I asked six Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to share what’s different since they started their CLNC businesses. The changes in their lives range from less stress and more opportunity to significant weight loss and improved health. Yes, I repeat, becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant can help you lose weight!
Here’s what your CLNC colleagues have to say:
“Before becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, my work life was pretty frazzled. I was working in hospital administration and the bureaucratic red tape was always getting in my way. The constant stress is the thing that stands out the most. I never had enough time for anything and was in a perpetual state of stress. My RN job affected my free time and my ability to do a lot of the things I enjoyed doing, including having more time with family and friends.
After becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I didn’t see an immediate change. I was pushing to market my CLNC business, and was still employed part time seeing home infusion and home health patients. However, as my CLNC business grew and I devoted less and less time to home infusion and home health, I began to relax and the stress decreased.
After only a year, my CLNC business was full time and for the first time in years I was actually in charge of my own time. Because legal nurse consulting is so portable, I could travel and be away from my home office at my discretion, while continuing to work. Now, my life is much less cluttered, my time is my own, the work stress is gone and I couldn’t be happier. Legal nurse consulting has been a huge, positive change and has improved the quality of my life tremendously.”
– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC
“I started my legal nurse consulting business wanting to work as much as I could on as many cases as possible to meet some lofty goals. I loved what I was doing, but I grew to recognize that I needed to reassess my goals and answer some pointed questions: Who am I, how do I function best, what other priorities in my life need attention, and just where am I in my life’s journey? As a result of this self examination (an ongoing process), I still love what I’m doing, but now I’m comfortable working on fewer cases. As a result I never feel overwhelmed and I have time to be involved with family and friends and to volunteer in pastoral care.
My knowledge base as an RN has markedly expanded. I have increased self-confidence and less fear of failing as a result of my mastery of new skills and successful completion of cases as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. The variety of cases I consult on with attorneys are always challenging and each one requires research. I love solving the puzzle of the facts and issues of the case and figuring out the best way to approach my work product.
Working as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant has also highlighted habits that interfered with optimal functioning and has provided the framework in which I can modify these habits. For example, I can now objectively assess the quality of the finished work product and the amount of time I spend on a case. I can honestly assess whether I wasted time because of procrastination, inadequate planning, disorganization or unnecessary obsession over details. This frank assessment provides opportunities for professional growth and leads to better work product, increased satisfaction with the process and a heightened sense of well-being.”
– Carolyn J. Bilodeau, RN, BSN, MS, CLNC
“Prior to becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant ten years ago, the quality of my days, nights and weekends (aka 24/7-365) were dependent on the events, problems and expectations of 5,000+ employees (most very dedicated but some with a sense of entitlement), physicians, community members and most important – patients. In other words, I had no life.
I now work 40-50 hours per week as an independent Certified Legal Nurse Consultant however, the key difference is that I plan, control and organize my own schedule. Sure there are times when extraordinary demands (now defined as 14-hour days) come into play, but nobody calls me in the middle of the night demanding my presence at the hospital.”
– Margaret M. Gallagher, RN, MSN, LNCC, CLNC
“Before I became a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, my life was pretty hectic. I was working full time pulling 7:00pm-7:00am shifts on a busy labor and delivery unit as well as taking care of a husband and three kids, ages 11, 9 and 7. I managed to attend various sports events my kids were involved in and I went to multiple dance competitions with my middle daughter. But sleep was almost nonexistant and I felt as though I was just going through the motions and not really enjoying anything. The last thing that I wanted to take care of, was myself.
I knew that something had to change or else. After I completed the CLNC Certification Program, I reduced my hours at my RN job at the hospital and went per diem. My CLNC business was growing and one day my middle daughter told me that I seemed happier! I had started taking better care of myself without even realizing it. I was sleeping better, eating better and exercising because I actually wanted to.
My children are grown and have learned from me how important it is to love what you do. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that step to take Vickie’s advice and ‘go for it ’ in 2001. Owning my own legal nurse consulting business has made all this possible. I love being an independent Certified Legal Nurse Consultant!”
– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC
“Before becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I was working as an RN, CCM and also handling my hospital’s Medicare appeals cases with little experience or preparation. But, it was fun and I liked it. Actually, the corporation was somewhat new to the appeals as well, because up until 2004, Medicare had not often denied claims. I was also in charge of the hospital’s case management department, was the facility’s prospective payment system (PPS) coordinator and I even took a patient load as a case manager. I was wearing way too many hats! Workdays were long, free time was rare and I almost never saw the animal called an eight-hour day. And yet, I liked what I was doing. As it turned out, I liked being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant much better.
