Interview with Dr. Daniel Marco, Professor at The Paralegal Institute

When starting a new class, meeting the professor can be daunting—you know very little about the instructor, their teaching style, or what their class will be like. If this is true for brick-and-mortar colleges, it can be doubly so for online classes! But there are real people behind the computer screen who are rooting for you to succeed as a student and, eventually, as a professional in your chosen field.

To mitigate some of the apprehension of not knowing your instructors, we did a short interview with one of our paralegal professors. Dr. Daniel Marco is an attorney, and when he is not running his law practice, he is sharing his passion for the law with our paralegal program students. By his own words his second love is teaching, so spoiler alert: He definitely wants you to succeed! His answers will give you insight into what he’s like as an instructor, and a little bit of what you can expect as a student at The Paralegal Institute.

  1. Why did you decide to become an online instructor?

I am an attorney by trade and the practice of law is my calling in life. But I do have a second love and that is teaching. I have a passion for helping facilitating a student’s learning process. In fact, I have lectured at a number of law schools in the US and even at a law school in and a college in China! But the demands of a law practice made anything other than an occasional lecture impossible. About nine years ago I discovered the online education environment and it is an environment that quickly proved perfect for me. It allows me to pick and choose when to work on my practice and when to work on grading assignments and finals. It is just the perfect compromise for me. This also helps me be more empathetic for the time struggles of my students, most of whom work full-time.

  1. What is the best part of being an online instructor for The Paralegal Institute?

The best part of instructing at the Institute is the students. I have many hard-working, bright, and motivated students who are looking for a slight change in the direction of their career. I enjoy their enthusiasm and their no-nonsense approach to the courses. Also, the administrative staff is very helpful. I am not as computer savvy as I once was, computers simply accelerated by me, but the staff is always gentle and patient with me and with my students, they answer my questions and serve the students needs.

  1. Do you have any advice for students who are looking to excel in online classes?

Yes, I do. It’s very simple. Stop. Take a deep breath and relax. Nothing is going to register if you are tense. Always remember what class you are in. What book you are reading. What chapter of the book. And what subsection of that chapter. I always made sure to follow this little meditative process from time to time while studying in law school and for the three Bar Exams I took and passed on the first try each! For example, I might stop every few pages and remind myself that  I am reading the Torts book. I am in the chapter on negligence. I am reading the section on res ipsa loquitur. That is all I have to learn here. Just taking a moment to recall where you are and what you are supposed to be learning will cut back on the noise and, in fact, will streamline your learning process. That is my advice. Since you do not have other students to kick things around with you have to keep tabs on your own focus!

  1. Do you have any advice for people interested in starting a career in the legal field?

Learn to love the law. Learn to explore the grey areas that pop up in every issue. Put aside your judgments of people and the way they act, in the workplace and as your clients, and evaluate everything, according to the law but not until you have thoroughly researched the issue before you. Do not take anything personally. Do not personally attack anyone. If you can do those things, you can’t help but have a successful career as a paralegal and you may want to move on to law school.

While this interview is but a snippet of the wisdom and stories Dr. Marco could share with us about his compelling life and career, we thank him for taking the time to share these answers, and hope they are encouraging to all of our students past, present, and future! It’s easy to say our instructors are invested in your learning, but Dr. Marco’s interview helps illustrate that we truly mean it.

You can check out Dr. Marco’s faculty bio here to learn more about him, and you can visit us at www.theparalegalinstitute.edu to learn more about our paralegal programs!

Find Out if Pursuing a Pharmacy Technician Certification is Right for You!

If you’re looking for a career field that has serious staying power, you can’t go wrong with any position in the healthcare industry. However, a lot of healthcare jobs can require pricey schooling and a few years of experience before employers will even think of hiring you. If you’re interested in the healthcare field but not the years of waiting to be employable, becoming a certified Pharmacy Technician might be the right option for you!

WHAT IS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN?

