What Every Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Should Avoid in Your Resume

Here at Vickie Milazzo Institute we frequently mentor new CLNC® graduates on creating their unique selling position (USP). Your USP communicates how your legal nurse consulting experience, nursing experience, education and leadership in nursing can specifically benefit the attorney-client with his medical-related cases. In essence, you are translating your experience into a benefit for the attorney. USP is not about you and the CLNC® services that you provide. It is about how you translate you and your CLNC® services into the mind of the attorney-prospect.

The important word in USP is “unique.” What can you claim that another registered nurse cannot? The most common mistake I see is including a generic quality or characteristic that any legal nurse consultant can claim such as, “I’m organized and very analytical.” Who among us would say we’re not organized and analytical? If you want to stress your analytical skills, is there a specific experience that separates you from other RNs? Here’s an example:

“Five years of experience reviewing medical records as a risk manager in a variety of specialties plus my CLNC® Certification qualifies me to quickly and cost-effectively review cases in any medical and nursing specialty. I can save you time and money by screening cases before you pay to send them to expensive medical experts.”

A second common mistake I see is legal nurse consultants stating expertise and credentials without a benefit statement such as, “I have 10 years of experience.” The attorney might not instantly understand all the benefits these 10 years of experience offer. Here’s an example of adding a benefit statement to your experience:

“I have 10 years of emergency experience. Having worked inside emergency departments, I can share details of how emergency services are provided that you will never find in an emergency medicine textbook. This will reduce the time you’ll have to spend with expensive medical experts.”

A third mistake I see is focusing on the CLNC® services you provide such as screening cases and analyzing causation issues. At some stage you will want to emphasize CLNC® services you provide, but they are not a USP. CLNC® services are common to all Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. Your USP can, however, qualify you to deliver a CLNC® service in a very unique, more qualified or more specific way. Here’s an example:

“My five years of experience in cardiology qualifies me to identify plaintiffs who have a pre-existing risk for heart attack and stroke in the defense of your Vioxx® cases.”

Put your USP to work for your CLNC® business with your attorney-prospects and remember to keep it unique.

Success Is Inside!

P.S. Comment and share your USP with your CLNC® consultant peers.

4 thoughts on “What Every Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Should Avoid in Your Resume

  1. Developing my own USP was difficult for me. It seemed as if a barrier barred me from grasping onto what seemed to be obvious to others. This was very frustrating as I struggled to transform my nursing skills and newly acquired legal nurse consulting skills into services that would be interesting to attorneys. Everything seemed to be in place, but I did not stand out as a unique Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

    Early on, Vickie shared a strategy that helped me tremendously to develop my own USP. My problem was that I thought everyone else’s USP was more impressive than mine, more technical, more interesting, more whatever. I didn’t realize what this was doing to my fledgling business or my ability to be effective in my marketing. Fortunately, because I am a long-term care and rehabilitative nurse, I have a broad health care knowledge base which has served me extremely well with medical literature research. It did take time for me to understand how my nursing experience could benefit the target attorneys I was focusing on, but I didn’t give up. Thanks Vickie for those illustrations of excellent USP’s.

  2. Vickie:
    Excellent article. About a month ago I was looking at the Washington State Trial Lawyer’s website and wrote down the names of some law firms that currently had needs. Not one law firm listed a need for a “legal nurse consultant or Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.” However, since I knew that these offices had needs that were not being met (for example, clerical work), I sent one attorney at a law firm in downtown Seattle an e-mail. At the end of the e-mail, I stated, “I also have a Spanish degree (B.A.).”
    About two weeks later, I received an e-mail from a paralegal at that law firm (who I have never met or heard of) asking if I could represent its Spanish-speaking client at his IME. I recently did that and I’m grateful for the power of networking. I say thank you to that attorney for passing on my contact information to the paralegal.
    My USP is the fact that I can speak Spanish (even though I’m Caucasian and from North Dakota originally!).

  3. Vickie,

    This article was perfect at reminding me to focus on my USP. Your examples of how to articulate our USP was just what I needed. I am always thinking “USP”, but sometimes, I forget how to articulate it. I saved this article for reminding me, you explained it very well.

    Thanks:)

  4. Thank you for this wonderful reminder about the importance of identifying our “USP”. If we really think about all we’ve done in our nursing careers, we will see how valuable we truly are and how we’ve touched and assisted so many people every day over the years. In order for us to have self-confidence, it is imperative that we know what our strengths are first, as our foundation, and then we can work on our weaknesses one at a time.

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