It was in the 1980s when I first saw LegalNurse.com’s ad in the nursing publications. Consulting with attorneys on legal nurse consultant jobs sounded interesting. I wanted to do it, and I rarely said “no” to an opportunity. That’s the beauty of nursing, you can explore so many avenues.
However, I had four children under the age of four – triplets then another child two and a half years later – and I was working a full-time RN job. I wasn’t quite ready for a new commitment.
The idea of legal nurse consulting revisited me when I became ill as a result of a recalled medical device. I dug in and researched the issue of medical malpractice in my own illness and showed my work to the attorney handling my case. He asked, “You’ve been doing this research all by yourself?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Did you ever think about working with attorneys for a living?” he asked. While I didn’t pursue legal nurse consultant jobs with him that day, those words from the attorney were always in the back of my mind over the next ten years of illness. Then a year ago, everything fell into place as if it were meant to be.
I picked up a nursing publication and, as luck would have it, the Institute was offering the live CLNC Certification Program in my area. I decided to finally see what this was about and signed up.
A CLNC Alliance Made Going for Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs Easier
The first day, I met four women who would eventually become my BFF support group and my CLNC alliance. The five of us sat together every day, exchanged numbers and made a pact that we would hold each other accountable as we marketed to attorneys for legal nurse consultant jobs. Since the day we left the CLNC Certification Program, we’ve done exactly that.
We check in with each other. “Hey, what are you going to do today toward taking your action steps? Are you implementing your marketing plan? What’s your goal for the week?”
“Oh my gosh, I’m going for a legal nurse consultant job interview. I’m so scared.” We were all petrified of that first contact, but we helped each other past it. It’s like when you first graduated as a registered nurse. You were scared, but everything fell into place. Thanks to the CLNC Certification Program and the support of my CLNC alliance, everything did fall into place.
Everyone in my CLNC alliance has a different area of expertise which includes pediatrics, intensive care, emergency, cardiac and obstetrics. This wealth of experience that benefits each of us is just a phone call or email away.
Confidence Inspired Me to Market for Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs
I contacted attorneys I knew and offered one free case screening (5 hours of time) for the first legal nurse consultant jobs. One attorney who took me up on a free screening said, “I’d also like to hire you for a different case.”
From there things started picking up even more. I received a frantic phone call from a plaintiff attorney I’d previously marketed to. He wanted to meet the next day because the statute of limitations on his case was running out on Monday. A patient who should have been restrained had fallen and suffered a hip fracture that went undiagnosed.
The attorney wanted to me to focus on specific issues and to see if there was anything to support the plaintiff’s case. He said, “Can you get back to me this afternoon?” “It usually takes me six to eight hours to review a case,” I replied, “but I’ll take a look.” When I called back that afternoon, I asked, “Are there any other records?” He replied, “Yes, there are 5,000 pages of medical records.” “Okay. Could you send them to me? Because I’m not finding what I need,” I told him. Astounded, he asked, “You’re going to read 5,000 pages?” I replied, “You need me to do a legal nurse consultant job. I can’t do it with what I have.” So he copied them, and we met Saturday morning. “You’re really going to go through all of these records?” he asked again. When I said yes, he smiled. “If you don’t find anything, I’ll know you did your best.”
Giving up my weekend, I searched through those records with phone support from my CLNC alliance partners. “Did you find anything yet?” “No.” “Well, call if you have any questions.” Finally, I found what I needed. On Monday, as promised, I called the attorney. We met, and I explained what I’d found.
“I asked you to find me one thing,” he said. Then he got up and walked away, and I thought, Oh, God, what did I do? When he returned, he said, “Do you realize what you’ve done for this family? When you walked in here on Friday, I honestly thought there was no hope. You taught me something I’ll never forget as long as I’m in practice. The records I gave you had nothing in them, so you asked for the records in their entirety. I asked you for one thing, and you gave me nine things that we never would have found without your help. I can’t wait to call this family.”
He then requested a comprehensive report, and when I submitted it, he said, “This is so good I could actually walk across the street, hand it to the opposing counsel and the case would settle.”
Glowing Feedback from Attorneys Pumped Me Up for My Next Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs
That was my first big case. I kept worrying I wasn’t doing enough or I’d do too much. Fortunately, my CLNC colleagues are just as dedicated to my success as I am. They were on my speed dial and any time I had a question they were there for me. When the attorney said, “When the time comes, I want you to sit with me during these depositions,” that glowing feedback made me feel fulfilled and empowered to do the next big legal nurse consultant jobs.
Pumped, I threw new energy into the marketing I’d been doing all along and marketed to a large law firm. I’d been pretty nervous going after such a big firm, but what’s the worst that can happen? They could say no, but I’d be no worse off than if I hadn’t asked. Soon I was screening two long term care cases a week, which has become a regular gig and a nice cushion.
My Legal Nurse Consultant Business Keeps Growing
I’m working with six attorneys right now. I did well in 2015, and 2016 is going to be even better. Every day, even when I’m busy working on cases, I take one action step to grow my business. You have to be willing to commit to that no matter what might come along to throw you off focus.
Because of my illness, I can’t maintain a clinical job. I’ve had 11 abdominal surgeries, and while I’m okay now, this has been the perfect time to reinvent myself. I’ve maintained my licenses and continuing education over the years, and I’ve always read my journals, but I was an unfinished woman. By becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I feel like I closed the circle. I found my niche.
I love what I do every day. It’s never dull, and attorneys really listen, especially once I show them issues in their cases they never even thought of.
So many gifts came from the CLNC Certification Program. With any new business, you’re out on your own, and in the beginning, you need a lot of reassurance. I still refer back to my Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting® textbook, but what I treasure most are the CLNC Mentors. It’s so empowering to have someone in the know you can check in with. “I have this many hours in the case. Am I spending too much time, or am I in the ballpark?” The CLNC Mentor will say, “You’re right where you’re supposed to be,” or they’ll give you the guidance you need. That connection in itself is reassurance that you can do any legal nurse consultant job well, the job attorneys are willing to pay for.
Add a CLNC alliance to that support, and how can you possibly fail? My legal nurse consulting business grows one case, one attorney at a time, and there’s no limit to how far I can go.
Maura L. Cavanaugh, RN, CLNC owns M.L. Cavanaugh & Associates, LLC in Pennsylvania. Maura’s experience includes medical-surgical, obstetrics, gynecology, long term care and voluntary drug recalls for major pharmaceutical companies. She has experience in inpatient, outpatient and home care arenas.
P.S. Comment here to congratulate Maura on her CLNC Success.