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5 CLNC® Pros Share 12 Things You Should Be Doing Differently in Your Legal Nurse Consulting Business

We all have things we would have done differently when we first started our legal nurse consulting businesses. In this blog five CLNC® Pros share what they would have done differently and what they see Certified Legal Nurse Consultants doing that you should do differently.

  1. Create a concrete plan.

    “When I became a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I already had two full time jobs: single mom of three children under age 6 and full-time director of nursing with a staff of more than 100 employees. I viewed my new role as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant as part time, but before I knew it, the number of cases grew exponentially. I was not prepared, not organized, and found myself exhausted because I was working on cases after putting in a 12+ hour day at the facility, after the kids were asleep and on weekends. While the number of cases was a good problem to have, I should have carved out time to strategize. Looking back 21 years later, I understand that the fear of losing the regular paycheck from my employer held me back. Had I taken the time to strategize with my attorney-clients and create a concrete plan to include CLNC subcontractors, I would have been able to create my full-time CLNC business even sooner than I did.”

    – Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC

  2. Don’t shy away from marketing.

    “I would have tried to network more through word of mouth. I didn’t like sales pitches and shied away from marketing. Over the years, I have presented my CLNC services with less emphasis on me. I am less pushy about why an attorney needs me and simply present what I can do for them. I make it about them. It’s not all about me.”

    – Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC

  3. Go where the attorneys are.

    “I have received the majority of my business from attorneys through exhibiting, so I would have exhibited sooner at legal conferences and events. I find it helpful to go to where the attorneys are when they’re not busy in their office. They have time to listen to what a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant can do for their cases. Face-to-face time can’t be underestimated. The first event I exhibited at was a state bar association conference. I met personal injury, medical malpractice attorneys and other types of attorneys as well. I offered a free case screening of up to three hours of my time. Even though I was very new, I obtained several cases and met attorneys that helped me grow my CLNC business.”

    – Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC

  4. Remember who you are.

    “When I first started my legal nurse consulting business, I wish I would have realized how important and useful my nursing opinions and knowledge were to attorneys. RNs are the backbone of medicine, and we are highly trusted by consumers. After being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant for five years, I realize how heavily nurses’ opinions are weighed in the court system.

    When self-doubt creeps in, I remember the tiny words with big meaning that Vickie shared, ‘Nurses Can Do Anything!’ That simple phrase has encouraged me to accept challenges l was unsure about and produce remarkable results. I am amazed at my ability to see the pertinent information in the medical records. It’s ok to be uncomfortable. I wonder every day if I can ‘do it.’ Every day I manage to ‘do it’ and the opportunities and growth keep coming.”

    – Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC

  5. Follow up.

    “I would follow up on leads more diligently. I still remember the CLNC Certification Program emphasizing that an attorney needs to see a business name several times before recognizing it. I think I was not confident enough in my abilities and felt like I was bothering attorneys.”

    – Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC

    “I would have been more timely when reaching out to attorneys I had referrals for. At the start of my CLNC business, a lot of friends who wanted to help me grow my business sent leads. Instead of contacting these attorneys timely, I waited. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, and then I felt it was too late to contact them. As a result, I probably lost some great prospects.”

    – Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

    “Be diligent. Keep a calendar of who, what, when, and how you spoke with, emailed or Zoomed. Depending on whether it was an attorney-prospect or existing client, stick to a regular schedule to stay connected. Is it every ten days? Three weeks? Or monthly? You decide and stick to it.”

    – Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC

  6. Give it your all.

    “I would have left my hospital position sooner. I remember Vickie saying that many Certified Legal Nurse Consultants hold on to the comfort of the regular salary of a hospital job. I never believed that would be me, but it was. It was only when I left the hospital that I took my CLNC business seriously. I found that I had the time to ‘give it my all’ and go for it. By creating a marketing plan with achievable objectives and goals I was able to increase my case load.”

    – Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

  7. Manage expectations.

    “I see new Certified Legal Nurse Consultants getting discouraged and giving up too soon. Attorneys need to see or hear your name multiple times before they appreciate the need for you and your CLNC services. This is why the mail-call campaign works so well and if you add networking into the mix, the odds are in your favor for getting past the gatekeeper. After completing the CLNC Certification Program and developing your prospect list, review your notes on marketing and be persistent! Remember, all it takes are a few attorneys to create a successful business.”

    – Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

  8. Don’t let uncertainty drive doubt.

    “Recall what it was like in nursing school. We all had to achieve the nursing education hurdles. This experience prepared us for clinical practice. The services we provide attorneys are based on those years of nursing education and clinical practice, no matter the setting. So, focus on that. Do not get caught up in self-deprecating thoughts just because you are communicating with attorneys.”

    – Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC

    “I see many RNs who ‘can do anything’ as a nurse doubt their ability to succeed as a legal nurse consultant. They should think about the many challenges they’ve faced in life with similar doubts and acknowledge their successes. Some examples are successfully completing nursing school (some with families and jobs on the side), dating and forming new relationships, parenting, applying for college or jobs, taking on a new role in nursing, etc.”

    – Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC

    “Do something even when it scares you. Greatness is at the end of the fear. You cannot get to greatness if you do not push through the fear. Attorneys are just people. The more you approach them, the easier it gets. They know the law, but we know nursing and the healthcare system. Our opinions matter. Remember Vickie’s beautiful voice, ‘Nurses Can Do Anything.’ Don’t let your self-doubt keep you from building a successful legal nurse consulting business.”

    – Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC

  9. Don’t expect attorneys to come to you.

    “Sitting back and expecting attorneys to come to you will not work. There are many ways to get in front of attorneys. Even during a pandemic, we have FaceTime and Zoom. I have left messages on LinkedIn and on prospective attorneys’ websites. Even Facebook has led to new attorney-clients for my CLNC business.”

    – Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC

  10. Request a budget.

    “Upon receipt of the case assignment, CLNC consultants need to discuss the budget with the attorney and ask questions like ‘What is the approved budget for this case?’ Requesting a budget shows the attorney that you will not waste time or money needlessly.”

    – Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

  11. Tap into the CLNC® resources and mentoring.

    “Remember, you are not alone. The Institute and CLNC Mentors are here to guide you. Maximize the resources you have at your disposal, including the Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting® textbook, advanced resources and the NACLNC® Directory. Tap into the network of your CLNC colleagues.”

    – Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC

    “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I do not know.’ Simply state you don’t know, but you will find the answer. The Institute’s CLNC Mentors can guide you. They have helped me several times.”

    – Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC

  12. Invest in your CLNC business.

    “I see legal nurse consultants reluctant to spend money on things that will help their business grow. There are essentials such as a business card, a brochure, a website and a professional suit that I find imperative for CLNC success.”

    – Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC

    “I was in business for eight years before I bought a metal, folding, collapsing transport dolly. They are incredibly useful for transporting document boxes, stacks of medical records, laptop bags, etc., and they fold flat. Keep a few bungee cords handy to secure your transport items to the dolly.”

    – Camille Joyner, RN, BSN, CCM, CLNC

Thanks to Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC, Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC, Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC, Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC and Camille Joyner, RN, BSN, CCM, CLNC for sharing 12 things you should be doing differently in your CLNC businesses.

Success Is Yours,

Vickie Milazzo Institute

P.S. Comment and share what you would have done differently when starting your legal nurse consulting business.

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*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.

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