National Association of Professional Women Announces (Mary) Joanne Walker, Legal Nurse Consultant, Clarity Medical-Legal Consulting, a 2014 Professional Woman of the Year

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(Mary) Joanne Walker, R.N., B.S., L.N.C., is recognized as an NAPW VIP Woman of the Year for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her profession.

I want to become recognized by my legal nurse and attorney colleagues as a ‘go-to’ resource in this field.

NAPW honors (Mary) Joanne Walker, R.N., B.S., L.N.C., as a 2014 Professional Woman of the Year. She is recognized with this distinction for her work in nursing. As the largest networking organization of professional women in the country, the National Association of Professional Women is a vibrant networking community with over 600,000 members and nearly 300 local chapters.

“When I returned to the US in 2003, after working as a nurse in England for 23 years, I saw an ad for a legal nurse consultant course in a nursing magazine," says Ms. Walker, Legal Nurse Consultant at Clarity Medical-Legal Consulting. "I was looking to expand my horizons and find a way to use my nursing knowledge to help patients in a different way.”

Prior to becoming a nurse, Ms. Walker studied education and embarked on a teaching career in England. While abroad, she took an interest in nursing and pursued that profession further, becoming a registered nurse. She lived and worked in both England and New Zealand to broaden her nursing career. Always interested in the legal and ethical implications of nursing, Ms. Walker started to explore the idea of starting her own business and eventually returned to the US, studied legal nurse consulting and founded her own company.

At Clarity Medical-Legal Consulting, Ms. Walker uses her extensive nursing assessment skills to help attorneys better understand the intricacies of a client’s medical record. “This involves reviewing those records and ensuring the attorney has all the information needed to decide if a prospective case should be pursued. My experience in the Peri-operative area / OR has also given me the impetus to act as an expert witness at trial,” she explains.

One of the most challenging aspects of legal nurse work, says Ms. Walker, is searching for the "errors of omission," i.e., what is missing in the nursing narrative of care. "The gratifying part of legal nursing is assisting the attorney and prospective client (patient), so that the patient's issues can be dealt with appropriately,” she adds. With an eye toward the future, Ms. Walker hopes to continue to grow her business, focusing on nursing research. “I want to become recognized by my legal nurse and attorney colleagues as a ‘go-to’ resource in this field,” she says.

Awards & Accomplishments: Bachelor of Science, Towson University, MD, Education and Development;
Diploma in Nursing, Swindon District School of Nursing, Swindon, England

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Lisa Mancuso
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