If you’ve ever ordered and picked up a prescription from a pharmacy, you were most likely helped out by a pharmacy technician. Their jobs involve duties like:  

  • Collecting information to fill prescriptions
  • Measuring out medication amounts
  • Packaging and labeling prescriptions
  • Keeping track of inventory and alerting the pharmacist when medications are low
  • Customer service
  • Processing insurance claims
  • Data entry

Pharmacy techs are the people who keep the pharmacy running smoothly so the pharmacists can do their jobs. In most states, pharmacy techs are also able to compound and mix some medications, under the supervision of the pharmacist. Techs working in a hospital may have slightly different experiences, though, as their duties can include preparing intravenous medications and dispensing drugs to patients in hospital rounds.

WHERE DO THEY WORK?

Pharmacy technicians work anywhere a pharmacist does. This includes traditional drug store pharmacies, grocery store pharmacies, standalone pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, closed-door pharmacies, and compounding pharmacies, to name a few. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacies and drugstores employ 52% of the pharmacy tech workforce, whereas hospitals only employ 16%.

It is important to note that pharmacy techs usually find themselves working on their feet all day, so if you have any physical constraints, this might not be the job for you. Techs can also find themselves working odd hours, depending on when the pharmacy is open and if it’s 24 hours or not.

JOB OUTLOOK

With the aging U.S. population and the rise of chronic illnesses across all age groups, it’s no surprise that the demand for pharmacies is growing along with every other facet of the healthcare industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment of pharmacy techs will grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average of all other jobs. To put that in numbers, in 2016 there were over 400,000 pharmacy techs employed, and that number is projected to grow to over 450,000 in the next seven years. This is up from the projected 9% from 2014 to 2024, this it is likely this number will increase and demand does.

CAREER PATH

Most people, of course, want to keep advancing in their chosen career fields, and those who choose to become pharmacy technicians are no different. While there are not really any hierarchies in the pharmacy tech position, being a certified, experienced pharmacy tech can qualify you to move up to other positions, within a pharmacy setting and in other healthcare positions.

Because of pharmacy technicians’ knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacy operations, starting out as a tech can eventually lead to working for pharmaceutical companies, in hospital inventory management, and in supervisory roles, among other options. It is completely up to you and how much more education you want to pursue based on your experiences as a pharmacy tech. You might even decide to become a pharmacist yourself!

While not every state requires pharmacy techs to be certified, it is important to note that obtaining your certification will broaden your opportunities and increase your salary. If you choose to pursue a certification through Brighton College, we offer up to $150 in vouchers to put towards the exam of your choice. Visit www.brightoncollege.edu or call us at 1-800-354-1254 to learn more about getting your Pharmacy Technician Certification!

Life at Brighton: An Interview with Student Services Coordinator, Military Spouse, and Brighton Student Kaitlin Gerth

 

Choosing to go back to school is a big decision, and choosing which school to attend can be an even bigger one. For military spouses, these choices can be compounded by the uncertainty of your location. Distance education is a great solution to these logistical problems, but you might be nervous over the “distance” part!

That’s why we’re giving you an inside look at what it’s like to be a military spouse, a Brighton student, AND a Brighton employee! Our wonderful Student Services Coordinator, Kaitlin Gerth, answered a few questions about her experiences. Spoiler alert: They might just convince you to give distance learning a try! (If you haven’t already, that is.)

Flexibility is Key

Kaitlin is currently enrolled in our Paralegal Studies program, on top of having a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in Education. Her undergraduate degree was entirely brick-and-mortar, which she describes as being good… until she was working two jobs to pay for tuition. She says, “it made it really hard to get to class on time⎯to work on time. So when I went to grad school, I was able to do a lot of it online, and knew if I ever went back to school, I’d do it online.”

When asked about the best part of being a student at Brighton, she says it’s the flexibility: “By working here, I decided to pursue my Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies, and it’s been really helpful to do the work on my time frame instead of someone else’s set schedule.”

Flexibility is a common theme in what she enjoys most about working and studying at Brighton. The best part of working at Brighton is the flexibility and “customer service” aspect of working with the students, she says. Of course, she also enjoys the people she works with and appreciates how her bosses help maintain the flexibility.

