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I met Darling at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (NCH) where she (Northwestern Mutual) sponsored an event for nurses, which enabled them to bring me in to speak. Darling is NOT a nurse but is one of our biggest fans! Every year she advocates bringing educational programming to the nurses at NCH. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I have.

Darling lives in Coconut Grove Florida with her husband and 3 children. Darling protects families for a living using Asset Protection, Insurance and Wealth Accumulation vehicles as a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual.

Tell us about your family.

I am married to John Lie-Nielsen and we have three children: Scarlett, 7; John Connor 5; and Savannah (4 months). We are firm believers that “to whom much is given, much is required” and enjoy giving back to our community through children’s causes.

Tell us what you do to support nurses.

I am personally and professionally committed to causes that support nurses and champion their profession. Two years ago, I discovered that nursing educational programs are extremely underfunded and set my sights on changing that deficiency. Together with Northwestern Mutual, we developed a “Distinguished Nursing Lecture Series” at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and through the Miami Children’s Health Foundation which thrives today and has earned my commitment to foster its growth through 2018.

With Nurses Week each year being a time and place when nurses are honored and recognized for their contributions to healthcare and, moreover, patient care, I sponsored the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Awards Ceremony in conjunction with Nurses Week and sent personal letters to the award recipients, letting them know of my appreciation for all they do for our sick and healthy children. And as a mother, I have been on the receiving end of the tireless contributions that nurses have provided to my children during a long day in the emergency room or during scheduled procedures, including elective surgery.   I try to make my contributions and sponsorship of nurses personal. It allows me to thank the nurses in person, including visiting each nursing unit and delivering treats for each shift.

Tell us your story and why you are so passionate about supporting nurses.

My son John Connor was not sleeping at night and snoring with the roar of a lion. We worried about how the snoring might effect his learning and healthy development. My husband and I sought treatment for our son and with comprehensive testing arrived at a diagnosis that was treatable, but involved several steps, including sleep studies and elective surgery. During this process, I realized that choosing a physician to treat our child was paramount. And through the journey, I also discovered the importance of nurses, since they were the ones that spent sleepless nights with me in the hospital and comforted me during the post-operative care in the intensive care unit. I’m confident that without them by my side, the outcome might have been different and much more stressful for all of us. This new found respect for nurses resonated with me daily, afterwards.   I wanted to do more for nurses and help heighten awareness for all that they do for our kids, families and each other. “This was a genesis for me, not to mention an epiphany. I knew more must be done for nurses and let it begin with me.” Concurrently, I also knew that the nursing profession could benefit from my financial planning skills and wanted to help them achieve financial security and wellness. In other words, help these professionals “LIVE LIFE DIFFERENTLY.”

If you could give one piece of advice to a nurse just starting his/her career, what would it be?

Take a minute, set a meeting time and date to let me help you achieve prosperity by managing debt, assist with planning for college funds and build a well-funded retirement plan that takes all of their needs into consideration, including a lifetime of feeling secure.

And when these nursing professionals set that meeting, they will feel something great. The burden of financial insecurity will be liberating, freeing them because they took a little bit of time that will undoubtedly pay big dividends in the future. I am a firm believer that nurses and people in general don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. I am poised to help them, much like they have helped me and my family.

I tell nurses when I visit with them, it’s not what you earn, but what you save and how you invest. Professional client relationships for me are designed for a lifetime of success.   A financial plan for a nurse is similar to a care plan for their patients. It serves as a map to achieving a good outcome. It begins with a conversation that will benefit them forever.

Darling shared this with me,I’m sure my nurse sees cases much more severe than my son’s but she didn’t downplay his condition as it was the biggest and scariest thing in my world but rather help me through it.”


If you are interested in chatting with Darling about your financial health, please contact her at

Be kind. Take care. Stay connected.





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Dr. Renee Thompson works with healthcare organizations that want to overcome the leadership and clinical challenges their people face every day.

If you’d like to find out more about her programs, please visit her website

Contact Renee today at to bring her to your organization to talk about ending the cycle of nurse bullying.



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