CLNC® Success Stories

I went to the Institute’s website. With one little click I began a dramatic transformation in my professional and personal lives.

My Miracle Journey – From Park Bench to “Park Avenue”

by Denise C. Lemakos, RN, CLNC

Denise C. Lemakos

Two years ago, I stood in the ambulatory care unit holding a dirty colonoscope. Case No. 6 canceled because the patient was noncompliant with her preparation. I glanced up at the light fixture filled with dead flies (where was maintenance?) and thought, “I can’t do this anymore. I didn’t get clean and sober for this!”

No one at the hospital knew that years ago I had survived a long history of neglect and addiction. I had been battered, homeless, living on the streets of Brooklyn for two years. After nine years of recovery the physical scars and bruises had faded.

I’d come such a long way, yet my career still wasn’t going anywhere. Every shift I endured eight hours of bickering among the five staff nurses I was assigned to work with. Even worse, my take-home pay was less than $14 an hour, pitiful for a seasoned operating room nurse with 22 years of experience. My heart told me I could be happy and do more with my life.

Then someone at work showed me a brochure from another nurse who had taken LegalNurse.com’s CLNC® Certification Program. I thought, “I can do this.”

I went to the Institute’s website. With one little click I began a dramatic transformation in my professional and personal lives. The staff member who answered my call explained a whole new venue for practicing nursing. Legal nurse consulting sounded so exciting, I signed up for the next CLNC Certification Seminar.

This was a daring feat for my family. We were already in major debt with virtually no money to spare. But my life on the streets paid off – I could take risks because I knew nothing worse could happen to me. I used “OPM” (other people’s money), charging the course tuition, flight and hotel room. I wore borrowed business attire and ate cereal in my room at night to save on meals.

I was determined to continue on this new path, and I didn’t let anyone or anything stop me. Nurses, doctors and some legal professionals tried to undermine my resolve. They told me there was no need for this service in my area. I proved them all wrong.

My Income Tripled as a CLNC® Consultant – And So Did My Time Off

In less than one year after receiving my CLNC Certification, I almost tripled my income while at the same time tripling my time off. At 10:00am today, still in my PJs, with 31 inches of snow on the ground, I have already made $500.

One of my favorite assignments is sitting in on depositions. This is my chance to shine. When my attorney-client struggles to pronounce the medical terms, I pass him notes. Sometimes we can’t help but laugh together. It’s great having this valuable knowledge lawyers need to make their cases. I know more about what the attorney-client wants and needs than he does.

Recently, I had the glorious opportunity to attend an event where I hobnobbed with the New York State Bar Association LAP director, a former district attorney from a county near my home and about 100 attorneys and their families. I found my niche, and I felt comfortable with and supported by this group. I received three nursing home cases and two med-mal cases from this one weekend.

I love the challenge of creating a new freedom and a new happiness I never knew existed before. I also have the freedom to “give back” by participating in social service activities such as the state nurses’ association peer assistance program.

The CLNC® Certification Program Set Me on a Lifetime Path to Honor, Dignity and Success

I am the proud mother of a five-year-old son, and I have the time to go to his plays and other school activities. I take computer and business classes and attend writing seminars.

My husband is building me a beautiful office in our home. I picked the color pink because it’s bright and happy, and I’ll be spending a lot of time there reviewing cases. I’ll also have my own website, thanks to a university program in which students build web pages for credit. My new career as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is coming together, along with my new image. I love dressing up in real clothes instead of constantly wearing scrubs. I go to a salon now to have my hair done, and I look like a woman again.

I’m not married to a hospital anymore, and my work is fun, interesting and lucrative. I call the shots, and I love not reporting to anyone. I dance all the way to the bank. The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song said it just right: “We’re gonna make it after all.”

The Student Was Ready and the Teacher Appeared

LegalNurse.com and the illustrious staff have put together an awesome program I can grow old with. At 46, I’ve done my share of being on call and working long hours with no lunch break, too many patients and a crabby staff. I can work as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant till I’m 80.

If I feel stuck, I hear the Institute’s advice, “Just do it!” and it works. They empowered me to come out of my shell.

At one legal conference I attended, a presenter said, “If you can get a good legal nurse consultant, you’ll be blessed.” I went up and gave him my card, following the Institute’s advice to network, network, network.

For years I lived through hell, often without enough money to buy a sandwich. Now, by the grace of God and LegalNurse.com, I earn $125 an hour. It’s a miracle. I traveled a long, hard way from the streets, but only when I found the CLNC Certification Program did I discover the path I was meant to take. The joy is in the journey. Today I am a woman of honor and dignity and a successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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