In our lives there are many seasons, and with each season there is opportunity to passionately pursue our purpose. From the moment I was asked (while in the second grade) what I wanted to do when I grew up, I said I was going to be a nurse.
My career as a legal nurse consultant began more than 17 years ago. I was working at a hospital as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist and wound care consultant. In the fall of 2003, a defense attorney contacted me and requested that I review medical records for a hospital.
There are not enough accolades to express the honor it is to be a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. My pathway deviates slightly from other Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, as I review medical records for medical necessity. However, if I should come across a case with merit for malpractice, the attorneys want to know immediately. After a thorough discussion of my findings the attorneys report the findings to our client’s legal department.
Not long after starting my nursing career as an RN in the operating room, I noticed how unhappy the “lifer” nurses were. I knew what I wanted for my life ultimately was to be happy and that meant there was something more for me outside of typical nursing.
“Do not wait for ideal circumstances, nor the best opportunities; they will never come” is a quote from Janet Erskine Stuart I’ve had on my desk since I turned 41.
While the life of a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is different every day, I do enjoy waking up and starting my day in a relaxed atmosphere without the worry of beating the time clock. A nice cup of coffee in hand, I contemplate the direction I want to go and the ideas I want to accomplish. Ideas center around marketing, cases that need my attention, attorneys I need to call or email and dreams I will build upon. After an hour of brainstorming, I begin my day.
When the nasty divorce was finalized, my nursing career was already 15 years behind me. My husband and I owned a horse-training stable during that time, and he was the love of my life, until he wasn’t.
My experience as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is probably not typical as I’m still working three 12-hour shifts a week as a clinical nurse in the emergency department. On my days off I focus on growing my CLNC business.
Last year, I helped with negotiations in a million dollar plus settlement on a brain injury case. This is only one of the 140 legal nurse consultant jobs I’ve consulted on the past few years.
Nursing has always been my passion, and the law has always held my complete fascination. Legal nurse consulting allows me the freedom to indulge both, while providing a valuable and cost-effective service to attorneys.