Distance Learning as a Military Spouse

Continuing with the flexibility motif, she explains that, as a military spouse, the best part of distance learning is the freedom and flexibility. In her own words:

“…to know that, no matter where we may end up, I can ask for a week or two off for a transition period, then pick back up where I left off. I don’t have to transfer schools and worry about 10,000 pages of paperwork to transfer any credits and whatnot. While traditional programs are super great and really beneficial for students who know they’ll be in the same place for multiple years, military members/spouses get uprooted every 2 years or so, less if they draw short straws, so it’s important to have some level of continuity in their lives, which distance learning definitely provides. I actually have a student that is deploying and he’s able to work on his program in his spare time overseas. Talk about flexibility!”

Brighton’s course freedom has allowed her to pursue her Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies without the fear of having to pick up and start over somewhere else. Paralegal Studies is one of our most popular programs, and it has allowed Kaitlin to follow her legal dreams. She says that once she found out the overwhelmingly rigorous process to get into law school, she put a law career on the back burner⎯but the paralegal program has allowed her to chase her childhood dreams, albeit in a different way than she imagined!

Kaitlin’s Top Tips for Exceeding at Online Learning

If you’ve never taken online classes before, you might not know the best ways to stay on track. Thankfully, as a student services coordinator and a distance learning student herself, Kaitlin has some great tips for excelling at distance education. Her top tip? Calendars.

CALENDARS! Oh my gosh, and planners!! I never really paid attention to planners when I was in high school, but I learned VERY quickly in college how beneficial they are. They even became a Christmas tradition in my family–my mom would always get me a really nice planner for the following year. By the end of the year, it was barely hanging on because I live by it, and still do. Mom won’t buy them for me anymore, but as an “adult” (I still don’t believe that), I have to buy my own. I also have multiple calendars around the house, and my husband thinks I’m insane. But, I’m never late on anything. Also, make lists–keep yourself accountable. I have a whiteboard that, daily, I write down everything I need to do that day, and things that, if I have time, I can get to. I prioritize by color and it helps motivate me to keep on task because I also have mild OCD, so going out of order also really bothers me. But, I’m really efficient because of this so it’s weird at first… but once you’re in the groove, it’s like riding a bike!”

If you’re interested in pursuing a degree or certification at Brighton, we hope Kaitlin’s experiences have shown you what a great option it is for those needing flexibility in their lives! For more information, feel free to contact us at www.brightoncollege.edu, or give us a call at 800-354-1254.

Home Inspector Certification: Is It Worth It?

Spoiler alert: it is totally worth it to pursue a home inspector certification.

Real estate, especially the housing market, has been booming in cities across the United States. Because of the increased demand for safe housing (and safe buildings in general), the construction and building inspector industry is seeing above-average growth throughout the country. With the growing demand for home inspectors, getting your home inspector certificate can be a great investment for your career.

JOB DESCRIPTION

As a home inspector, you would perform residential inspections and write up reports on your findings. The inspections are considered to be non-invasive and typically consist of visually inspecting readily accessible areas in the home. This can range from finding old electrical outlet plates that need to be replaced to discovering larger damage, such as wood rot. The scope of the work can be situational, depending on the agreement you and the client come to. After your inspection, you would write up a report on your findings and present them to the client so they can make better-informed decisions.

Home inspectors can also look for violations of building codes, though they do not have the authority to enforce compliance.

It is important for both you and the client to remember and be aware that as a home inspector, you will not find every problem in the home, especially when it comes to non-visible and inaccessible parts of the structure. Your job is to record observations on the day of the inspection, regardless of past and future home conditions.

Current homeowners sometimes hire home inspectors when they are getting ready to put their home on the market and want an objective evaluation of the home’s condition. Prospective buyers will often hire an inspector to ensure they aren’t investing in a residence that has expensive problems that need to be fixed.

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the industry will grow around 10% from 2016 to 2026, putting it at a faster than average growth rate.  A quick search for home inspection jobs reveals a need in all parts of the country, from Florida to California, for fulltime and contractor work. While some jobs will pay salary or hourly, others pay a set fee per inspection, plus mileage reimbursement.

Those with a background in construction, architecture, or engineering are likely to have better job prospects, though with a home inspection certification you can start working as a freelance home inspector. Attention to detail, the ability to write reports quickly and concisely, and proficiency with technology are all skill-sets that will help set you apart as you apply for employment. Since you will be entering people’s homes, you need to convey a reliable, trustworthy, and ethical demeanor.

