I have been an RN for well over 35 years and became a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant last year. I now have my own very successful CLNC® business.
I learned about legal nurse consulting by seeing LegalNurse.com ads for 15 years. During that time, I thought of becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant but the timing was never right for one reason or another. Early in my career I felt I wasn’t experienced enough and midway through my career, life was happening with family and financial responsibilities. Last year, I saw the ad once again and something just clicked inside me. Instinctively, I knew this was my next career move. Having worked in the home healthcare field for seven years, I loved the autonomy, the field work and the attachment to my patients and their families. However, I was getting quite tired of the constant bureaucratic demands. I was at the brink of burnout so the timing for me to pursue a career change was right. I quickly enrolled in the VIP CLNC Certification System.
I watched the CLNC Certification Program for a total of 65 hours and soon scheduled my CLNC Certification Exam. Throughout the process of my newfound education, I was excited at the prospect of using my extensive nursing knowledge and experience, creating a business of my own, educating attorneys and others on medical issues (I love to teach) and continuing to help people.
I took the CLNC Certification Exam, and I was so happy when the screen on the computer displayed my passing score that I cried for about 10 minutes. I was now a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. I went home, immediately put all my marketing materials together and mailed out 25 packets. Within three days, an attorney at the biggest law firm in my county called me to meet with him and his paralegal.
He was very excited that I was so close. This firm does only personal injury and medical-malpractice cases. A few days later, I went to my first attorney meeting to sell my CLNC services. Unbeknownst to me, there were nine attorneys, three paralegals and three executive assistants waiting for me at this meeting. If this was a test for how I would do under pressure, I am proud to say I passed with flying colors.
During my interview, I focused on them and how I could help solve their problems (just like the Institute teaches). I asked several questions about what their biggest challenges were and how they were currently dealing with those challenges. I then explained how my CLNC services would enhance what they were already doing because I had the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of the hospital structure, workflows, hierarchy, etc. I emphasized that I have always analyzed, assessed, evaluated and made critical decisions about nursing and medical care. I addressed each of their challenges with confirmation that “this is why you need me” (sound familiar?). I emphasized the unique involvement of the paralegals and executive assistants and shared how I could help free them to focus on their respective duties. After 45 minutes, I walked out of the office with nine cases to review. I worked on the three most urgent cases first and returned them within five days. My attorney-clients were very impressed at my timeliness, professionalism, ability to work with their staff and the quality of the reports I provided. I completed the other six reviews within seven business days and again they were very impressed. After the initial reviews, I helped prepare those nine cases for litigation and acquired new cases as well.
Incredibly in the first two cases, I discovered tampering of the medical records. The two attorneys working these cases were awed at my discovery. Both cases settled for significantly more than was previously anticipated. The ability to detect medical tampering has catapulted me to success with this law firm.
I was not at all afraid to put myself out there because I felt so confident with my clinical background, my experience and the education I received from LegalNurse.com in the CLNC Certification Program. Having prepared myself to market also helped me feel confident.
I think preparation is key to anyone’s success. I know in my soul that I have a lot to offer any attorney who is willing to work with me, and with that mindset, I can’t fail. My standard of excellence gives me great confidence as well. You have to believe in yourself and what you are offering in order for others to believe in you too. Being focused, self-directed and clear in what you want to accomplish is absolutely crucial for success.
Transitioning from my full-time home healthcare job, where I was earning $120,000/yr to full-time CLNC consultant at $225/hr took me exactly four weeks. I consult with 12 attorneys in this firm, billing $8,000-10,000 a week on average. I have built a potential $500,000-600,000 a year legal nurse consulting business in the last six months. My goal is to create a $1 million business within the next two years.
My life has changed forever, in more ways than I can include here. These are just some of the highlights:
- I work from home: no commute, no traffic, no weather issues, no burnout!
- I built a brand-new 10,000 sq. ft. home.
- I created my own financial freedom.
- I built a successful CLNC business with a high profile in the legal community.
- I gained an abundance of new friends and business associates.
Of course, no success is possible without a support system. First and foremost, I thank God every day for my blessings. Many thanks to my husband and my mother for their endless support. Equal appreciation to the Institute for the amazing preparation I have been so privileged to obtain. As the Institute says: “We Are Nurses and We Can Do Anything!®”
Carmen Stine, RN, BSN, CCM, CLP, CLNC has more than 35 years nursing experience in critical care, ER, Burn ICU, managed care, longterm care, home health care, hospice care, risk management, case management, and utilization management. Carmen specializes in medical-malpractice and personal injury cases. She is also a Certified Case Manager and Certified Life Planner.
P.P.S. Comment to congratulate Carmen on her CLNC® success.