Nursing was everything I wanted – and more. And more. And still more. Last year, I assumed a full management role in my hospital job. What eventually pushed me over the edge, the push I needed to launch my legal nurse consulting business, was being assigned five nursing units. I had to manage mother-baby, neonatal intensive care, medical-surgical and the pediatric center by myself. On top of all that, I had to work staff in labor and delivery. I’m a board certified ED nurse and have never in my life worked labor and delivery. The situation was a risk nightmare.
For the past couple of years, I’d been eyeballing legal nurse consulting. I was already doing risk management in my hospital role, investigating and identifying different issues in cases. In fact, I was pretty good at it, so I started seriously considering Vickie Milazzo Institute’s CLNC Certification Program. As I reviewed the Institute’s legal nurse consulting curriculum, I knew this is what I wanted and I wanted to do it now. I jumped right in and it’s been an amazing ride from the start.
I Purchased the VIP CLNC Success System Because I Wanted to Do This Right
I decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right, so I purchased the VIP CLNC Success System which includes unlimited CLNC Mentoring. I had recently gotten married, and I literally finished studying the legal nurse consulting program while I was on my honeymoon in Europe. I took the CLNC Certification Exam as soon as I returned, passed and secured a case within the first 30 days.
Having finished the CLNC Online Certification Program in January, I had a little time to take some action steps before I went on vacation in February. Then, less than a week after I came home, I attended the National Alliance of Certified Legal Consultants (NACLNC®) Conference. It was a crazy, hectic time and also an important time to learn as much as I could.
I’m Having Fun with My Legal Nurse Consulting Jobs
Vickie teaches the importance of strategic alliances in the CLNC Certification Program. I formed an alliance with another Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and we exhibit together. We have exhibited at four legal conferences with tremendous success. We are on the attorneys’ turf and it works when you put yourself out there as a legal nurse consultant.
Exhibiting is an opportunity to engage face to face with every attorney (not just medical malpractice and personal injury) and educate them that nurses can do far more than they imagined. It’s eyeopening for attorneys to realize that a nurse’s exceptional expertise can help guide their cases to successful conclusions.
For example, I was asked to evaluate a case to determine whether or not a father was competent to care for his special needs child. The father was an EMT and the mother was only trying to determine competence, but it turned into a nasty divorce. I educated the attorney about resources available to the father, such as special needs daycare to help support the child. This is information Certified Legal Nurse Consultants can provide that divorce attorneys might easily overlook.
When attorneys understand all of what we can do for them, we’re much closer to gaining another attorney-client. Seeing the light go on in their eyes is just plain fun.
Attorney-Clients Are My First Priority
Recently, I was working with a firm that was a referral from a current attorney-client who was happy with my work. (This shows that attorneys do talk with each other.) I learned one of my new attorney-clients with a terminally ill parent didn’t know about the hospice process. Even medical malpractice attorneys are lay people when it comes to a personal medical issue. The same could be said of anyone, including nurses. When a situation gets personal, you’re a lay person. You don’t analyze the healthcare issue the way you would as a clinician. I provided my attorney-client with support and guidance regarding medications and current hospice options to help her make her father comfortable in his transition. That was a benchmark moment. The attorney, the law firm and I became securely bonded.
Anytime I discuss a case with an attorney, I adopt a New York attitude. I tell it like it is, which is what Vickie teaches. I won’t say, “This is a perfect case,” unless I believe it. I understand the firm’s investment that goes into each case. That’s one reason I was able to secure cases from the largest medical malpractice law firm in New Jersey and why I’ve become extremely successful, earning well over six figures in my first year as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
As an RN, I also had a six-figure income, but I had to work a lot more hours and a lot harder. Now I can sit on my couch and work in my pjs. I have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the lifestyle I want. I love earning six figures as a CLNC consultant, but what I love most is being able to make a difference for patients and for the healthcare system. I believe your life is what you make it. So far, my career as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is a constantly amazing ride.
Frank Druse, RN, MSN, MHA, CEN, CPEN, CLNC owns Druse Consulting Firm, LLC in New Jersey. Frank has ten years nursing experience and is board certified as an emergency department nurse and a pediatric emergency department nurse. He has served in various roles including clinical practice, nursing education and nursing administration.
P.S. Comment here to congratulate Frank on his six-figure CLNC success.