SALARY

The median pay for inspectors was $59,090 as of May 2017, with the highest 10% of wages topping out at over $95,340. Your salary will depend on your experience, background, and location, but most job postings advertise salaries ranging from $40,000 to $70,000, with management-level positions reaching six-figures.

With the median salary being nearly $60,000 (and likely to grow), getting your home inspection certification would provide a great return on your investment, as most courses average around $1,100 in tuition.

If you’re interested in starting or switching careers and are interested in construction, consider getting your home inspection certificate.

Brighton College offers a Home Inspection Certification program that can be taken at your own pace, 100% online. Visit this link to check out our program and see if becoming a home inspector is right for you.

Thinking about going into the healthcare industry? Consider becoming a Health Services Manager

While healthcare is a hot topic in American politics right now, the fact is the immense healthcare industry is not going anywhere. This makes it the perfect market to break into! With a healthy (pun intended) industry outlook and the baby boomer generation’s increasing demand for palliative care, getting a degree in health services management is a great career investment.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Health services managers, also referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may manage one specific department (such as medical billing), an entire facility (such as a nursing home), or a health practitioner’s office (such as a specialist’s private practice).

Depending on the position, managers can expect to:

  • Create work schedules
  • Improve efficiency and quality
  • Ensure that the facility they work in is up to current laws and regulations
  • Manage billing and fees
  • Keep and organize records
  • Coordinate programs

And more, depending on the position and facility.

They are also required to communicate with medical practitioners (physicians and surgeons), registered nurses, laboratory technicians, patients, and insurance companies.

Essentially, health services managers are tasked with keeping healthcare facilities running smoothly and without incident. A job search will specify positions for coordinators, project managers, and information systems managers, all engaged in various settings, from hospitals to private practices. Depending on your interests, strengths, and background, there are plenty of job options within the healthcare management and administrative sectors.

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Over the ten-year period of 2016 to 2026, employment of health services managers is projected to grow twenty percent, significantly faster than other management positions. Demand is growing in hospitals, private practices, and nursing homes, as more physicians are hired and more nursing homes are needed for the aging baby boomer population. Currently, hospitals employ about thirty-six percent of health services managers, with physicians’ offices and nursing homes employing eleven and ten percent, respectively.

As with most professions in the modern era, those with strong technology skills will find themselves the most employable, as healthcare facilities depend on tech for electronic health records, medical billing and coding, work scheduling, and more.

Most positions will require a bachelor’s degree or some combination of a two-year degree and experience, along with some additional certifications. It is possible to start working with an associate degree while working toward a higher degree, and some employers might cover additional education costs as an employment benefit. Ultimately, the healthcare industry is complicated, and those with degrees specifically in health services management can expect to be more employable than those with just business administration degrees.

SALARY

As of May 2017, the median wage for health services managers stands at $98,350, with the bottom ten percent making less than $58,350 and the top ten percent earning more than $176,130. This median wage is about $10,000 higher than the median wage for management positions in other industries, making the healthcare industry look quite attractive for ROI of education costs.

Chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of course, salary considerations include factors such as experience, position, location, and education level. And it should be noted that you might have to earn this salary with unusual work hours, including late-night and overnight schedules if you work for a hospital.

When considering your career goals, the health services management profession is certainly one to think about as healthcare demand continues to grow.

Brighton College offers an Associate Degree in Health Services Management as well as various medical certification programs. Brighton College offers all courses online, along with affordable tuition and an emphasis on employability after graduation. Visit Brighton College’s website to take your first steps toward this rewarding and lucrative career.

The Paralegal Industry and Its Job Outlook

Though often overlooked, paralegals are an integral part of all legal organizations—and non-legal organizations have taken notice. While traditional employment within the legal industry continues to grow, non-traditional work options in various fields are expanding job opportunities for current (and potential!) paralegals and legal assistants.

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of paralegals and legal assistants will grow around fifteen percent from 2016 to 2026, which is more than the average of all other occupations (as seen in the graph below). As law firms and other businesses strive for more efficiency and less cost for clients, they are turning to paralegals to help them achieve this goal.

