We sat down with AALNC member, Nancy Amaral BSN, RN, CCRN, to discuss her thoughts on AALNC, the AALNC Annual Forum 2018, and more!
What does your nursing background look like?
My name is Nancy Amaral and I have been a practicing nurse in all forms of Clinical Critical Care for the past 29 years. During that time, while being at the bedside and also a preceptor, I have audited patient records for Hospital Education, Practice and Documentation Committees, Risk Management Inquiries in regard to Sentinel Events and in preparation for and during JACHO Hospital Audits.
How did you get started as an LNC?
My passion for researching led me down another avenue of nursing that involved my expertise and my craving to learn different aspects of the field.
What are the most enjoyable parts of being an LNC?
I enjoy auditing charts for adherence to the Standard of Care for policy and procedures, appropriate patient outcomes or lack thereof, and documentation by the interdisciplinary teams providing care to a patient during their hospital stay.
Why did you join AALNC?
The wealth of knowledge, the sharing of practices, ideas on marketing this nursing craft and how to provide a workable and usable product for clients was an aspect that became very important in my nursing profession, so I joined AALNC to learn more about all aspects of legal nurse consulting.
What has been the most useful AALNC educational resource?
There were a handful of courses that were available online from other organizations to learn the fundamentals, competencies and work product standard; I felt none were as reputable as AALNC, so in September of 2016, I completed the AALNC Legal Nurse Consulting Professional Course. AALNC offered sound and creditable information through the AALNC Legal Nurse Consulting Professional Course. The Course was easy to follow and the questions and exercise examples that needed to be completed were straight forward and offered a strong building block to success in this profession. The information I learned in completing the Course has increased my diligence in nursing at the bedside, encouraged me to participate in classes for novice nurses at the bedside to enhance their learning experience and to document appropriately in regard to the Standards of Care.
What was your experience at the AALNC Annual Forum?
I was able to attend the AALNC Annual Forum 2017 and met novice and seasoned LNCs. The seasoned LNCs shared important information such as in-depth screening and auditing of charts for both plaintiff and defense, along with advise on my CV, networking and confidence-building as an LNC. There were sessions on computer programs and their nuances that assist the LNC in providing a reputable work product, along with direction regarding the preservation of HIPPA for the LNC. The meet and greets during the AALNC Annual Forum were extremely valuable as well; sharing contact information during networking sessions put the profession in a whole new perspective for me. The AALNC Annual Forum made me realize that, we as clinical bedside nurses, have many of the traits to be a successful LNC and gave me confidence in my journey as an LNC.
How did the AALNC Annual Forum impact you after returning home?
After returning home from the AALNC Annual Forum, I immediately started putting the information I learned to work. Being able to connect with the LNCs who were willing to share their knowledge and to critique my work was one of the greatest benefits from attending the AALNC Annual Forum. With the skills I learned – computer programming, research sites, report writing, networking and receiving confidence building blocks – I was able to connect with attorneys, both plaintiff and defense, and provide them with a comprehensive work product to assist the attorneys for their clients. I truly believe my success thus far has been because of the learning experiences and team building approaches that were part of the AALNC Annual Forum. The dedication of the Board Members and fellow LNCs provided me with the confidence and competencies to excel in the LNC world.
Do you have any advice for potential LNCs?
If you as a nurse are looking to enhance your nursing career, experience new challenges or want to increase your knowledge base, start by going to the AALNC website. The rewards are limitless, the boundaries are few and the journey is worth it.