6 Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing a Legal Nurse Consultant Program

Congratulations on investing in you and your expertise as an RN. You are about to make a serious decision regarding the education you receive as a legal nurse consultant.

I chose to obtain my CLNC® Certification through Vickie Milazzo Institute because it was the one and only program I found that met all of my needs and expectations.

Robert Malaer
RN, MSN, PMHN, SANE,
CNLCP, CALM, CLNC
Oregon

Members of the NACLNC® Association discuss “6 Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing a Legal Nurse Consultant Program”

  1. Is the Legal Nurse Consultant Program Accredited and Is Certification Available?

    CLNC® consultant, Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC advises, “It’s important to look for whether or not the legal nurse consultant program is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). A program that is accredited by ANCC has gone through a rigorous interview and application process.” Vickie Milazzo Institute is recognized by ANCC as an approved provider of continuing nursing education. As an ANCC accredited provider the Institute was awarded accreditation with distinction – ANCC’s highest honor.

    Establish whether certification is offered in addition to the education. CLNC consultant, Connie S. Chappelle, RN, MN, CLNC shares, “I wanted a legal nurse consultant program that offered certification. The CLNC Certification awarded by Vickie Milazzo Institute is recognized by lawyers as the gold standard for legal nurse consultants.” The Institute’s CLNC Certification is trademarked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  2. Has the Legal Nurse Consultant Program Proven Itself and Is It Recognized as Having a Superb Reputation?

    When choosing a legal nurse consultant program you should ask: Is the program recognized as authoritative and how long has it been around? Who created the program? What are the credentials, experience and success of the instructors? CLNC consultant, Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC shares, “Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program was created by the person who pioneered legal nurse consulting. No other program was started and is overseen by the inventor of this profession. Also, Vickie is an RN and an attorney, so she understands both the medical and legal aspects of the work we do as CLNC consultants.”

    CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst, RN, CLNC discusses how to sift through the available options, “The number one thing to look for is an established legal nurse consultant program. Sorting through the choices can be confusing. Lesser quality programs by individuals and universities have sprung up to take advantage of the popularity of the legal nurse consulting specialty. The fact remains that Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program was developed by Vickie Milazzo, the pioneer of Legal Nurse Consulting. Even though Vickie’s program is the original in no way does that mean it’s outdated. The course curriculum is regularly updated.”

    Jane continues, “You also want to look for a legal nurse consultant program that cares about your success. The bottom line is that most legal nurse consultant programs do not necessarily care whether you achieve success as a legal nurse; they are in business to make money and that’s it. Vickie Milazzo Institute’s caring attitude starts at the top with Vickie herself, and runs through the Institute with her staff and all of the CLNC Mentors who work one-on-one with the Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. There is no one, hands down, who cares more about helping nurses change their lives than Vickie Milazzo. When a CLNC consultant reaches out for help, they receive it.”

  3. Does the Curriculum Provide the Tools Necessary to Succeed as a Legal Nurse Consultant?

    When choosing a legal nurse consultant program you will want to assess the curriculum and whether it’s relevant to your role as a legal nurse. CLNC consultant, Camille Joyner, RN, BSN, CCM, CLNC advises to assess for whether the legal nurse consultant program:

    • “Reflects the changing times and addresses the newest litigation issues.
    • Is prepared and taught by experienced, qualified and accessible experts.
    • Offers value to the RN and also offers sense of continuity with peers.”

    She adds, “It should be noted that Vickie Milazzo Institute is the only legal nurse consultant program that offers support, ongoing education and connectivity to the experts as well as to other CLNC consultants. It’s unique in that respect and very much worth the time and energy in becoming a member of the NACLNC® Association.”

    CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst counsels, “You want a legal nurse consultant program that teaches the nuts and bolts of being a legal nurse. You are not interested in being a nurse paralegal. You need a program that teaches you exactly what you need to know to effectively get out and consult with attorneys. Some programs try to set themselves apart by including additional legal coursework, but that’s information you don’t need. With Vickie Milazzo Institute the education provided is exactly what you need to work as a legal nurse consultant. No more, no less.”

    CLNC consultant, Connie S. Chappelle shares, “Vickie Milazzo Institute offered me the opportunity to use my knowledge and experience that I had already gained working as an RN versus becoming a paralegal which I did not want to do. I did not want to go back to school. I completed the CLNC Certification Program and was certified and ready to consult with attorneys in five days. Vickie Milazzo Institute’s CLNC Certification Program is easy to follow and provides everything from how to review medical records to how to create meaningful reports that both plaintiff and defense attorneys can use to win their cases. The instructors are practicing Certified Legal Nurse Consultants and speak from experience.”