Because of these market demands, paralegals and legal assistants are not only taking the place of entry-level lawyers, they are also taking on hybrid roles, where legal secretary duties are combined with paralegal responsibilities. As a result, the need for paralegals with technological and database skills has increased.

While employers typically prefer employees with an associate degree in Paralegal Studies, job-seekers with tech proficiency and a paralegal certification will likely find themselves in the enviable position of being quite hireable in today’s tech-drive workforce.

NON-TRADITIONAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Law firms and government agencies are the most common employers of paralegals, but businesses outside the legal industry are increasingly switching to in-house and contracted legal counsel. Many companies in finance, tech, and healthcare are either hiring or contracting paralegals as consultants to fulfill their basic legal needs in compliance and regulatory areas. Amazon is one such tech company that retains an in-house legal team in their offices all over the world and is constantly hiring for paralegal and other related positions, which you can find by searching on Amazon’s job site.

The healthcare industry, with its complicated regulatory and compliance needs, often seeks in-house legal help; health insurance companies, like Aetna, also hire in-house legal aides. Since this sector often requires more specialized knowledge, employees with medical backgrounds are highly sought after, such as Legal Nurse Consultants and Nurse Paralegals.

Large finance companies like J.P. Morgan Chase also hire paralegals to assist their in-house attorneys all over the United States. A quick search for jobs with J.P. Morgan Chase reveals a need for paralegals in cities across the country.

And, of course, in the 21st century’s pervasive gig economy, freelance paralegals are able to make a comfortable living on flexible terms, allowing them to raise families and attend to other needs they might have. However, it is advisable to have a few years of experience before becoming a paralegal freelancer.

PARALEGAL SALARY

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2017 the median wage for paralegals was $50,410, with the bottom ten percent making less than $31,130 and the top ten percent making over $81,180. Your location, work experience, industry, and specialized knowledge will, of course, contribute to how much you earn, with paralegals in the utilities and healthcare industries making more than those in the retail or advertising sectors.

The paralegal occupation, overall, is an excellent career choice that does not require a four-year (or more) degree with crippling student debt. With a bright industry outlook and great salary potential, those interested in the legal field but not in the law school sticker price should consider enrolling in a paralegal program.

The Paralegal Institute at Brighton College offers an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies as well as a Paralegal Certificate Program. The Paralegal Institute offers all courses online, along with affordable tuition and an emphasis on employability after graduation. For more information, please check out our website—we look forward to hearing from you!

Options Make The World Go ‘Round

Or is that money?

Either way, Brighton offers you ways to make the money to make the world go ’round using several options (ha, see what I did there??). Our most popular program by far is our Legal Nurse Consultant and Nurse Paralegal program. What isn’t the most popular part of it is the length. While it’s significantly more comprehensive than other programs out there, it’s 14 months worth of program. That’s a lot of time. But, at the same time, you’re essentially being taught how to be a paralegal, since you already know how to be a nurse.

So, how did we make it more conducive to our students? We made a short program. We have a Legal Nurse Consultant Professional Development program which contains 2 courses for a total of 8 credit hours. Your courses would be focused solely on the principles and practices of being an LNC and get you into the field faster. This way, you can start working towards your 2,000 hours worth of LNC work you need to complete before you can sit for your LNC Certification exam (in addition to being an RN for a minimum of 5 years).

Even better? With this short program, you still get the complimentary membership to The J.E.R.K., which is an organization that Brighton partners with that is made up of a bunch of LNCs from around the country. It’s the perfect way to network, get mentoring, and even work on making contacts that you can contract with without leaving your state.

I’m not being biased when I say it’s an amazing deal with a ton of promise behind it….okay, I’m a little biased. But it’s definitely worth checking out! https://www.brightoncollegeextension.org/lnc/

I Want To Be…

The question that we get asked from the time we are children: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And obviously, there are answers like astronaut, fireman, princess, dinosaur. Some have more realistic dreams than others, it seems.

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To be fair, I was in the “princess” category, since that’s what my mom always called me. It honestly ruined me for later on in life, but now that’s my husband’s issue to deal with.

