CLNC® Success Stories

How I Matched My Hospital Salary in 5 Months as a Part-Time Certified Legal Nurse Consultant*

by George H. Cox, RN, BSN, MS, CRNA, CLNC

George H. Cox

After 26 years in critical care nursing including 16 years as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), I had become restless again. My CRNA practice provided me with professional recognition, respect within the community and the economic security of a six-digit income. Still, I was not happy. I wanted new challenges and more excitement in my all-too-routine professional life. I had often thought about attending law school. Realistically, however, at the age of 51 and with two children soon heading off to college, a complete career change was not an option.

I wanted new challenges and more excitement in my all-too-routine professional life.

For years I had seen ads for Vickie Milazzo Institute’s CLNC® Certification Program in various nursing publications, but I did not know what a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant did. One day I came across the Institute’s ad again. This time I called and asked to speak with a CLNC Mentor. My call was promptly returned and my many questions were answered. The most remarkable thing about that 30-minute conversation was the sincerity and genuine enthusiasm of the CLNC Mentor. This turned out to be one of the most significant phone calls of my life. Immediately, I enrolled in the CLNC Certification Seminar.

The seminar was simply fascinating. Beyond the wealth of information and the quality of the instruction, I was completely enthralled. I found the class atmosphere exciting and inspiring. I studied each evening, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. It had been a long time since something had aroused my interest like the idea of becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

Vickie’s Warmth and Encouragement Sparked My Determination

After the Certification Exam, I ran into Vickie in the hall. I told her how much I had enjoyed the seminar and how determined I was to make the knowledge I had gained work for me. She hugged me, thanked me and told me she was looking forward to someday reading my CLNC Success Story. From that moment on, I became determined to pursue my CLNC business until I had a success story I could proudly send to Vickie.

During the next four weeks, I studied Vickie’s advanced resources. I took notes and created a reference binder. I had faith in my ability to succeed. I had a burning desire to make it work. I hoped I had the courage and persistence to see it through.

Because I already possessed specialized training, knowledge and experience in critical care nursing and anesthesia nursing, I decided to emphasize anesthesiology, operating room, post anesthesia recovery, critical care and emergency care in my CLNC business. While I recognized this choice could limit my opportunities, I felt most familiar and confident in these clinical areas. I set my fees higher than the national average because I believed my specialties could command higher rates. With my busy anesthesia practice limiting my availability for appointments with local attorneys, I decided to also market to established CLNC colleagues who might need my specialized knowledge.

With those decisions made, Southern Nevada Professional Legal Nurse Consultants was born. I mailed out dozens of introductory letters and brochures to law firms and legal nurse consulting firms nationwide. I also used my current anesthesia practice as a stepping-stone, networking for my CLNC business at every appropriate opportunity.

With this strategy, my first attorney-client became my easiest to secure. That one contact has since blossomed into others. Attorneys really do talk to each other.

I Equaled My Top CRNA Income in Just 5 Months as a CLNC® Consultant

Five months after completing the CLNC Certification Program, I had achieved the following:

  • Consulted with an East Coast plaintiff attorney on a case involving an anesthesiologist.
  • Consulted on a case involving a CRNA for a defense attorney on the West Coast.
  • Provided expert opinion in a case involving a CRNA for a government healthcare facility in the Midwest.
  • Reviewed a number of records closer to home for both plaintiff and defense attorneys.
  • Performed subcontracting work for other Certified Legal Nurse Consultants.

By far, the most interesting and personally rewarding case I have been involved in was a medical records review in which I identified tampering with the record.

The best part is I have more work than I could ever have imagined finding so quickly. In order to devote more time to my CLNC business, I recently resigned from an administrative nursing position I had held for years.

Based on a 12-month period, my earnings as a CLNC consultant closely approximates my established earnings as a very well-paid CRNA. Could I give up my anesthesia practice and earn the same amount as a full-time CLNC consultant? Yes, I could, perhaps earn even significantly more. But right now, I want to continue practicing as a CRNA. I enjoy anesthesia nursing and the patients it brings me into contact with each day. Sometime in the future, I will end my anesthesia practice and become a full-time Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. For now, it is just nice to know I have that option.

That is what becoming a CLNC consultant has given me: options. Although I’m extremely busy balancing two careers, I am investing the additional time not because I have to, but because the work is fun. Professionally, I am enjoying my activities more than I ever have. I often think to myself, “They call this work?” I love the challenge. I love the “investigative detective” work. I love the professional recognition for a job well done.

So Vickie, this is the CLNC Success Story you said you’d be looking for. I don’t think either of us thought it would happen so fast. For that, I have one special person to thank: Thank you, Vickie!

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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