Wow, I have so much to say that I don't think my little fingers can type fast enough. And I apologize in advance for any misspelled or non capitalized words.
I'm an RN with over 32 years of experience. After Hurricane Katrina, I lost my job as a Forensic Nurse and went to school for the LNC course. I also studied and obtained a Private Investigator's license. I realized I had been doing BOTH the LNC work and PI work in my job as a forensic nurse! Now, granted, my FN job was different than any other in the hospital, you see, I designed the job description myself, a virtually unheard of concept in the civil service system in which I was employed. I reviewed medical records on a daily basis, I identified risks and reported them to the RM department. I identified patients who came to us injured too critically to be able to identify themselves and then investigated to find their loved ones. I designed PI and QA programs that identified previously unrecognized revenues streams. I created programs that got us in compliance with federal regulations before they were mandated, putting us ahead of the game. Every day, I learned something new, and I was able to help both clients, their families and the hospital staff in ways I had never even considered nor planned. Needless to say, it was extremely rewarding and I miss it terribly. I learned so much that I carry in my two new careers, that I can knowingly say, that nurses do this stuff every day without even knowing it. And doing the job of a forensic nurse led me onto so many other paths that it's hard to put into one email. Of course, then I would read the post and see that I forgot something.
I'm glad I took the LNC course because i did learn more about how to increase my professionalism in my practice, read court documents, write winning reports, etc. I also learned about marketing, which helps in PI services as well. I feel that we market to the same targets: attorneys. And the forensic nursing knowledge I have helps in both the PI and LNC cases when there is evidence collected, criminal elements or wrongful death.
For me, I had colleagues that took the high priced week long courses that certify you as an LNC for ONLY that institute; they never worked as an LNC afterward. I early days, I remembered saying to myself, ohh, I wish I could afford that, but never did. Then later I took the course through a local university and have flourished! I have only my poor little website so far to market myself but it has gotten me cases already. I don't have the money to spend on big marketing program, nor litigation software yet, so I market in ittle ways. I always carry my cards, in my car, on my person, etc. I use ebates.com and vista print. If I'm in a casual restaurant, if I overhear an attorney talking I might orchestrate a chance meeting with him, say, on the way out, and hand him my card and give him a briefer than the usual 30 second elevator speech. Then about a week later, send him a personal card that gives him a one hour consultation free of charge. And who can stop after one hour? If you use that one hour to give them back excellent nuggets of info for a case, and you manage to impress them, they may just give you that case! you have to be careful not to give away the whole store, but just enough so they'll want more.
Therefore in conclusion, I somewhat agree with the gist of what James said: You don't need to be certified as an LNC!
I would love to hear comments on anything I've said in this post, no bashing please!
Take care and have lovely, safe Memorial Day Weekend!