My deepest fear was “would I be able to support myself as a legal nurse consultant?”
I was tired of the rat race, the bureaucracy and the politics of my hospital job. I faced my fears, declared that I am now in business for myself and never looked back. I found a mentor to help me with the administrative aspects of the business. I used Vickie’s tools for success to help me to work smarter not harder.
My advice to my RN colleagues is to face your fears. Use Vickie’s tools for success to market and expand your CLNC business. Don’t give up. If you run into No, just remember it is not personal and move on to the next potential attorney-client. Always go back to the ones who say no. No doesn’t mean “forever no.” Be confident in your ability. Acknowledge to yourself every day before you start the day, “I am a successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.”
Most of the people in my life were encouraging. For those who discouraged me, I thanked them for their opinion and did not allow myself to engage in their negative thinking patterns. I aligned myself with only those who were encouraging and supportive.
Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CS, CWCN, CLNC
Where do I start? First of all, I had no idea what a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant was. I read the Vickie Milazzo Institute advertisements in my nursing journals and they made me curious about what a nurse could do to help in the legal field.
Looking back now, and after talking to so many people about the CLNC Certification Program, I see that I wasn’t the only person afraid of changing my career to become a CLNC consultant. I had all of the typical fears, worries and concerns that a nurse would have even thinking about stepping out on my own. I thought about how I could use my knowledge and skills outside of clinical nursing. I have to say that was one of the first hurdles I had to clear. I didn’t really think that I had anything that special to offer. Oh sure, I was very comfortable with my nursing knowledge and skills, but what I couldn’t figure out was why someone would want to pay me so much more money for something that I did every day. I also worried that maybe I didn’t know enough, and what would happen if I went through the CLNC Certification Program and didn’t like it?
Almost 17 years ago, my options looked grim when I had to face the reality that my clinical nursing career was kaput because of my back. There really aren’t many options for nurses who have the need and desire to work from home, and who want to remain active in nursing. Actually, I held little hope for being able to practice nursing. Even those jobs outside of the clinical arena weren’t options for me because sitting for very long wasn’t going to work. But I am a strong believer in “things happen for a reason.” When I looked at Vickie Milazzo Institute’s ad in the nursing journal again, I just knew that it was the right thing for me.
I don’t think it’s that I overcame my fears, as much as that once I learned what was involved, and why I was needed, my fears weren’t there anymore. It’s true when they say that many fears arise from lack of knowledge, and that was me. The Institute thoroughly answered my questions.
I know that my RN colleagues have questions, concerns and fears trying to decide whether they want to become Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. I just want these nurses to know that they aren’t alone in having those feelings. One thing I asked myself when I was trying to decide if I wanted to go through the program or not was, “Where will I be in five years if I don’t go through the program?” I really couldn’t answer that except that I’d be five years older, and still unsure of my nursing career. Then, I asked where I would be in five years if I did go though the program. Naturally, I’d be five years older, but with Vickie’s time-proven CLNC Certification Program, I could be totally independent; making my own decisions, and not have to deal with all of the garbage at the hospital. Nothing in life comes with a guarantee. Sometimes you just have a feeling that it’s the right move and you follow your instincts.
Jane A. Hurst, RN, CLNC
Honestly, my deepest fear was of being successful. I was afraid that I would become so successful that I wouldn’t have time to do the things I love outside of my job. I was also worried about being accountable to attorney-clients and their clients. As a new CLNC consultant, I was not 100% sure I would be able to do my best while learning and I was afraid of letting anyone down.
I still struggle with fear. Some days I succumb to my fears and get no work done and other days I am so focused, the work products come easily. It’s when I remind myself that as a nurse, I have the tools I need to succeed, that I do my best work. It seems that I often get in my own way. I am my most successful when I get out of my own way and let success happen naturally.
Do not give up. I have proven to myself, just recently, that success can happen if you want it badly enough. It takes time, it takes practice and it takes looking at life and business with optimism and the desire to learn from mistakes. Once I started to see my CLNC business as I do my training for an Ironman Triathlon, I realized that success is easy. When trying new strategies, pay attention to the ones that work and the ones that don’t. Be open to advice and stay positive – that way, you will be successful.
Everyone I knew was encouraging. Their optimism about my being successful scared me. I wish I had overcome my fears right away rather than having fears about becoming the successful CLNC consultant I have become. Thinking about changing your life for the better is a lot more frightening than actually doing it.
Caryn Jaffe, RN, CLNC
My fear about changing careers from operating room nursing to full-time Certified Legal Nurse Consultant was that I would not know enough about medicine and nursing to be a valued asset to an attorney. This fear quickly disappeared when I began to hear in my head what Vickie teaches, “I am a nurse and I can do anything.” I must have said that simple phrase to myself a dozen times as I rode the train to my first attorney-client interview. I kept reminding myself that I had been trained by the best and I had a wealth of knowledge that any attorney would be thrilled to have. My biggest fears went away quickly when my first case turned out to be a retained sponge. I smiled and took it gratefully and felt that I had nothing to really fear after all.
