7 Ways to Maximize a Legal Nurse Consultant Program to Become a Legal Nurse

You’ve invested in a legal nurse consultant program. Now it’s time to maximize the education and resources you’ve received.

Use these tips from CLNC® Pros before, during and after the CLNC Certification Program to successfully become a legal nurse consultant.”

Vickie L. Milazzo
RN, MSN, JD

Here are 7 ways to get the most from a legal nurse consultant program.

1. Extract Every Lesson You Can from the Legal Nurse Consultant Program

Just like you have to go all in for your legal nurse consulting business, you have to go all in when studying the CLNC® Certification Program to become a legal nurse consultant.

Going all in starts with committing the time. CLNC consultant, Marcia L. Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC addresses the challenge, “An RN needs to be willing to put in the time. When I took Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program, everyone in my family was doing something new. One son started college. One son started high school. My husband started a new job. I did not want to be left out. It was time for me to do something new as well. I started studying the CLNC Certification Program and didn’t want to stop. I loved the knowledge I gained and the tools the Institute provided.”

Be clear about what you want to get out of the legal nurse consultant program. CLNC consultant, Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, PMHN, SANE, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC shares, “Look at the education as a business building opportunity, not just a certification. I took notes and built my legal nurse consulting business and marketing plans just as Vickie teaches. I continue to use the process, formats and templates today.”

Be present in every aspect of your study. CLNC consultant, Connie Chappelle, RN, MN, CLNC advises, “One thing I’ll always remember Vickie saying is ‘You need to be all in if you want to become a legal nurse consultant.’ This is how I approached the CLNC Certification Program. I used highlighters, legal pads, pens, pencils and Post-It™ notes while studying. I took copious amounts of notes and highlighted text in the Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting® textbook that I knew I would want to review further. I’ve applied my effective study habits to engaging with attorney-clients. Even today, I bring highlighters, legal pads, pens, pencils and Post-It™ notes to meetings with attorneys. They tell me I’m the most prepared consultant they work with.”

CLNC consultant, Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC counsels, “Vickie Milazzo Institute’s legal nurse consultant program offers everything you need to become a legal nurse. But, it’s up to you to make it happen. Listen, listen and listen some more. Listen thoroughly to the course material, takes notes, make flashcards and go back and review the modules again after you’ve completed them. Make sure you have a true understanding of each module. Then implement the education provided to you”

CLNC consultant, Robert Malaer adds, “Take advantage of the Apprenticeship. Just like starting your nursing career, there is no better way to learn the ropes than to do it with someone who has been there and done that. The Apprenticeship is a valuable way to learn what it’s really like in the life of a practicing Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and to learn specific tools and tricks of the trade.”

2. Develop and Implement a Business Plan with Emphasis on Marketing

Everything is marketing. Your marketing plan is your GPS; it points you in the direction you want to go and if effective gives you the most direct route to get there.

Network in person and on social media with everyone you know. Hang where attorneys hang. Exhibit at legal conferences where attorneys expect to be sold to. Employ the power of referral. Attorneys trust other attorneys.

CLNC consultant, Michelle Neal recommends that you prepare to market. She says, “Vickie Milazzo Institute provides many great ideas for marketing. Review the marketing, interview and business development modules carefully to create your marketing plan. The marketing strategies require consistency and persistence. I had an attorney that I followed-up with three times, as Vickie advises, and it wasn’t until the third follow-up that he finally returned my call. Don’t give up. You have to be confident in your approach. If you don’t believe in yourself, how are the attorneys supposed to believe in you?”

CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst discusses the importance of putting in the work. “You need to be persistent. Becoming a legal nurse consultant requires work, but most importantly, you can’t give up. You know what you’re supposed to do. As nurses, we’re not used to being told no. We also have a tendency to take rejection personally. Most nurses have no experience in marketing, but we do have skills that can be used. We routinely convince patients to do things they don’t want to do. Use that persuasive ability in your legal nurse consulting business. There’s no reason you can’t succeed as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. That next phone call or meeting with an attorney could be an attorney-client for life.”

3. Take One Action Step a Day

Dreaming about your new legal nurse consulting business is easy. Engaging the details to convert your dream into reality might seem a bit tougher. That’s why taking action every day is so important to becoming a legal nurse consultant. Once you develop the habit of taking action every day the discipline you need to succeed becomes a habit.

CLNC consultant, Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC advises, “No matter what school of thought, belief or value system you hold, ‘You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessing and prosperity will be yours.’ Psalm 128:2. Taking one action step a day to propel your business forward will ensure fruit bearing. A little water, food and fertilizer, a little coaching, a little discipline, a little work-life balance mixed together helps you to evaluate the efficacy of your action steps. The foundation of the CLNC Certification Program is built upon this premise.”

CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst recommends, “If you want to become a legal nurse consultant, follow Vickie’s action steps. Life happens. There may be unexpected bumps in the road that prevent you from being able to work diligently on building your business. Don’t be too hard on yourself or you’ll lose motivation. Continue doing something every day, no matter how small. That will keep your head in the game so you don’t feel like you’re starting all over when you are able to commit working more actively on your legal nurse consulting business.”

