I was asked to review a case involving a nurse practitioner (NP). I gladly accepted the case as I am a family nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. Cases involving advanced practice nurses (APNs) are my specialty as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
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My first glimpse at becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant came in the late 1990s when Vickie Milazzo described the exact type of career I envisioned for myself. I was immediately intrigued.
I have worked on more than 300 cases as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. The most memorable case I had the pleasure to work on had the most unexpected result and the largest impact on my CLNC business.
I was working as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant for a year when I received what came to be one of my most memorable CLNC cases. I began reviewing the records and discovered something wasn’t matching up. The documentation was perfect. In fact, it was too perfect – yet the patient’s condition continued to deteriorate.
I grew up by the ocean. It seemed to me that everyone wanted to come to the ocean, but my goal in life was to live in the mountains. As a kid I used to hike in the Great Smokies, and as a young adult I took a backpacking trip every year.
The year was 1991. A young RN and the single mom of a three-year-old, with no support, I moved from British Columbia, Canada, to Harlingen, Texas. For the first few years I worked in the emergency department. I loved it, but with a tiny daughter, the shifts were hard to manage. In 1994 I moved into home health care.
I was at the top of the pay scale as an RN, and my husband is a firefighter – not the highest paying profession by far. We were doing okay financially, but sometimes we were living paycheck to paycheck.
In 2015 a perfect storm of life events came together creating an opportunity for me to commit to becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. I knew it was the direction I wanted to go, so I enrolled in the CLNC Online Certification Program.
My perfect day as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is a day when I never take my slippers off!
As a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant in the Quality, Risk and Regulatory Compliance Department in an acute care facility, I never lack for something to occupy my time, talents and skills. A huge chunk of my day is spent digging into patient medical records regarding quality of care and claims made against the hospital.