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ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTION TEAM
Tonia D. Aiken, JD, BSN

Tonia D. Aiken, JD, BSN - The USA LNC certificate program is taught by Tonia D. Aiken, RN, BSN, JD. and other legal and healthcare professionals to provide an interactive educational program for experienced registered nurses. Tonia has extensive experience in medical malpractice litigation, healthcare issues, and representing nurses in disciplinary matters. She is a past president of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys and its Foundation. She is a nationally recognized author and speaker in addition to her work as a trial attorney, consultant, inventor, and entrepreneur.

Tonia is an editor and contributing author of Legal, Ethical, and Political Issues in Nursing and Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Occupations, a member of the NSO Advisory Board, past editor of the Journal of Nursing Law and is a co-author of AALNC’s Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles & Practice, 3rd Edition, Chapter 1 entitled, The Law, Standards of Care, and Liability Issues.

Mrs. Aiken worked as a nurse immediately upon graduation from nursing then began her legal pursuit. She has primarily devoted her career to law in order to represent and advocate for nurses and health care providers. She has served as faculty for Legal Nurse Consulting Courses for over 10 years and is an author and contributing author of several textbooks and A-V material used in legal courses nationally.

Carolyn Dolan RN, MSN, CRNP, FNP, PNP, CCRN, JD

Prof. Carolyn Dolan has over thirty years of clinical nursing experience in multiple high risk areas of medical malpractice and risk management. She has advocated her entire career for the uninsured, poor, and underserved and has represented such groups locally, regionally, and nationally. She served on the governor’s task force for Hispanics many years, and founded a federally qualified health care center. Prior to joining the USA faculty, she served as adjunct faculty for the Univ of MS and Jones County Community teaching EMS and Mass Casualty Response. Upon joining USA, she was named the Director of Nursing for a seventeen county region of rural AL where she represented rural nursing and the needs of the rural underserved at state/national levels.

She has received national awards in the fields of Emergency Nursing and Migrant Health and was named Unsung Hero by the Migrant Clinician’s Network in 2007. She is a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and expert witness on a variety of nursing areas. She consults locally and state wide on malpractice case preparation and has appeared in court and deposition as an expert. Since obtaining the JD and admittance to the Bar balances her legal interest through service, research, publication and presentations on a number of topics important to preserving the standard of care in nursing and risk management. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Nursing Law and a member of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys. Prof. Dolan practices as an Advanced Practice Nurse at Victory Health Partners in Mobile, AL, a faith based agency for the working poor.

John Kocke - Mr. Kocke is an experienced RN of many years. In the mid-nineties he launched a business in medical consulting and case management that has expanded and continues to thrive; AMC Resources, Inc. The company is engaged in managed care services including medical case management, vocational rehabilitation, medical-legal consulting, litigation assistance, expert witness testimony, life planning, utilization review, pre-certification, second injury fund consulting, medicare set asides and medical bill review/auditing services. His clients include worker’s compensation claimants, Jones Act and long Shore and Harbor Workers’ Act Insurance claimants, self insured employers and funds, attorneys, third party administrators, federal, state and local public entities. He is co-developer of the VirtualCase File, a web based managed care program. In addition he is certified in life planning, case management, and is an instructor of the LSU School of Nursing. He is a court appointed medical and personal guardian, a frequent lecturer regionally and spent four years in active military service and four years in military reserve service.
Vera D. Rucker is a Compliance Investigator with the Mississippi Board of Nursing.  Her responsibilities include monitoring nurses whose license or privilege to practice is restricted or who have an Agreed/Board Order, formal reprimands, fines or educational requirements. As part of the Compliance Department, she gathers information and investigates discrepancies submitted to the Board of Nursing.  She also counsels nurses being monitored and refers those needing disciplinary proceedings along with entering those with judgments against them into the Federal Data Bank of Nurses.
Deborah Keller St. Germain, DNP, RN, CEN is a certified emergency room nurse, forensic nurse, and legal nurse consultant.  After completing her BSN in 1985 at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, she moved to New Orleans to begin her nursing career in the intensive care unit and emergency department.  In December 1990, she completed her Master’s in Nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Louisiana State University Medical Center (LSUMC), specializing in parent-child nursing and staff development.  After graduation, she began teaching full-time in the undergraduate nursing program at LSUMC, where she is currently.  In 2002, Dr. St. Germain became interested in death investigation and became a reserved death investigator at a local coroner’s office.
R. Douglas Vaughn, JD is a partner in Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles’ Gulfport, Mississippi office.  His practice is focused on litigation and health law, including medical malpractice, commercial litigation, products liability, insurance first-party claims including bad faith and fraud investigation along with other complex legal areas.  Mr. Vaughn is admitted to practice in all state courts in Mississippi and Florida, as well as federal courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, the Middle District of Florida, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.  He received his Jurist Doctorate in 1989 from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he served on the Mississippi Law Journal.  He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Mississippi State University in 1987.
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