April 2008: I’m 35 weeks pregnant, as big as a house, and sitting in class to earn my CLNC credentials. I live in Las Vegas, a town famous for many reasons and litigation-happy. I figure I’ll get my CLNC business off the ground while I’m on leave from the emergency department. After all, I’m going to work from home while I raise my daughters, 22-months-old, and almost born. “I’ll read medical records while I nurse in the middle of the night,” I tell myself and even mean it. Jump ahead to August 2008 – I’m still on leave. Turns out, it’s tough to make calls with a colicky infant screaming in the background (or worse, the foreground) and even more difficult to leave the house to meet an attorney.
June 2010: I resign from the hospital. My husband is starting a consulting business in addition to his full-time job. This means travel. With a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, it’s time for this night shift nurse to take a break so that husband can do his new gig. During this time, once I’m almost caught up on sleep (Who am I kidding? That never happens!), the itch to work on my legal nurse consulting business grows stronger. I decide to exhibit at a legal conference in the fall.
October 2010: Oh, the work it takes to fly out a family member to watch my children while my husband and I head out of town with exhibit, business cards, sample work product, and pop-a-shot basketball game in tow (yes, that’s a run on sentence – because it was a run-on task!). But, it pays off. One attorney is all it takes when you exhibit. One attorney is what I got! I decide to exhibit every year.
December 2012: I have my biggest case to date. Every time I finish a case, there’s another on its heels. There are several attorneys requesting my CLNC services at this point. Las Vegas appears to be a good place for a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
April 2013: I wonder how long I can keep up this pace. I have so many cases, I’ve already got a CLNC subcontractor and am working on hiring another one. I haven’t been marketing at all, rather just trying to keep my head above water and not miss any deadlines (a fear likened to the nightmare of never assessing one’s patients for the entire shift…).
October 2013: I exhibit again at the legal conference I’ve been to three times already and now there’s competition. I realize that I’ve been able to cruise along while raising my girls and now they’re both in school (2nd grade and all-day kindergarten). It’s time to adjust the legal nurse consulting game plan.
December 2013: I decide it’s time to really focus on scaling my Las Vegas-based Certified Legal Nurse Consulting business up. I am thankful for the work, but don’t want to continue pulling all-nighters and missing holidays to meet the workload demand. I work on a plan for recruiting more CLNC subcontractors.
January-February 2014: I sign contracts with three CLNC subcontractors and have a half dozen more who are interested. I realize this is going to take new skills. I continue working on cases at night, as now my daytime is filled with a lot of networking.
March 2014: I recertify as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and realize it’s been six years since I obtained my certification. My CLNC business has grown and now it’s time to grow it beyond me.
Looking back, there were a few critical moments of personal growth. There were demons within that required slaying – namely fear and insecurity. It’s an ongoing battle to prove myself to myself. I’m looking forward to the next chapter! CLNC success was not overnight, but persistence and perseverance have paid off. The principles taught in the CLNC Certification Program work. It’s about not giving up, all the while figuring out what I’m made of. I’m made of success – I just have to walk in it!
Jennifer Parks, RN, CLNC has owned Parks Place Legal Nurse Consulting in Nevada since 2008. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and two daughters. Jennifer is thankful for modern technology that allows her to conduct business whether she’s in her office, traveling with her family, or sneaking off to spin class.
P.S. Comment here to congratulate Jennifer on her CLNC success.