Welcome to Feature Friday!
Today we have the super awesome pleasure of introducing you to, Elizabeth Murray.
Elizabeth Murray BSN, RN, LNCC is an independent legal nurse consultant with and owner of Elizabeth Murray Consulting, LLC a consulting firm in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area, primarily consulting on defense cases in Long Term Care and Medical Malpractice. Elizabeth is a former US Army officer, and has extensive experience in adult and pediatric Critical Care and Emergency nursing. She has been working in the legal nurse consulting field for fourteen years and currently serves on the board as President Elect of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC).
(Elizabeth is pictured in both photos with her beautiful family.)
Q: Why Healthcare?
Elizabeth: Even before I earned my BSN, I was a nurse at heart. My entire life I have been interested in biology and pathophysiology, and making compassionate connections with those around me. Nursing was a natural fit. And, as soon as I understand a medical concept, I want to teach it. The collegial atmosphere of a teaching hospital is where I feel most comfortable.
Q: Why work in the legal field?
Elizabeth: Education is the crux of nursing. Working in the legal field is the pinnacle of patient advocacy. Legal Nurse Consultants are uniquely able to bring about change that protects patients and improve patient care by educating about the standards of care, medical research, and management of risk. Defense of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is a passion of mine because in my experience most practitioners are making educated decisions that they believe are best for the patient at that time. On the flip side, my clients know that I am the first one to tell them if something was truly negligent or outside of the standard of care. Every case has its own distinctive and individual facts, and every day is a new adventure.
Q: What is one piece of advice that was given to you and has stuck with you?
Elizabeth: A professor at my alma mater, Seattle University, once told me that every minute with a patient is a teaching moment and that every intake interview question about tobacco use is an opportunity. A study of tobacco users revealed that a large percentage stated their healthcare providers had never told them to stop using tobacco. The doctor or nurse would ask how much the patient smoked per day, and write it down, and move on to another part of the exam. Smokers took that as an implicit approval of their smoking. I make sure I tell every patient who reports tobacco use, officially, to stop smoking.
Q: What is one surprising fact about you?
Elizabeth: I was an officer in the Army and served in the Army Nurse Corps. I found the collaboration in a military hospital empowering, and am humbled and honored to have served with so many brilliant healthcare professionals at the start of my career. Within a few months of graduating from nursing school, I was a charge nurse on the Army’s largest Medical Surgical floor. The lessons I learned in leadership, teamwork, and professionalism have served me well.
Q: How do you define success?
Elizabeth: I define success as achieving balance. Right now, I have my dream job owning my consulting business, enjoy going to my kid’s lacrosse games and swim meets, and volunteer in ABA and AALNC with some of the most dynamic and interesting people. If only I had five more hours in each day!
Q: What are three things you have already done on your bucket list?
Elizabeth: I shared a glass of red wine with Dario “The Butcher” Cecchini in Panzano Italy from his private stash.
My family went snorkeling and explored an old, crashed, cartel plane in the sea near Cartagena, Colombia.
I lived in a haunted house on Fort McNair in DC that was formerly the courthouse where the U.S. tried John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators. The week we moved in, an A&E Haunted House show aired about Mary Surratt’s hauntings of my house, and twice a day a haunted house bus tour stopped in front.
Q: Have you ever been in awe of anything? If so, what?
Elizabeth: My colleagues in Critical Care are generally all awesome, however, my fellow nurses in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) have left me in awe time and time again. Nurses who care every day for the smallest and most vulnerable of us are some of the most excellent human beings I have ever met. I was a nervous wreck working with intubated infants, and the experienced PICU nurses were unflappable, gentle, kind, and astute.
Q: If you could live in a fictional land, what would it be and why?
Elizabeth: I always thought the Twilight Zone “Bewitchin’ Pool” episode where kids dive into their swimming pool only to come up in a pristine river bank where children are playing, and a grandmother type serves cake all day seemed like a pretty great place.
Q: How does the Health Law Section impact you?
Elizabeth: I came to the ABA Health Law Section several years ago as a liaison from my professional association, the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC). In that time, I have found a home in this organization filled with energetic and intelligent attorneys, experts in their fields and yet continually searching to learn more. In every golden nugget I learn at the Washington Health Summit, or the Annual Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference I find new niches to help attorneys expand their knowledge of the inner workings of healthcare, and take back new issues to my nurse colleagues to digest.
Q: Tell us about one of your proudest moments.
Elizabeth: My grandfather, Ted Cox, was the commander of “Fox Company” 291st Infantry Regiment in World War II in Europe. The surviving members of their group had a reunion every year to visit and discuss battles they fought. My grandfather published a book about his experiences when he was in his early 90’s called, “The Men of Fox Company.” He was never afraid to take on something new. One of my proudest moments was meeting him on the Mall in DC when he took an Honor Flight with other veterans to see the new World War II Memorial. It was an honor to see he and the other men arrive and tour the memorial, finally receiving the recognition their bravery deserved. My kids were small, but they understood the importance of the monument, and that actions their great-grandfather took improved freedoms around the world.
Q: What do you like about being part of the Health Law Section?
Elizabeth: I love the connections I have made with so many different individuals, and especially learning how each member of the Nursing & Allied Healthcare Professionals Task Force came to our group. Every member brings a unique story and background, and passion for Health Law. I have especially enjoyed working with our law students and young lawyers on writing projects they hope to publish with the ABA.
We would love to give a huge shout-out to Elizabeth and thank her for participating in this week’s Feature Friday! Get to know your fellow HLS members and leaders by stopping by every Friday to check out a new feature. #FridaysAreForLawyers
If you are interested in being featured, please contact me at, Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org. All members are encouraged to participate!!!