At Brighton, we have several different fields you can go into and study and become the best. Our biggest field, by far, is our Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) program. But why? What makes LNC so popular? Well, several reasons:

  1. 1) It’s a field that’s booming and becoming more and more demanding. Nurses and doctors rely on their employer having a lawyer on staff to handle any iffy situations that may arise concerning malpractice.
  2. 2) It’s a field that’s not overly popular, because people don’t know about it.
  3. 3) Our program, unlike many out there, is more comprehensive than the others and will train you better to be an LNC as opposed to a few of the more popular, shorter courses out there.
  4. 4) Hospitals and other employers could have an LNC on staff to handle a majority of issues that arise while only paying a lawyer minimal billable hours to handle all of the issue from start to finish.

This sounds a little weird, right? Well, I’ll break these points down because it’s important to delve deeper into each of these reasons.

  1. 1) It’s always good to be on the ground floor of any up-and-coming business and skill. Not only will you be one of the “pioneers” of the field, you’ll also still learn things every day and be able to figure out what works and what doesn’t and help steer the future “you” into the correct way to make themselves successful.
  2. 2) It’s not a field that has 10,000 people in it. Okay, it might world-wide, I don’t really know. But the point here is, it’s not a saturated field yet. You’ve probably heard lawyers are “a dime a dozen” because the market is SO full of lawyers that you can find one on every corner and they don’t make what they used to because, 20-30 years ago, not everyone could be a lawyer. Nowadays, it’s like law schools are handing out JD’s like they’re Halloween candy (even Harvard and Yale!). So for a new field, yes, you’ll have a hard time convincing people why your job is necessary, but once you convince them to give you the chance, you’ll be able to blow them away with that they’ve been missing out on.
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  4. 3) When researching LNC programs, you’ll be hit with A LOT of options out there. Several big-name colleges have programs, like Duke, and there are some “programs” that are significantly shorter. I say “programs” because unless it’s accredited, or takes longer than a week, most people don’t consider it an actual program. There’s one in particular that’s incredibly popular. It’s a week-long “program,” totaling about 40 hours, and is about 3 times the price of ours. Yes, Brighton’s LNC program takes 14 months to complete (the average is about 11 months); however, most of our students come back telling us how much they learned and how helpful it was for them. I have another point about this, but I’ll list it later.
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  6. 4) When an attorney is on staff for a hospital, they can charge the hospital a pretty high rate in addition to a retainer for any hours to investigate the situation, the doctor/nurse, the outcome, etc. Some attorneys, especially in bigger cities, have hourly rates of $500 or more! How crazy is that?! Paralegals and LNC’s can be on staff to do the “leg work” that an attorney would have to do anyway (or more likely, have their paralegal do) and the attorney can be held on retainer and then paid WAY less in billable hours to go to the actual trial or to do settle. Hospital Board of Directors (BOD) might view it as an unnecessary hire, until they realize that it’s actually a lot cheaper in the long run.
  7. Image result for the j.e.r.k. lnc
    Click the Image to go to The J.E.R.K. Homepage

Okay, so the whole “I’ll list it later” part: there’s a group for LNCs out there called Juris Educational Research Knowledge. For short, they’re called The J.E.R.K. and trust me, they know how it sounds. But it makes them stick out, which is important! It’s an organization that helps LNCs network, mentor, and learn. The founder, Claire Hull, went through the popular program mentioned above and also started the program at Duke and a school in Florida. With that being said, we are the only program that the J.E.R.K. partners with to work with the graduates of their LNC program. That. Is. HUGE! If you were to go to their website, you’ll see Brighton College as their only academic partners.

