Vickie Milazzo: President and CEO of Vickie Milazzo Institute, Houston, TX

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                           Vickie Milazzo: President and CEO of Vickie Milazzo
                           Institute, Houston, TX
                           [By Judith Earley]
                           One day in 1981 changed critical care nurse Vickie Milazzo’s life forever




A friend of hers, who was a psychiatric            by night, earning her J.D. from South Texas         by auto accidents, as high-profile as the
nurse, shared her experience of testifying as      College of Law. After establishing her own          Rodney King case, and as groundbreaking
an expert witness in a legal case. Milazzo         career as a legal nurse consultant, Milazzo         as the litigation concerning Vioxx, Fen-Phen,
read the deposition from start to finish and       committed herself to helping other nurses           and silicone implants. Their expertise is
was instantly attracted to the relationship        do the same. She opened Medical-Legal               also valuable to attorneys handling cases
between nursing and the law. The term              Consulting Institute, Inc., and began training      involving medical malpractice, workers’
“legal nurse consultant” did not yet exist,        Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (CLNCs®),         compensation, and environmental issues. As
but on that day, Milazzo committed herself to      registered nurses who use specialized               a member of the litigation team, a CLNC®
becoming a consultant to attorneys.                healthcare knowledge and expertise to               helps to educate attorneys, jury members,
                                                   consult with attorneys on medical-related           plaintiffs, defendants, and judges about
Milazzo said she immediately recognized            cases.                                              medical-related issues.
several things. “First of all, nurses have
tremendous healthcare skills and experience        “No legal nurse consulting course existed           According to Milazzo, the most pressing
and insider knowledge of the healthcare            to guide me,” said Milazzo. “I literally had        legal issue today is educating the public
system that attorneys simply don’t have,           to write the book myself, and I established         about their rights to file lawsuits in medical
and it’s extremely valuable to them,” said         the first educational institute for legal nurse     malpractice or personal injury cases.
Milazzo. “Any nurse willing to do a bit of         consulting. Since founding Vickie Milazzo           “Statistics show that 268 people die every
trailblazing could make a huge difference in       Institute in 982, I’ve taught more than            day due to medical negligence,” said Milazzo.
the legal arena by consulting with attorneys       20,000 RNs how to apply their nursing skills        “It’s an epidemic that causes more deaths
on medical-related cases. It only made             and expertise to all kinds of health-related        than AIDS, breast cancer, and car accidents
sense that attorneys needed help from              legal cases-medical malpractice, personal           combined.”
consulting experts behind the scenes, not          injury, products liability, toxic tort, workers’
just from testifying experts.”                     compensation, criminal, and a wide range of         Milazzo said that her greatest business
                                                   other cases where health, injury, or illness is     achievement and greatest reward is making
Milazzo was a practicing nurse for six years       an issue.”                                          a positive difference in the lives of nurses
prior to creating the new career opportunity                                                           and in the country’s legal system. She
of legal nurse consulting. She said she            CLNC®s can conduct research, interpret              added that the person who influenced her
decided to go to law school because she            medical records, prepare timelines                  the most was her first attorney client. “Even
believed a law degree, combined with               and chronologies uncovering gaps,                   though the legal nurse consulting field was
her master’s degree in nursing with a              inconsistencies, or tampering in medical            not invented yet, he was willing to take a
concentration in education, would uniquely         records, prepare reports and summaries              chance and go where no lawyer had gone
qualify her to train RNs as legal nurse            of medical records, and locate expert               before. He gave me an opportunity to create
consultants who could offer attorneys a            witnesses. “Nurses are natural detectives,”         a profession that had not existed and, along
whole new level of service. Milazzo has            said Milazzo. “And although most CLNC®s             the way, provided a crash course on the
now been an attorney for 9 years and still        work behind the scenes, they may also serve         workings of the legal system.”
maintains both her nursing and law licenses.       as expert witnesses.”
                                                                                                       Working and living in Houston with her
While building her legal nurse consulting          CLNC®s have consulted on cases as simple            husband, Tom, Milazzo’s advice to law
practice by day, Milazzo attended law school       as those involving neck injuries caused             students is to live and work passionately.



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“My passion, besides my business, is             Using the 0 Strengths You Didn’t Know You    Inside Every Woman: Using the 0 Strengths
traveling the world. I take 0 weeks of          Had to Get the Career and Life You Want Now   You Didn’t Know You Had to Get the Career
vacation every year and love visiting places     is now in its fourth printing.”               and Life You Want Now
such as Cambodia, Vietnam, the Serengeti                                                       www.amazon.com/Inside-Every-Woman-
                                                 ON THE NET
Plains of Africa, Morocco, Patagonia, and                                                      Strengths-Career/dp/047745200
other fascinating parts of the world,”
                                                 Vickie Milazzo
said Milazzo. “I’m also passionate about
                                                 www.legalnurse.com
writing. My first nationally published book is
currently in the top 5 percent of all business   South Texas College of Law
books sold nationwide. Inside Every Woman:       www.stcl.edu




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Description: Vickie Milazzo is a President and CEO of Vickie Milazzo Institute, Houston, TX and creating the new career opportunity of legal nurse consulting.
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