The big reason I thought I could be a successful CLNC consultant was that I had been an OR nurse for 23 years. I had been the nurse that doctors wanted in their surgical cases. I had been the nurse that management wanted when training a new batch of graduate nurses. I was the trauma coordinator for so many years. I felt that I had proven myself in so many arenas that this new profession was only another arena that I needed to master.
My best advice to other RN colleagues is to live your passion like Vickie teaches. If being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is something that you are passionate about, then go for it. Devoting yourself to something you are passionate about will help to sustain you when things get rough. You need to set your goals and plan how to attain them. Recognizing that there may be set backs will be a big step in your success. Just “Go all In!” and you are sure to succeed.
Everyone in my life was encouraging when I told them I was leaving OR nursing to pursue a full-time career as a CLNC consultant with a medical malpractice law firm. Leaving an area where I had been for so long was definitely a change that people took notice of but once they recognized my passion and determination, they could not have been more supportive and more encouraging.
Mildred Mannion, RN, BSN, CNOR, CLNC
I was fearful of changing my career path in mid-life. I questioned myself about leaving a secure comfort zone to enter into ‘the unknown.’ Encouragement from my family, especially my children who were very excited and proud that I was ‘brave’ enough to make a career change ‘at my age’ helped. I also told myself over and over again that I was a nurse and I had the knowledge and expertise to present the information to attorneys. I also reminded myself that the attorney-client did not ‘know it all’ or he wouldn’t have hired me!
You have to step out in faith. Do not get discouraged when you become afraid or intimated – this is part of the learning curve. Talk to other CLNC consultants who are successful and Vickie’s staff at the Institute. Never say, ‘I can’t do it’ because you can! If I can do it, anyone can.
My family was very encouraging. I could not have asked for a better group of cheerleaders!
Molly Phillips, RN, CCM, CLNC
I was afraid! My deepest fears about changing my career to become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant included fear of my business failing and not being successful, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection by attorney-clients, fear of the monetary investments required to get the business up and running, fear of change , fear of becoming too successful and not being able to balance my professional and personal life, fear of the time commitment and dedication required to make my new business successful, fear of not having the business knowledge and background, and lastly the fear of not having that steady every-two-week paycheck.
Overcoming all these fears was fueled by my excitement, curiosity and passion for succeeding that I developed for my new career as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. I exercised positive framing and pictured myself being a successful CLNC consultant. I reached deep inside myself for my own self motivation and coupled that with the winning combination of Vickie Milazzo Institute and the CLNC Mentors. After attending the NACLNC® Conference I came home so empowered and fired up after hearing other CLNC Success Stories and marketing strategies that I was ready to branch out and tackle the task of acquiring new attorney-clients. I also surrounded myself with a positive and supportive network of people who believed in me and who were even more excited for me to develop my new CLNC career than I was.
Like any good nurse does, I researched the field, my market, my competition and put the right professionals in place from the start to assist me in building my foundation and business plan. I took baby steps and set mini goals for myself to accomplish daily. I made it known to friends and family that I was serious about my new CLNC career and business. I asked for their help and support.
I took my first case and my first check from my first-attorney client and built the business from there. It was slow at first, but I am proud to say I never had to cross my personal savings with my CLNC business.
As I learned new things about being a successful CLNC business owner from both my professionals and the Institute, it gave me the confidence to explore new areas and experiences. Now every time I take on a new attorney-client and a new case, I learn something new and become a more well rounded CLNC consultant. I have learned that I am the medical information educator, and that attorneys need my knowledge and insight for their cases. That is powerful!< I have learned to let some things slide and rearrange my priorities to make myself and my new CLNC career number one. I also keep a journal of all the positive encounters with my attorney-clients and every time I get a new case or a referral. I read it often to remind myself of what works, especially if I encounter a negative situation or a rejection.
Go ahead and invest in that great power suit and pair of heels. Trading my scrubs in for the power suit has made me feel more powerful, sexy and professional!
I was fortunate to have encouraging and supportive people all around me. I made it known to them that I am in this to win. This definitely contributed to my CLNC success and continues to do so every day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, relinquish some control and accept it where and when you can!
Let unimportant things go; rearrange priorities to make your new CLNC career and you number one. Set time aside to work on one action step every day.
Being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is a win-win combination. Like Vickie tells us, we are the attorney-client’s secret weapon. One needs to make their new CLNC career work for them and their life. You have nothing to lose and you are in a powerful position as a CLNC consultant. The work and attorney-clients are out there as much as you go out there and get them. Just focus on getting one case and doing that one case at 100% quality, and before you know it the referrals spread, you will be used again, the letters of recommendation will come and you will have attorney-clients coming to you without even marketing yourself. It is important to be patient and remember that timing can be a factor.
Julie Somen-Becker, RN, BSN, CLNC
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Comment and share how you overcame your deepest fears or congratulate these Certified Legal Nurse Consultants for going for their dreams.