You’re 5 Promises from a New Nursing Career

You’re 5 Promises from a New Nursing Career

In 1982 I faced the reality that I was unhappy with the direction my nursing career was taking. It wasn’t easy after putting hard work into becoming an RN, earning my bachelor’s degree, my master’s degree and working six years in the hospital, to find I was extremely disappointed by the career choice I had made. I’d gone in wide-eyed, thinking I could make a difference, even improve the state of healthcare, only to bump up against the reality that no matter how hard I worked, my efforts would never make a dent, much less an impact. I was also moving far too slowly toward financial success, and I was forgetting what it was like to have fun.

A quick look at my nursing colleagues who had been in nursing for 20 years or more revealed that my future held more of the same. Not that they weren’t trying really hard, but their passion for nursing had died. I could see that my passion was starting to die too and wondered if I might not be wasting my potential. I decided to start my own business as a legal nurse consultant.

Einstein said you can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it. I knew whatever mindset got me into nursing school was not the mindset I would need to start my legal nurse consulting business. So I committed to 5 Promises. These promises became the 5 Promises I have continued to renew daily for almost four decades, and which changed not only my nursing career, but also my entire life.

I ask every new Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to commit to the 5 Promises. In this blog four successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultants share what the 5 Promises mean to them and how the Promises have made a difference in their CLNC® success.

Promise #1: I Will Live and Work a Passionate Life

“Promise #1 is important because without passion for what I’m doing, I will lack enthusiasm and not perform at the top of my game. The choices I make for both my life and career are driven by my passions related to those choices. I would lose my luster without passion. Through my commitment to Promise #1, I’m able to more easily reach my goals and enjoy the work I do. Passion helps me grow, inspires a thirst for knowledge, and has propelled me forward to growing a successful legal nurse consulting business that I love.”

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

“If you love what you do then it’s easy to do it. Life is short. If it’s something I have control over (e.g. work), I won’t do it, unless I’m not passionate about it. When you’re passionate about something, you can’t hide it. One day after I had been practicing as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant for some time, my middle daughter asked me if I loved what I was doing because I was so happy all the time. That’s the power of Promise #1.”

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

“I have often chosen to live outside of the box and travel the road less traveled. In my job choices, I could not keep working at a job I hated getting out of bed for and force myself to go to each day. Even when I chose nursing as a career at the age of 38, I decided I would run my career, it would not run me. This led me down many roads, working in many different areas of nursing, finally leading me to become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. As I had done many times before, I jumped out of the frying pan into the fire with passion. I soon realized legal nurse consulting was my ticket to independence from the corporate world of health care organizations. Success was entirely up to me and the stars were the limit. To keep it going over the many years I’ve been working my CLNC business, I have reinvented myself by finding new passion for what I’m doing and the life I am living.”

– Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CNS, CWCN, CLNC

“It’s so important to be passionate about your nursing career because it directly affects your happiness in life. After years of working in the emergency department, I started to lose passion for the job. I was burned out. The lack of passion I had in my career carried over into everyday life. I made a conscious decision to pursue something I felt passionate about and believed had longevity. Passion allows for you to grow. Without passion, there is often no drive, and without drive, success can be difficult to achieve. Since beginning my career as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant six years ago, I have been passionate about my business. I love what I do and I’m excited to do it every day. My passion has led to growing success as a CLNC consultant.”

– Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC

Promise #2: I Will Go for It or Reject It Outright

“Promise #2 guides me to choose the cases and attorney-clients that give my CLNC business purpose and meaning. I don’t want to waste time accepting work because I think I should. I want to gravitate to work that is meaningful to me and where I feel I make a difference. I will reject a case that I don’t believe in, as I believe that will hurt the attorney-client and compromise my standards.”

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

“When I took the CLNC Certification Program, Promise #2 is what kept me going. I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of person, so I did as promised and kept going for it. If I had not made that leap, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Nurses are forever caregivers. Why not care for ourselves for a change?”

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

“After discovering the abundance I could achieve with a career as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I immediately went for it. Rejecting it or any of the activities involved in this profession has never been an option. When I say abundance, I do not mean just financial. Abundance also includes professional and personal growth, testing many limits and satisfaction in knowing I’m making a difference in the world. I have the freedom to work my nursing career the way I want to work it, when I want to work it and where I want to work it. It has been my modus operandi to face my fears and push forward doing everything I need to do to achieve my goals.”

– Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CNS, CWCN, CLNC

“It’s so important to take every opportunity presented when you start out as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Opportunities help you to learn and grow as a consultant. If you reject an opportunity because of fear, you’ll regret it. The third case I consulted on involved nursing home litigation. This was something completely out of my comfort zone. I was an acute care nurse and unfamiliar with standards of care in long term care facilities, but I was not going to pass up the opportunity. I decided to challenge myself and go for it. I spent hours upon hours educating myself on the different standards of care and regulations. This positively impacted my CLNC business because six years later, long term care cases account for approximately 50% of my work. If I would have passed up this opportunity, I would not be where I am today.”

– Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC

Promise #3: I Will Take One Action Step a Day Toward My Passionate Vision

“Even on days that I don’t have a heavy workload, I find at least one action step to keep me sharp, interested and interesting to my attorney-clients. Without taking daily action, I become complacent and lose momentum.”

