The CLNC® Certification Guaranteed My First Case*
by Martha Bishop, RN, CLNC
“RNs earn up to $150/hr.” Who could pass up an opportunity like this? To a staff nurse earning less than $20/hr, this sounded intriguing, so I opened the large white envelope from Vickie Milazzo Institute and read on. I must have read the contents of that envelope four or five times.
‘RNs earn up to $150/hr.’ Who could pass up an opportunity like this?
Then I called some attorneys in my area and asked them if they were aware of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants and the services they offer. Most were very enthusiastic when they learned of my interest in this career.
One of the attorneys, Mr. Brown, said that he would love to speak with me and asked when I could meet with him. This certainly was not what I expected to hear. I made an appointment, thanked him for his time and hung up. Wow! Now what?
My next thought was clothes. What on earth was I going to wear? My wardrobe consisted of jeans, T-shirts, scrubs and a few casual dresses. I called my best friend Marcie, a CPA, and told her what had happened. She graciously offered to loan me a business suit.
With the clothing issue resolved, I focused on the upcoming meeting. When the day finally arrived, I was nervously pumped and ready. I left my house an hour early to avoid being late. When Marcie called to inform me of a motor vehicle crash on the highway, I took an alternate route. So did everyone else. Then there was a wreck on the alternate route. I took a second alternate route, as did others. Despite all my efforts, I arrived ten minutes late for my meeting with Mr. Brown. What a way to make a first impression. Fortunately, he had heard of the traffic situation and understood.
Our meeting lasted almost 40 minutes. He asked about the legal nurse consulting program I planned to attend, and I told him I’d be taking Vickie Milazzo Institute’s CLNC® Certification Seminar in a couple of months. I explained that I wanted to help patients in a different venue (and the money sounded good too). He told me to come back to see him after I completed the Institute’s CLNC Certification Program and he would assign me a couple of cases and see what I did with them. Wow, again! I had cases waiting and hadn’t even taken the CLNC training yet.
The week of Vickie’s seminar was amazing. After learning that I had passed the CLNC Certification Exam, I called Mr. Brown as promised. We met again. Then he asked about my fees. Nervously, yet confidently, I replied, “$125 an hour.” He said, “Okay,” and handed me a case. On the way to my van, I thought, “Wow! I can do this; I can do anything!”
I screened the case for my new attorney-client. When I finished, I returned the medical record, along with my findings. I mailed him an invoice for my CLNC services; a few weeks later, he mailed a check.
To celebrate my first case, Marcie and I spent four glorious days in Orlando, riding roller coasters (my husband doesn’t ride them). I love roller coasters, the bigger and faster the better.
I have sat at the bedside of a patient dying of cancer. I have played “peek-a-boo” with a sick child in the hospital. I have held a patient’s hand during a painful procedure. Now, I have helped a patient who had a meritorious legal case. As Vickie says, “I am a nurse and I can do anything!”
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