The general rehab hospital where I had last worked and loved, signed on as my first client for my CLNC business. Word traveled and I ended up with five more general rehab hospital facilities as clients. As the parent corporation’s Medicare appeals process and their training became more refined, and because of my education as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I have been able to provide worthwhile recommendations to the appeals process model.
Becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant allowed me to set my own work hours and to take trips and vacations with my husband. Being able to take my CLNC business with me via a laptop has been liberating. By concentrating on one career field, I’ve had the time to hone my appeals skills and use that knowledge to help other facilities become as successful with their own appeals as my hospitals have been. None of this would be possible without the preparation provided by Vickie and the experts at Vickie Milazzo Institute.”
– Camille H. Joyner, RN, CCM, CLNC
“How has my life changed since becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, besides the usual areas of more time, more money, more control and more fun? I would say better diet, better fitness and better fashion.
As nurses we can do anything and eat anything! I never met a cake, brownie, doughnut, pie or bread I didn’t want to indulge in. Thursday was sticky buns day in the cafeteria. Why does a hospital sell an 880-calorie treat? Because they own the cardiology and diabetes clinics! On the unit, we had an endless number of birthdays that were celebrated with pizza, Costco cakes and ice cream. Then there was Christmas, which seemed to start right after Thanksgiving and go until New Year’s Day with a daily array of sweets. My favorite time of year!
My last staff position’s odd working hours required my getting up at 3:30am plus once a week, working through the night on call. I frequently ate sugary treats midafternoon (or midnight) when I was tired. On a bad day I would roll from treat to more junk food and back to treat, all while working with obese, diabetic patients.
I have always been normal weight, and prior to age 30 (pre-kids), was incredibly active. My days off were spent hiking and biking. Vacations were spent rowing rafts on the river. My clinical positions involved a lot of running from room to room, squatting, bending and lifting. I don’t even know how to describe the maneuvers required to get a bedpan under a 350lb patient!
I was the quintessential “granola” nurse. My wardrobe consisted of scrubs, jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sneakers and flip-flops. My jackets were those made for skiing or camping. Beyond brushing my hair, I never put any thought into my appearance. I didn’t own makeup and had never gotten a mani or pedi. I remember Vickie telling us at the CLNC Certification Seminar that some of us needed professional help in the style department and I know she was looking right at me! LOL.
When I became a full-time Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and left the hospital the kitchen was suddenly only a few feet away. It was lovely to wander down the hall and nibble on something. I wasn’t eating 880-calorie sweet rolls, but I was eating all day long and still managed to eat a large dinner with my husband and son nearly every night.
Besides the over abundance of food, I had another problem. My desk was a huge old oak teacher’s desk built before computers. No chair fit underneath it so it was impossible to ever have proper posture. This was fine when I was only working on cases every few weeks, but it was miserable when I started working on cases every day. I would curl, slump and slouch. I didn’t exercise because I was busy and afraid to miss the next case if I left the house for too long. After six months my butt wiggled and jiggled, my knees creaked and my back groaned. My jeans increased two sizes.
When I decided to expand my legal nurse consulting business by exhibiting nationally, I knew I had to clean up my act. I live in the most casual area of the U.S., so, I always wore fat jeans and my best T-shirt.
When attorneys meet you, they make split second decisions about how successful and serious you are about your legal nurse consulting business. My goal was marketing to partners of national law firms and in-house counsel for large corporations. I needed to look like a peer, not a wanna-be!
I became part of my business plan. This helped me to make my health and appearance priorities. I became conscious of when and what I ate. I focused on eating protein, fruits and veggies. Sweets and baked goods were now reserved for truly special occasions.
After reading how ‘sitting is the new smoking’ I sold the old desk and got a standing desk. No more creaks and groans. Now that I was important to me, I started working with a personal trainer several days a week and worked out five to six days a week. It was amazing to see my muscle definition return at age 53 and say good-bye to the jiggly butt and fat jeans.
Next I tackled my wardrobe which needed serious help. My only professional clothes were the suit and pumps I purchased for the CLNC Certification Seminar. Now I own a stylish business wardrobe that includes blazers, blouses, dresses, jewelry and heels. I learned how to apply makeup and got my first (but not last) mani-pedi.
Three months later my appearance was as sharp as my confidence! I exhibited at national legal conferences looking as successful as I knew I was about to become. This made approaching prominent attorneys easy. Putting me into my business plan was the kick I needed to greatly expand my business as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.”
– Susan Schaab, RN, BSN, CLNC
Ready for a change in your life? Let these six successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Pros inspire you.
I’m Just Sayin’
P.S. Comment and share how your life has changed after becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.