One thing that I have noticed about persons looking into being an LNC is that the cost of things overwhelms them. Clinical nurses get a paycheck and most do not have to worry about all the business issues that their employers must do in order to keep a business viable. Thus most nurses don't really have an idea of all the work and small things that a business owner must know,do and pay for in order to keep a business running in the black while still paying out salaries and keeping on the good side of the law and government not to mention clients. That being said, I believe that nurses who do not have a clear concept of good business practices are not fully prepared to make an informed choice needed to become a SUCCESSFUL LNC.
Yes, I am like most nurses in that money is always at the forefront of my mind. However, I grew up in a family business and learned early on that 1. You get what you pay for. and 2. You have to spend money to make money when you have your own business. If you are unable or unwilling to invest money in order to get the tools you need, not only will you have much more work to do, but you will also be more frustrated. This can lead to a bigger risk of business failure.
I believe that education is a tool just like a computer and software are business tools. It is very important that you give yourself the best opportunity of success if you are serious about being an LNC. If that means that the LNC program that is the most expensive is the one that can meet your needs and help you in your weakest areas, then you should go with that more expensive program. If a less expensive course can meet the needs that you have in certain areas, choose that one. But if you choose your educational tools simply by cost alone, you are setting yourself up for more problems. I know many LNCs who have taken courses but they become so focused on the cost of the program plus the cost of business taxes/fees, equipment costs, marketing costs, etc. that they ended up keeping their clinical jobs because they were unable to meet the demands of running their own business and actually wasted their money on a course.
I recommend that anyone who thinks that they want to become an LNC stop and become knowledgeable about business practices first. The Small Business Association and the numerous state business development centers have free online and in-person courses designed to assess your level of knowledge regarding business practices. They also help teach you what you need to know to become self employed. Get this knowledge first and find out if you have what it takes to be "self-employed".
Although there are LNCs that work for others and do not have the responsibilities of a business owner, the majority of LNCs still end up doing work for themselves or are involved in sub-contracting in which you still need to understand basic business practices, and contract and tax issues. If you find that the business end is not something you can handle or want to deal with, it would be better to know that BEFORE you spend the money on any LNC course.
You technically do not have to spend a dime to be an LNC. As an RN, you have the knowledge to read and review a medical record. However, if you shortchange yourself on tools, in this day and age of technology and the public's desire to see people with "certifications" as proof of ability, you will likely have a much harder time getting the jobs and being "successful" enough to leave clinical work and work as a FT LNC if that is your goal. If you cannot make the monetary sacrifice needed, then rethink your time period goals and work towards setting yourself up to be in a better position to be able to spend the money needed to get what you want. Making the choice to be an LNC shouldn't be made just because you hate your job and want something that you think is easier.