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CLNC[R] certification sparked my passionate life.

My motto is to live life to the fullest, pursue my passions and make the most of every moment. As a geriatric clinical nurse specialist I have had the privilege of working with older people at the end of their lives. One of the special gifts they have given me is the wisdom of never living with regrets. Go after your passion and realize that you always have a choice. Life is too short to stew about the past or worry about the future--that's a waste of energy. The only moment we ever have is right now. Be present in each moment.

These words of wisdom came to life for me about two years ago. At that time, I was a clinical nurse specialist and wound care consultant and I'd been married 30 years. Then I suffered a series of devastating blows. First, I got divorced. Then, my cousin died at age 50 after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. I was her hospice nurse. Within six months of her death, my brother died at age 53 of a sudden heart attack. To add insult to injury, two weeks after my brother's death, I received notice that my hospital position was being eliminated.

I loved my husband. I loved my cousin. I loved my brother. My job was very fulfilling professionally. I was depressed and felt like a victim of life's circumstances. Although I was scheduled to attend the CLNC[R] 6-Day Certification Seminar, I considered canceling.

I've never been able to stay in a rut. I have always been a risk taker. I looked at my situation and realized I had a choice. I could let these life events keep me stuck, or I could engage in life and move forward. I chose to stay engaged in life by continuing to strive for personal and professional growth and freedom. The CLNC[R] Certification Program offered me the opportunity to pursue both.

With my head held high, I attended the CLNC[R] 6-Day Certification Seminar. The most important message I took home from Vickie that week was this: As a strong woman, I can do anything.

Since then I have learned to become more present in each and every moment of life. I strive to emanate love, joy and peace in both my spiritual life and my professional life.

My CLNC[R] business is growing faster than I would ever have imagined possible two years ago. My client list has multiplied from one attorney to ten attorneys. I am a consultant and expert witness defending nursing standards of care in elder neglect cases. Working for the defense has given me a whole new perspective on allegations of elder neglect and has ignited my passion to advocate for nurses. I have an important role to play in educating attorneys, nurses and my community on these issues.

How do I keep myself positioned for success in my physical, spiritual and professional life? To maintain my physical energy, I exercise regularly: walking, aerobics, strength training, dancing and hiking. I nourish my spirit by meditating regularly. I give back to my community by volunteering for the Leukemia Team in Training and 3-Day Breast Cancer marathon events.

I keep my passion for life alive by continually fueling that passion. I fuse with my sisters on a regular basis. I choose to step out of the preconceived boxes of mediocrity. I choose to pursue an audacious life full of adventure, giving, fun and fulfillment.

by Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CS, CWCN, CLNC

Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CS, CWCN, CLNC owns Healthcare Pathways in California. She works as a consulting expert and testifies as an expert witness in elder neglect and abuse cases.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Higelin, Sandra
Publication:Legal Nurse Consulting Ezine
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Nov 24, 2006
Words:616
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