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When asked about if she would choose Brighton if she had it to do over again, Claire Hull responded with: “What a wonderful question !! I’m very sorry! I thought I made myself clear last night, but perhaps I left some doubt!
I took VM course yes! Of course I did! There was nothing else at the time. When I was finished with that course, five years later, I helped establish the course that Duke LNC program now has and I also help establish the LNC program for UNC. I also went to university of Florida and started their forensic program with them! SO…these programs were all just starting.
Which program would I choose if I had to pick.
Well, that’s easy. (Brighton pays me nothing to speak well of them. In regard to full disclosure. Also, it’s important you know that I am not a paid instructor at Brighton College as Dr. Wheeler is).
So, I feel I can answer your question without a conflict of interest.
I would hands down choose the program at Brighton College which is why I CHOSE the school affiliation.
I am in business for myself and my name means everything. As does my Integrity. I really can’t put my name on just any school or any product.
I’ve always been choosey.
I promise you none of the information you learn here at the school will be wasted! You will know more than most know! When you leave school, you will know what an affidavit is! I didn’t know that WORD after taking VM course!  My regard for Dr. Wheeler is high. I don’t believe I have ever met a more compassionate intelligent man. He is wonderful!
I would follow him and know he makes great decisions. He is so supportive of nurses! HE has done the job you are about to take on! Now, how many programs do you think offer that?
You are on a wonderful path! Nothing you learn a waste! It was never my intent to discourage you from the program you are currently in! I would encourage you to see the benefits that may be well hidden!
Recognize that other schools, Universities, Colleges, Programs do not take an interest in connecting you with the “outside world” and what you are about to enter! Legal Nurses are very autonomous! We go into business for ourselves. Most of us do not go in-house to do our work. When you leave school, they are trying to prepare you to be a business owner! You are starting a new career! You will fall back on everything they teach you. There may come a time when you feel badly for those who finish a program in seven days! Especially when you see how much there is to learn!
Consequently, the nurses that come from those programs often feel lost! Ask them! I will bet they tell you that honestly!
Brighton College has done something I’ve never seen a college do. Without Brighton extending that hand You would never have the benefits you have now. There would be no knowledge of JERKLNC web site, No Dr. Wheeler, No AALNC, No extra certification, No newsletter connection, NO Business consultant connection, No Networking….NONE OF THAT is available in the other programs! YOU will never hear VM speak of the JERKLNC. NOR will you hear her speak of the AALNC!! NOR will you hear her speak of Legal Eagle EYE news!
BUT your college has broken down those walls! Your college took a wrecking ball to those walls and knocked them down allowing you full disclosure to all of the wonderful things available to learn.
Personally I am really proud of it! I’m excited for every student in this program! I feel you are about to learn more than most programs take the time to teach! And all because someone cares.”

Man. Talk about high praise!! I don’t even have anything to follow that up with. Claire’s words say it all.

Ready to make your decision yet? We’re just an application away.

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Click the Image to go to Our Website to Apply!

No Act of Kindness, No Matter How Small, Is Ever Wasted

“The only people I have interacted with are Ryan and Kaitlin, via phone and e-mail. Both are very helpful and courteous.”–D Barrera

These days, it seems like kindness is not something that everyone has, and I have some theories as to why. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t cost anything to have, and as a society, we are perceived and judged for what we can, or cannot, buy and attain. Or maybe it’s because it isn’t something that is rewarded for having or using.

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Regardless, people don’t seem to be as kind as they once used to be. I think back to the times of Mayberry. I remember watching The Andy Griffith Show growing up with my dad constantly, and people were genuinely friendly to each other–always said ‘hello,’ used their names (and everyone knew everyone), doors didn’t need to be locked every night. It didn’t hurt that the deputy put the fear of a single bullet (kept in his pocket, not even the gun), in everyone!

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But now, people get offended if doors are held for them, because

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As my mother used to say, “it doesn’t cost anything to be kind.” And that’s what our world is lacking today. At Brighton College, we make sure we have people on staff that, their basic instinct is to be kind to each other. Even if we have to fake a smile, it comes across as a smile when you speak.

Image result for fake it meme Eventually, that smile won’t have to be faked. I’m lucky. I work in a place where it’s genuinely easy to smile because we are always laughing. When you enjoy your coworkers and have fun, that fun comes across and rubs off on the students when you speak to them. Whether you’re in Admissions, Student Services, or Finance, you work with so many students every day that each call needs to be treated as your first, and the more fun you’re having before each of those calls, the better each of those calls will be. Even when you have a “nightmare” of a call, and you answer all pleasant and get this in return:

Image result for jurassic world memethere’s always someone on the other end to help get your mood back up afterwards.

