I Love Going for It as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant*
by Jeannie Shoeman, RN, BS, CLNC
I have 15 years of psychiatric nursing in a county hospital, private hospital, group counseling and individual counseling, and I’ve worked every field of nursing. I had heard about Vickie and, over the years, I’d met nurses who had taken her CLNC® Certification Seminar and become Certified Legal Nurse Consultants.
I got my bachelor’s degree and went to work for various insurance companies as a workers’ comp medical case manager. Then, I worked with managed care insurance until that company went bankrupt and I lost my job.
He bragged about my wonderful qualifications and said he planned to hire me as a consultant.
The insurance company had used nurses in marketing because people would listen to us. We could get our foot in the door, and I realized I was good at it, maybe because of all my years in psych and personal communication.
Working in the Insurance Field Sparked My Interest in the Law
Working in insurance, I became fascinated with the law. When my job ended, I got depressed and gained weight. I decided it was time to try legal nurse consulting, and I went to the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC®) Conference to find out more.
However, despite my successful track record in marketing for the insurance company, I discovered how different working for myself was. Making that first call to an attorney was hard. I looked at that long list of attorneys and felt daunted.
I remembered Vickie telling us we’d have to make several calls to get an appointment. I had to remind myself to be confident. At that point in my life confidence did not come easily. I had a lot of personal problems, including a death in the family. My adult son was seriously ill, and supporting him had drained my funds.
Vickie Gave Me the Extra Kick to Start Calling Prospects
I was totally discouraged, but Vickie gave me that extra kick I needed. After the NACLNC Conference, I took the CLNC Certification Seminar and left the training feeling empowered and full of energy. I now looked at that intimidating list of law firms and decided, “Why shouldn’t I go after the really big ones?” I picked out the top ten firms and made the calls.
A woman at the office of a medical malpractice defense attorney said, “Our senior founding partner has thought about hiring a legal nurse consultant. I want you to leave him a personal voice mail.”
After a week he called me back. He asked about my resume. My one reference was an attorney who had recently been appointed judge. My prospect said, “I’ve known Bill for years. Why don’t you send me your packet?”
When I met with the attorney, he seemed excited, taking me around and introducing me to the other 11 partners and the entire staff. He bragged about my wonderful qualifications and said he planned to hire me as a consultant.
My First Case Was a Win for the Attorney and Me
After the meeting nothing happened. I waited three months, thinking he wasn’t interested after all. Then he called with the first case. Later, I learned it had taken him that long to get the records.
I had never done medical malpractice or worked for the defense. My experience was with workers’ comp and personal injury. This was an involved case, and I was afraid I couldn’t do it justice. I told my attorney-client I had an extensive network of CLNC consultants and could find him a nurse who specialized in that area. However, he wanted me, nobody else. He saw something in me that I didn’t. As a result, we both were winners. He won the case, settling for a lot more money because of the information I found in the chart, and I won repeat business.
Since then I’ve completed six more cases for him. I worked up the last one from inception, billing for 60-plus hours. The checks I received were amazing – $2,500, $5,000, $6,000 – for not that many hours of work.
Vickie’s Training Helped Build My Confidence and Discipline
Even though I landed a big firm with those first calls, I still procrastinate doing the marketing. This year, at the NACLNC Conference, a speaker talked about taking one step a day, even if it’s small. Vickie’s impeccable image also impressed me – it has such punch. I’m still working on building my confidence, and I realize now that looking good and taking that one step every day make me feel more confident.
Using the valuable tips from the NACLNC Conference to build my confidence and discipline, I know I will succeed even more. I believe you have to aim for the top, go for the big one, just like I did when I landed that first top-ten law firm. I love going for it as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
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