“You know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows, and the dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.” This lyric in Garth Brooks’ song, The River, perfectly illustrates my nursing career beginning as a combat medic in the United States Army to advancing from certified nurse assistant (CNA) to certified medication aide (CMA), licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and registered nurse (RN).
Vickie: I’d like to introduce you to Renee Snyder, Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Renee thank you so much for joining me here today.
Renee: Thank you for inviting me.
Vickie: I’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Johnson, Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Jennifer thank you so much for joining me here today.
Jennifer: Thank you for inviting me.
I learned from the institute that one step at a time will guide you in the right direction. My journey started in 2007. I am a Cuban rafter. Yes, I came in a boat through the Caribbean Sea. I lost 20 pounds just from seasickness. I arrived alive at the Texas border (since a shark didn’t eat me) and requested political asylum.
I have been a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant since 2010 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had been a registered nurse for 17 years and was a very burned out administrator of an assisted living facility. I was not only the administrator, but also the RN case manager and I was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, I had spent my entire 17 years as a nurse with the demands of on call responsibilities.
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.