career started.
After being single until age 38, I met and married my husband. He was 41, previously unmarried and had no children. As a result, we began infertility treatment. After enduring 2½ years of every fertility treatment known to man, our third in vitro fertilization resulted in a pregnancy. I became a mother for the first time at the age of 42. This kept my mind off my growing dissatisfaction with my nursing career.
Financially speaking, I have been blessed to earn $15,000 in three months as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
After 30 Years in Nursing I Was Feeling Stagnant
When I hit the 30-year mark in nursing, I began to feel stagnant. I was just putting in the time. As a diploma RN, I could not teach in a nursing program, nor was I qualified for upper level management in the hospital where I worked. At over 50, returning to school for a nursing degree was out of the question for me.
I felt my 30 years in nursing had been for naught and that I would forever be “just a diploma grad” who could never rise above floor nurse. The following months were filled with feelings of worthlessness, eventually leading to a diagnosis of clinical depression. Medication helped, but my mind centered on the thought that I had more to give to the nursing profession. I felt unappreciated and unrecognized for my years of clinical experience.
Subscriptions to nursing magazines were part of my life, as they are for most RNs. However, with the demands of a husband and young son, I never had enough time to actually read them. I’d noticed advertisements for the Vickie Milazzo Institute’s CLNC® Certification Program, but I never considered it a possibility for “just a diploma RN.” I assumed the Institute only accepted degreed RNs.
Finally, I confided to my husband my desire to do something more within nursing yet without leaving nursing behind. I mentioned Vickie Milazzo Institute, and he said, “Hey, it’s a toll-free number. Call them.”
The Opportunity to Go for It as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Gave Me Boundless Joy and Confidence
When I called the Institute, I was shocked that a real person answered the phone, not an answering machine. She was truly interested in me, even though I had no intention of buying anything. My joy was boundless when I heard that a university nursing degree was not required and that being a diploma RN was sufficient to become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. She offered to have a full-time practicing CLNC consultant call me at home. Much to my surprise, this successful CLNC professional contacted me later that same day. Instead of giving me a sales pitch, she was very up front with me about describing the career of a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. After that call I took the time to thoroughly research the Institute’s program.
I opted for the VIP CLNC Success System in order to have access to unlimited CLNC Mentoring. I really wanted to do this right and felt the VIP CLNC Success System was the best program for me. I also boosted my learning by attending the NACLNC Apprenticeship.
After completing my training and passing the CLNC Certification Exam, the CLNC world opened up for me. Each passing day gives me more confidence and the impetus to move forward in my new career. In three months since opening my CLNC business, I have received cases from eight different attorneys and more than one case from three of them. Financially speaking, I have been blessed to earn $15,000 in three months as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. By the end of this year, I will, most likely, equal or surpass my previous salary working at the hospital. I never expected to do this well so soon.
I approach every case with anticipation, not feelings of inadequacy and dread. I look forward to what each case will teach me. I also look forward to educating the attorney when indicated and assisting her toward the very best possible outcome for her client.
Attorneys need and appreciate my nursing knowledge and assessment skills. As a result, I no longer feel like “just a diploma RN.” I know that Vickie is right – “I am a nurse and I can do anything!”
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