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Choices, Decisions, and Consequences

Every choice in life we make has a consequence, either a good one or a not-so-good one. Some of those “not-so-good” ones come with the worst words to say when you look back on your life: “What If?

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I have made it my life’s mission to not have any regrets, or any What If’s in life, even though I haven’t always had good consequences of my actions. I have learned to take them in stride and use them for my future. An example of this has been my education. My choice to go to a private university in Kentucky for my undergrad had a not-so-good consequence of extreme student loan debt. My choice to move home to Illinois for grad school had a good consequence of saving money and having the support of my parents readily at hand.

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Until recently, I was considered a “traditional” student–I went to college immediately after high school, grad school immediately after that. But upon graduation with my Master’s, I had some choices to make. Do I want to continue on and get a PhD? Or do I want to start looking for a job? I chose to start working, because from the time I started Kindergarten until the day I finished my Master’s, I had been in school for 19.5 consecutive years, with only summers off (until grad school). That’s a long time to go through school, and my best friend went on to get her PhD immediately after her Master’s, so it’s amazing she hasn’t burned out yet. That’s the issue with a lot of “traditional” students these days.

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When I was little, I was obsessed with Law and Order: SVU and that show gave me the desire to be a lawyer and help people. Going through junior high and high school, I didn’t get the most stellar grades, but I was a solid A-/B+ student. In college, I started struggling a lot with my grades while working, taking an insane amount of credit hours, and being a music minor [which required a certain amount of practice hours per week], and it took me a year or so to learn time management skills, but by that point, the damage was pretty much done. However, better late than never on those skills (wait for it…). It was during my junior year of college when I realized I would never be able to get into law school. My grades were nowhere near good enough, and I’m such a horrible test taker, always have been, so I knew I couldn’t get a high enough score on the LSAT to make up for my GPA. So I had to start looking at other options.

Again, the choices I made gave me a fair amount of “not-so-good” consequences. Upon looking at my options with my major, I chose to pursue a career in Sport Psychology. In that field, I could still help people. I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Education with a specialty of Kinesiology, but I was told too late I needed a PhD. On top of that, I kind of felt like I had wasted a ton of money in student loans and I still wouldn’t be a lawyer.

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I moved to Arizona a month after getting married. We made 1 huge life choice, why not overwhelm ourselves by adding in more big decisions! We were here for about a year when I got the job with Brighton. I found, as I was going through the catalog, that they offer an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies! I could at least receive the training to kind of be a lawyer. But the downside of that? I went back to school (even though it’s online) at the age of 29. While we have students across all ages, a common theme is “I’ve been out of school for a while so I’m worried about getting back into the swing of things.” I know exactly how the students feel now, because wow, even though it’s only been a little less than 5 years since graduating with my Master’s, it’s hard to get back into the groove of studying and homework!

It’s nice that I can do it when I have time to, as opposed to having to work around a class time with a brick-and-mortar school that has set meeting times, exam dates, and less flexibility in general. What I’ve found amazing with being a non-traditional student is the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and the ability to apply it when I never thought I’d need to. Our students, like me, have {sometimes} multiple degrees that have given them a set of skills and knowledge, plus their real world experiences. In addition, our instructors are fantastic and understand that we are working individuals, with children/families and other responsibilities and sometimes we even like to sleep. So they’re flexible on submission dates and are more than happy to provide assistance as much as they can.

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While you can take online classes with us at your own pace, you are subject to a specific time frame. For instance, our Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program has a maximum time frame of 3 years, even though if you went to a community college, you could finish it in 2. But then you have to take into account the fact that we are flexible, you don’t have to go to an actual class, you can do your homework and quizzes in yoga pants (which also happens to be how I dressed my entire senior year of college), and if something happens or you get sick or have to take a break, we offer a lot of options to help out. We help people send out resumes to get jobs. That’s not something a lot of colleges, especially online colleges, do on a regular basis.

So looking back on my life, have I made some decisions that didn’t always turn out so great for me? Absolutely. But those experiences made me the woman I am today, the hard worker I am today, and the student I am today. Without those decisions, I might never have found Brighton, and I might never have been able to get as close as possible to my dream without actually going to law school, all while helping people at the same time. While the road of life is bumpy and unpaved, the journey is worth the ride.

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