    CLNC consultant, Marcia L. Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC discusses how it was important for the program to fit her schedule. She shares, “If a legal nurse consultant program took one to two years to complete, I knew it wasn’t for me. I wanted to be able to start as soon as possible. Vickie Milazzo Institute provides a thorough program that can be done in a week’s time through the CLNC Online Video Certification Program. It’s convenient for RNs trying to launch a new career while still employed in their current RN job. The quality of Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program is superb. Vickie is a nurse, an attorney and a business owner. She understands the legal nurse consulting business from all three aspects. A nurse who teaches a course or an attorney who teaches a course does not have a complete perspective of the field of legal nurse consulting.”

  4. Is Mentoring Provided Once You’ve Completed the Legal Nurse Consultant Program?

    When choosing a legal nurse consultant program assess whether mentoring is included and for how long. What are the qualifications, experience and success of the mentors giving advice? Are there additional fees for mentoring? CLNC consultant, Suzanne Arragg discusses the importance of mentoring, “Free mentoring is a valuable resource for a newly certified legal nurse consultant. What Vickie Milazzo Institute offers that no other program does is responsive customer service and mentoring throughout the CLNC Certification process and launch of your CLNC business. Being able to reach out to the Institute whether you have a question related to screening cases, marketing or report writing is an incredible resource and the CLNC Mentors are there to answer your questions timely.”

    Jane Hurst adds, “Another important thing to look for in a legal nurse consultant program is support after completion of the program. What type of support is offered and do they offer support after you complete the program? Who provides the support and for how long? One of my favorite and most useful benefits of the Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program is free mentoring from practicing CLNC consultants. Beginning a career as a CLNC consultant is reminiscent of beginning work as a nurse. You have the confidence of the education necessary to work as a CLNC consultant, but learning continues when you start working on cases. Working independently as a legal nurse consultant, you do not have the luxury of a colleague by your side; however, the mentoring program fills that gap. Knowing you have seasoned professionals who are always willing to help confirms you are never alone as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. That is a huge advantage.”

  5. Is There an Association and Are There Networking Opportunities for the Graduates of the Legal Nurse Consultant Program?

    When choosing a legal nurse consultant program assess whether there is an affiliate association and member benefits. CLNC graduates receive free membership in the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC), the world’s largest legal nurse consulting association with thousands of members. Certified Legal Nurse Consultants receive a free listing in the NACLNC Online Directory which provides an instant professional network for consulting and subcontracting with their peers.

    CLNC consultant, Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC describes just a few of the Association benefits she enjoys, “I’ve met numerous CLNC consultants through the NACLNC Association. We bounce ideas off each other, discuss cases, share business tips and subcontract with one another when we have cases outside of our nursing specialties.”

    Suzanne Arragg adds, “The NACLNC Association is a valuable resource for both new and experienced Certified Legal Nurse Consultants.”

  6. Does the Legal Nurse Consultant Program Provide Value for the Cost?

    Jane Hurst discusses the importance of assessing exactly what you receive for the cost, “You want to look for a legal nurse consultant program that provides value for the price. There are many price points for different programs and you get what you pay for, so buyer beware. We all like to get a good deal, but education for a new career is not an area where you want the price to dictate your decision. Just like the cheap electrician my husband once found, you may have problems or find it necessary to pay for more education. In the long run, it’s not such a great deal. You get what you pay for with Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program. You also have a choice in the amount of additional resources and support you purchase. Plus, you never have to worry that you will not receive the education you need to be successful. Everyone receives the same great training necessary to consult with attorneys, but above and beyond that, you get to decide. Not every program gives you a choice.”

    CLNC consultant, Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, PMHN, SANE, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC sums up what to look for in a legal nurse consultant program. He says, “I chose to obtain my CLNC Certification through Vickie Milazzo Institute because it was the one and only program I found that met all of my needs and expectations.

    • Validity – I wanted a program that had a proven track record of success.
    • Accreditation – I wanted a program that allowed me to become a member of a national professional organization.
    • Support – I wanted a program that took an interest in my personal success – not just my enrollment fee.
    • Recognition – I wanted to be associated with a nationally recognized program.
    • Turn-key System – I wanted a program that provided the tools to launch my business immediately.

    Knowing that Vickie Milazzo pioneered the field of legal nurse consulting, was an RN and an attorney immediately drew my attention. The success and longevity of the Institute’s CLNC Certification Program as well as so many of the graduates validate the program. Certification through Vickie Milazzo Institute includes membership in the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC) which provides an added level of professional networking and expert locating opportunities.

    The support available through the Institute is second to none and includes apprenticeships, mentoring, business development and marketing assistance. The personal, hands-on attention that Vickie and her team take in the success of every Certified Legal Nurse Consultant makes this program unlike any other. Vickie Milazzo Institute is the most recognized and respected legal nurse consultant program in the legal community and by adding the NACLNC member seal to my marketing material, an unexpected level of recognition and expectation was immediately achieved. Finally, Vickie Milazzo Institute is the only program I know of that will personally assist in launching the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant’s career through marketing opportunities, mentoring, business development and report writing assistance.”

Use these six questions before choosing a legal nurse consultant program. Your success depends on it.

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