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

“If goals are too big, they are harder to achieve. By breaking goals down into small tasks, you can accomplish them easier.”

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

“Your first action step should be to create a clear understanding of where you’re going and what you need to do to get there (a mission statement). Only then can you begin the real work. Put a poster of the 5 Promises in your work space with your mission statement as the header. After you have done this, organize and execute around the most important priorities. Make a To-Do list of the tasks you want to complete each day, identifying the most important and least important. Perform at least one action task a day and avoid procrastination.”

– Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CNS, CWCN, CLNC

“Taking one action step a day can be the catalyst for your success. If you’re passionate about a dream, but aren’t willing to implement the necessary steps to build and grow your CLNC business, success cannot be achieved. It’s so important to follow Promise #3. Dedicating one step towards your business each day keeps you motivated and on the right track to success. Every day I accomplished another step towards my business, I grew more and more excited about my future as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.”

– Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC

Promise #4: I Commit to Being a Success Student for Life

“I am a sponge for knowledge. I find that learning new things, thinking new ways and engaging with new people to gain insight makes me a student for life. Knowledge is power to me. The more I have, the more successful I can be and the more I can provide for my attorney-clients. I also learn from the Certified Legal Nurse Consultants I mentor. They frequently ask questions that push me to reach inside myself for the best possible answers.”

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

“We are always learning, and we need to be open minded and ready for new challenges. A labor and delivery nurse for most of my nursing career, I never thought that I would be able to consult on cases outside my specialty, yet I was open to learn. Years later, most of my legal nurse consulting case load involves orthopedic injuries. Never limit yourself.”

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

“If you want to keep up and continue to be a vital force in our ever-changing world, continuous learning is imperative. Research needs to be an ongoing activity with each new case. From the beginning of my nursing career in 1989, I have been a student, seeking answers to questions, following the career ladder I constructed for myself: starting as an LVN, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing (RN), then a master’s degree in geriatric nursing and then certifications in wounds (CWCN) and legal nurse consulting (CLNC). Every step of the way, as a student for life, I have been elevated to a higher level: personal achievement, career satisfaction, and financial security. Albert Einstein said, ‘Once you stop learning you start dying.’ And so will your business.”

– Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CNS, CWCN, CLNC

“Certified Legal Nurse Consultants must keep up with the constant changes in healthcare, as it’s important to provide attorney-clients with accurate and up-to-date information. Failing to do so, could cost you your career. You must continue to educate yourself on the latest medical research and standards of care. Attorneys will be extremely impressed when you do.”

– Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC

Promise #5: I Believe as a Nurse I Really Can Do Anything

“Nursing has so many different aspects and so many professions within a profession. As I commit to being a success student for life, I realize more than ever that I really can do anything. I have stepped outside my comfort zone to take cases in areas in which I have no experience. I have pushed myself to learn new things that have enhanced my business. This has also helped me in my daily life and relationships as I have pushed to succeed in more areas than I knew were possible. Being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is awesome!”

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

“If you believe it, you can achieve it. The power of positive thinking is real. If you want an attorney to hire you, you first have to believe that you have something the attorney needs and wants. If you’re unsure of yourself, the attorney will also be unsure. A few years ago, I gave a presentation on soft tissue injuries to a group of attorneys that worked for a very prestigious worldwide corporation. I was at their annual meeting and I was scared to death. Once I reminded myself that I was the expert and the information I was providing was helpful to their cases, I got over my fears. The presentation was a success and it’s true, we really can do anything!”

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

“Fear of failure stops a lot of us in our tracks. As nurses working in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and other settings, we deal with life and death daily. What we do as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultants is not life and death. We procrastinate because of fear. Our self-talk often defeats us. We get the disease of the Gonna Do’s. I’ve been afraid to go after many things in my life, saying I will do them when an event transpires. Talking isn’t doing. Caring for critically ill and dying patients taught me that I have the gift to promote healing, improve quality of life, and even promote dignity in death. Because I possess this special gift, I have learned that I can stand up to my fears and go for any career choice, project, or adventure I pursue. As Vickie says, ‘I’m A Nurse And I Really Can Do Anything.’”

– Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CNS, CWCN, CLNC

“You must believe in yourself in order to accomplish success. Nurses are resilient. Just think about the challenges you’ve faced as an RN and how you overcame them. It’s also important to accept new challenges and prove to yourself you can accomplish them. When I started out as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant I joked about faking confidence. I knew I had the work ethic, the motivation, the passion and the clinical experience and knowledge to become a CLNC consultant, but I wasn’t entirely confident. Confidence was something I had to develop along the way. Luckily, my family provided a wonderful support system to help me confidently grow and realize, I can do this! It’s also important to accept your failures along the way and grow from them. The way in which you handle failure will determine your future success. Be confident, but be willing to learn, listen and grow from failures.”

– Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC

Thanks to Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC, Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC, Sandra Higelin, RN, MSN, CNS, CWCN, CLNC and Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC for sharing how the 5 Promises have made a difference in your CLNC success.

Promise Big and Promise Now!
Vickie
Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD

P.S. Comment and share how the 5 Promises have made a difference in your CLNC success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

Copyright © 1999-2021 LegalNurse.com.
All rights reserved.
CLNC® and NACLNC® are registered trademarks of
LegalNurse.com.