5 Certified Legal Nurse Consultants Reveal What's Different Since They Started Their CLNC® Business

5 Certified Legal Nurse Consultants Reveal What’s Different Since They Started Their CLNC® Business

We asked five Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to share what’s different since they started their CLNC® business. They’ve also shared the perks and what they like best about being a CLNC consultant.

“What I love most about being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is the change of pace from working full time in the Emergency Department (ED). I’m not ready to give up the ED yet. Running around in the ED is fun, but getting to sit down later to analyze care that was given in a different ED is fun and challenging too. Legal nurse consulting is detective work at your own pace. ‘Did the nurse do the assessment they were supposed to do, was the acuity correct, were vital signs done timely and were they normal, did the nurse inform the MD of a problem, were all the tests done that should have been done?’ These are all the pieces of the puzzle CLNC consultants analyze. I enjoy sitting in a chair, drinking coffee and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I also travel to attorney conferences and have the benefit of combining business travel with a mini vacation. I see myself leaving my ED job when I’m ready, as I continue to consult with attorneys on my terms.”

– Yolanda Anderson, RN, BSN, CEN, CLNC

“Since beginning my CLNC business 25 years ago, my life has changed dramatically. The challenge of consulting with attorneys has presented opportunities to stretch my mind and strengthen my nursing expertise. Conducting literature searches, teaching attorneys the relevant standards and associated regulatory requirements has been the most rewarding. I also enjoy discussing and drafting discovery responses. Secondly, my CLNC business has enabled me to provide greater financial stability for my family.

What surprised me most was how much the attorneys don’t understand about long term care and nursing in general. I assumed since they practiced elder law, that they understood the inner workings of a skilled nursing facility. But they don’t. They rely upon me as their Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to provide them with the education and training they need to robustly represent the facilities.

I look forward to new and interesting cases each day. No case is ever the same, and there are always opportunities to learn something new. I’m also blessed to have loyal attorney-clients and staff who continue to propel my CLNC business in a positive direction. My staff consistently strives to provide excellent work product, and my attorney-clients continue to keep the cases rolling in the door. It’s a win-win for the legal team.

I appreciate the autonomy of making my own hours during any given day or week and taking days off when I want to. Another perk of owning a CLNC business is being the sole decision-maker. It’s gratifying (yet at times stressful) to have this power. It has only made me a stronger, more savvy woman.

I believe that as case laws and statutes change and evolve, there will be additional opportunities for CLNC consultants and the clients we serve. I’ve found that keeping an open mind and pushing outer limits brings great reward, not only professionally and financially, but also personally. I love this quote from an unknown author, ‘Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.’ Here’s to the unknown!”

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

“In some ways my life has become busier. I say that because I continue to work as an emergency nurse while building my CLNC business. In other ways, life is simpler. When we’re traveling, I can review records anytime and from anywhere. For example, we spend our summer weekends at the river. So with my CLNC business, I have the flexibility of consulting with attorneys from wherever I am.

Being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant allows me to share my knowledge about emergency nursing and to address how nursing should be. I was surprised how much attorneys value my opinion. Even when there is a difference in opinion, most attorneys want to hear what I have to say.

My goal is to grow my CLNC business and continue to decrease my nursing hours. I want to expand the professional relationship with my attorney-clients.”

– Carol Fridal, MS, RN, CEN, CLNC

“My life has changed significantly since starting my CLNC business. I spend more time with my family due to the flexibility of owning my own business as a CLNC consultant. In my nursing practice, I was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week while working in roles such as vice president of clinical services, nursing home administrator and director of nursing. I had very limited time with my family and I had to frequently cancel family events due to work obligations.

As a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant I practice in a profession that incorporates aspects of nursing that I love, such as ensuring quality, risk management, outcome management and making a difference in the lives of others. No case is the same, and I enjoy the challenges of formulating a professional opinion based on facts, research and expertise. I experience positive attorney and support staff interactions, and I’m highly respected and recognized as an expert in nursing. The attorneys and support staff I work with respect and voice appreciation for the CLNC services I provide. I love being a member of the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC) and having access to lifelong resources, learning and networking with other Certified Legal Nurse Consultants.

I have financial security as a CLNC consultant, while enjoying a career I love. When I first started my CLNC business, I was surprised at the high demand for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. The reality of unlimited earning potential and financial security surprised me in a positive way.

I have the autonomy to run a successful CLNC business, while incorporating the values I learned from the Institute. I enjoy the flexibility and being able to choose the times I work, while still meeting deadlines. I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication I have put into my CLNC business and of the fact that it is a direct reflection of myself.

I foresee expanding my CLNC business to include subcontractors so I can take on additional attorney-clients. I also plan to provide testifying expert services in my nursing area of expertise.”

– Shequita Moore, RN, MSN, LNFA, CLNC

“As a business owner I think first about how each action I take daily must support the vision and mission of my company. If it does not support my vision and mission I dismiss the idea. For example, I have built my brand on personal relationships. I attend social events, join legal organizations and have lunch often with attorneys. I spend time on these activities because people and relationships earn trust. I know there are many others who use social media networking sites successfully. This marketing strategy doesn’t resonate with my personality the way in-person meetings do. So I make a conscious choice to not invest a lot of time and effort into social media.

I have the ability now to work as much or as little as I want. I love the flexibility and control I have over my schedule. I can control my workload and adjust as needed. Having a sense of control over this aspect of my professional life has given me a feeling of empowerment that has extended to other aspects of my life. I block off time periods to take a break and schedule my case deadlines with those blocks in consideration.

I prefer to work at certain times of the day and take time off during other parts of the day. I can work before anyone in my household is awake. I then take time off to spend with my family before they’re off to school and work. I then make time for me during the day to take a yoga class or take a walk before I head out to a lunch networking meeting. I then wrap up my day before everyone returns home and I can spend quality time with my family. I value the fact that I can work from anywhere. Whether it’s stepping out of my office and moving outside for the day, to traveling across the country for better weather and a vacation, I can still work on my cases. I love to travel and having my own business allows me the freedom to travel when I want to. I could not do this working as a clinical nurse. I am still very productive professionally, just on my own terms.

I love learning new things every single day, whether it’s from researching a specific care protocol or learning aspects of my attorney client’s case strategy. Consulting is fascinating work and I look forward to the learning challenges it brings. I was surprised at just how valuable I am to my attorney-clients and how much they appreciate what I do. I cannot emphasize how much they appreciate my perspective and opinion on their cases. I have earned the respect of my clients by being open, honest, and clear about my opinion, even when it contrasted with theirs.

I was really surprised at how much I stepped out of my comfort zone in learning about being a business owner. From mastering accounting to marketing and to business strategy and development, I had to learn a little about everything to start and grow my CLNC business. I also learned when it was best to consult an expert versus doing it myself.

As I grow my CLNC business, I foresee working with CLNC subcontractors to expand my abilities to offer services to more attorneys. I would like to build a team of specialty experts in specific clinical areas of practice who can work more efficiently in their subject matter expertise than I am able to.”

– Susan Thibeault, RN, DNAP, MBA, CRNA, APRN, EMT-P, CLNC

Thanks to Yolanda Anderson, RN, BSN, CEN, CLNC, Suzanne Arragg, BSN, RN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC, Carol Fridal, MS, RN, CEN, CLNC, Shequita Moore, RN, MSN, LNFA, CLNC and Susan Thibeault, RN, DNAP, MBA, CRNA, APRN, EMT-P, CLNC for sharing what they love about being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

Success Is Yours,

P.S. Comment and share what you like best about being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

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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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