4. Be Accountable for Your Success

The most successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are accountable for their own success. They treat legal nurse consulting as a business, not a hobby.

CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst states, “You need to take personal responsibility for your success. You cannot blame anyone but yourself for failure. You must have a positive attitude to be successful. If you’re not convinced you can do this, you can’t convince attorneys to use you.”

CLNC consultant, Marcia Bell, discusses the commitment and self-worth necessary to become a legal nurse consultant. “Either be all in or don’t do it. I was at a nursing job where business was slowing down and the future of my job was tenuous. I had been interested in legal nurse consulting for ten years and had done nothing with my interest. When I decided to become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant I knew I needed to have confidence in myself. I knew that I had knowledge I could share with the attorneys that nobody else had.”

A simple strategy for ensuring accountability is tracking and measuring actions, outcome and anything that can give you insight into your legal nurse consulting business. Tracking and measuring puts intention behind your legal nurse consulting actions.

5. Produce the Quality Work Product You’re Taught to Provide in the Legal Nurse Consultant Program

Use and restudy the Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting textbook. 95% of the mentoring questions the Institute receives are fully addressed in in the Core. Every time you study the Core and the advanced resources you’ll pick up new principles that you can apply to your legal nurse consultant jobs.

CLNC consultant, Michelle Neal provides an additional tip, “When I was waiting for my first legal nurse consultant job, I familiarized myself with screening cases, report writing strategies, standards of care and research by reviewing each of the modules provided in the CLNC Certification Program. I also personalized the templates provided to include sample work product for attorney-prospects.”

CLNC consultant, Suzanne Arragg shares, “Even though I’ve been certified since 1999 I reference the Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting textbook on a regular basis. There are certain kinds of cases I don’t frequently encounter. Relying upon the Core keeps me focused and helps me to understand what my attorney-clients are looking for.”

CLNC consultant, Marcia Bell states, “A Certified Legal Nurse Consultant needs to be willing to look at the Core regularly to validate what she is doing and find ways to do it better. While my first cases may not have been completed as thoroughly as I do now, they were accurate. I took extra time to ensure my report was correct. A quality work product is one of my best marketing tools.”

CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst shares, “When you have successfully completed the CLNC Certification Program, that’s just the beginning. You have the best education possible, plus the benefit of a step-by-step recipe for success. You need to take everything you have learned and apply it.”

6. Use the Mentoring Provided by the Legal Nurse Consultant Program

One of the most effective ways to maximize a legal nurse consultant program is to model after the legal nurse consultants who have a proven record of success. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. At Vickie Milazzo Institute all of the CLNC Mentors are practicing Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. Whatever your issue – they’ve been there and tackled it themselves.

CLNC consultant, Jane Hurst counsels, “There is nothing like knowing you have mentoring as a resource. Use it – mentoring was a big part of my legal nurse consulting success. Being able to speak with a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant who is actively practicing and willing to help is a huge relief. The CLNC Mentors I spoke with not only answered questions, they also provided a lot of extra practical information I applied to my legal nurse consulting business. I cannot say enough about Vickie Milazzo Institute’s CLNC Mentoring Program. The help I received from the CLNC Mentors was a tremendous resource.”

CLNC consultant, Dorene Goldstein, RN, BSN, CLNC shares, “I used the mentoring program for everything from marketing to specific attorney questions. The CLNC Mentors were available for me when I needed them and they definitely contributed to my success.”

CLNC consultant, Robert Malaer discusses the importance of conferring with a CLNC Mentor once you have finished the legal nurse consultant program. “Even if you think you have learned everything you need to know from the CLNC Certification Program, take advantage of the opportunity to speak with the CLNC Mentors. They have the knowledge and experience that will help you avoid reinventing the wheel. Submit your introductory letters and first report for review. Although I considered myself a pretty good writer, writing reports and introductory letters that would attract the attention of attorneys was not in my wheelhouse of experience. The feedback I received from experienced Certified Legal Nurse Consultants was extremely helpful and laid the foundation for my success. From business development to case assistance, the CLNC Mentors can assist in every area of your CLNC business.”

7. Network with Your Legal Nurse Consulting Peers

As a member of the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants(NACLNC®) CLNC consultants you receive a free listing in the NACLNC Online Directory which gives you an instant professional network for consulting and subcontracting with thousands of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants.

CLNC consultant, Suzanne Arragg describes the networking benefit the best, “The NACLNC Online Directory has facilitated networking with other Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. Whether I access the Directory to look for a testifying expert or CLNC consultant who has expertise in a unique specialty, it’s a resource upon which there is no price tag!”

Be sure to optimize your Directory listing by keeping it current.

Thanks to Suzanne, Marcia, Connie, Dorene, Jane, Camille, Robert and Michelle for sharing their tips for maximizing a legal nurse consultant program. Use these tips from CLNC Pros before, during and after the CLNC Certification Program to successfully become a legal nurse consultant.

For more on how to become a legal nurse consultant read:

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