Becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and has made me a better nurse.
My Daughter’s Case Was My First CLNC® Assignment
by Donna Berning, RN, CLNC
On July 31, 1991, my daughter was born with meconium aspiration that eventually caused hypoxia, leaving her with cerebral palsy. When she was seven weeks old, I started my nursing clinicals. During these rotations I learned that several key things about my daughter’s care and follow-up had not been right. I hired an attorney, and the day after I graduated from nursing school, I filed suit against the doctor and the hospital.
My attorney’s best friend was a nurse who worked on my daughter’s case for 2½ years. Because of my stake in the outcome, I worked closely with him and found the work very interesting. Unfortunately, this nurse died of a massive MI before my case was complete.
By this time I was very discouraged about the medical field. My attorney told me about LegalNurse.com. He said that with a few years of nursing experience behind me and the knowledge I was accumulating on my own case, I could pursue both avenues.
With his advice, I ordered the CLNC® Certification Program. I finished the course and passed the CLNC Certification Examination.
It was my own attorney who handed me my first legal nurse consultant job – my daughter’s case. He said it would be hard to bring another medical person up to speed on it when I knew it like the back of my hand. The medical analysis was already written, so all I had to do was attend the depositions, help answer medical-related questions, point out areas of concern and explain lab values and reports. In January 1998, my daughter’s case settled out of court.
Because I needed a steady income to care for my daughter, I kept my nursing position in the recovery room at an ambulatory center. However, I cut down to three days a week and opened my own CLNC business working two days a week, nights and weekends.
My business continues to grow every day. Becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and has made me a better nurse. I am also in a position to help other families who are in the same situation my family is in due to the negligence of healthcare providers.
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