The road once travelled led to Legal Nursing

  1. 4
    I mentor nurses getting started in legal nurse consulting. I find a most interesting trend whilst perusing their individual C.V's of nursing jobs held to date. The common theme appears to be that nurses move around quite a bit. Some move around in healthcare attempting to work in various specialised areas, and leave once they realise it's not a good fit or they simply need a new challenge. Some say it's because of the bullying culture in nursing and others simply feel unappreciated and seek to find a place where they are nurtured and encouraged to grow. Some nurses see legal nursing as the ultimate specialty, once they have exhausted their options and suddenly acknowledge this invigorated passion for their careers and the nursing profession! I love hearing this excitement in their voices. While I love to hear them express their excitement for legal nursing, I am not oblivious to the fact that it may at times have been quite brutal in their world of nursing. I would like to start the conversation with encouragement for those who seek out legal nursing careers yet attempt to find out what has led some of you to seek out the specialty of legal nurse consulting. I look forward to exploring that journey with you.
    Diva_nurse, Davey Do, TrinaOtamere, and 1 other like this.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I'm seriously considering legal nurse consulting. I have been in nursing since 1993 and most all of my experience is in LTC. My current position is a director if nursing. I would like supplemental income but am concerned about the cost of getting started and then wonder would I ever get work.
    Davey Do likes this.
  4. 3
    First and foremost, do not fall for that "Earn $125/hr in your spare time!" ad. Establishing a practice is a long process; most folks find it's 5 years until they quit their day job. That weeds out a lot of folks, too. You do NOT need to pay an arm and a leg to learn this kind of work; check the threads here on the Vickie Milazzo Institute if you want to get perspective. Something like 5% of her "graduates" ever earn back the cost of her programs.

    Look into the American Assoc of Legal Nurse Consultants for their educational offerings, meetings, and information on the only ABNS-approved legal nurse consulting credential, LNCC. There are lots of other "certificates" but this one's the best.

    I see a fair number of SNF/LTC cases, often related to standards of care being breached. If you have expertise in this, you could already be a useful resource to an attorney that does a lot of these. AALNC can tell you more about setting yourself up as an expert witness, a very useful way to capitalize on your nursing expertise in the legal field. You'd review charts, assist the atty in deciding about whether this was a breach or not, help the atty figure out questions to ask involved parties, eval their responses, and perhaps testify at trial if it ever gets that far (the vast, vast majority never do).
    Bubbles, Davey Do, and rnixon77 like this.
  5. 2
    I am currently working in the Quality Improvement field, and right as I took this job, I took a weekend course entitled "Become a Professional Legal Nurse Consultant." The course was GREAT and at the end I was certified. They offered an additional internship, which I am taking advantage of, which walks you through the steps of setting up your business, advertising, and so on.

    Originally, I took the course thinking it would help me at my new job (I was fairly clueless as to what the actual day-to-day work would be in quality). I did quite a bit of auditing charts and participating on improvement committees at my former job as an assistant nurse manager/interim manager, which is what led me to seek out quality improvement. I loved reading charts, and I love helping other people do their jobs optimally.

    As it turns out, I am quite excited about LNC as a career. As I work through this internship I am more and more excited about finding my first case and seeing what it's REALLY all about. And the extra money will be a nice benefit too

    To answer your question more completely, I have been in the nursing field as and RN with a BSN for 9 years. I worked in a neonatal ICU for a year, then in a Level 1 adult trauma center for 2 years, then in an interventional radiology department for 4 years (mostly as assistant manager). Each job/position I left for a variety of reasons; ability to work days vs. nights, physical demands, administrative stress/being overworked and undersupported, etc. However, through it all, I do have to say nursing is a blessed profession. We get paid pretty darn great. I don't know ANYONE else who has the flexibility to change jobs the way we do. Or the opportunities we do to learn so much about so many different aspects of medical care, humanity, administration, quality, and now for me, the legal profession!
    Davey Do and AGMLegalNurse like this.
  6. 1
    You may want to look up the definitions of "certified." I know of no weekend course that is approved by the American Board of Nurse Specialties; the LNCC is, offered by the Amer Assoc of Legal Nurse Consultants.

    That said, many attys will tell you they don't give a damn about certifications if the nurse can do the job. But you know me-- better education makes for better performance is what I believe, and this is very, very true in legal nurse consulting. Knowing more about the work makes it possible to do a better job. Check out the AALNC and see what they have to offer.
    Davey Do likes this.
  7. 1
    Hi there,
    I'm currently looking for a business coach and mentor for starting my business as a legal nurse consultant. I recently lost my hearing in my right ear secondary to mastoiditis. With seven kids at home and the loss of my nanny, I am in a very rough spot. I also lost my mom several months ago from "CVA." While taking blood thinners she was actively bleeding and passed away. Since mom passed last September, I have had a hard time at being a nurse. I found my patients love me, but I also experienced a form of bullying I do not quite understand with nurses. I noticed it while in the nursing program, and just haven't found a true partnership to share my goals and achievements. I am frightened from the fiscal cliff, but not afraid to commit to my decision not to return to medical-surgical specialty rehabilitation at the bedside. I am going for my legal nurse consultant certification, RN to BSN online and working through my business to furnish my PharmD. The long-term dream is to become a pharmacologist to do pharmaceutical research in chemotherapeutics.
    I really appreciate your encouragement! I have worked extremely hard to obtain education and skills, and experience in the not-so-friendly-so-far world of nursing.
    Thank you for your post.
    Kind Regards,
    -R.Nixon, RN
    (Nurse becca)
    Davey Do likes this.
  8. 1
    Check out the AALNC for the online list, good coursework for the LNCC exam, and opportunities for internships.

    You can PM me if you like; there are other LNCs here who can help too.
    Davey Do likes this.
  9. 0
    Hello, I have left the field of nursing to commit myself full time to starting my own LNC business. I have been in the OR for over 21 years. I looked into LNC about 7 years ago and found Vicki's course. Way to expensive for me, so I let my thoughts drop for a while. I divorced and remarried and moved shortly after that. While working in the OR at the coast (wont say which hospital because I refuse to name names about why I am a disgruntled employee) I found a course offered by ed2go at my local Community College, it was online and would work with my schedule. Due to circumstances at work, I quit and am now working full time to start up my business. My course was six weeks and was taught by an attorney. I have a certificate and am attempting to meet the criteria for receiving my AALNC certification. Right now I have sent out over 75 packets containing my CV, a brochure, letter of introduction and a business card. I made my first follow up calls last week (two weeks after first mail out of 30). Found 2 numbers disconnected, 1 going out of business, left multiple voice mails and messages with the gate keeper and spoke to 2 live attorneys. The first one told me that they do not do the type of cases that I would be able to work on (not true according to the files in the file room of our clerk of court) and the other said that he had no need of me at this time but to keep checking back with him. Today and tomorrow I am returning the calls for the voice mails and messages and on Thursday I am calling the second batch of mail out for my first follow up. I have checked into the local bar association and found they are meeting Thurs. but when I contacted them to see if I could attend I was told that it was open only to paying members of the bar. I sent back a reply asking for information about any upcoming events that I might be able to either just attend or set up a booth. I will see how that goes. My next step will be cold calls but I am not sure how to go about doing that. I have read about having a sample work product when I finally get an appointment to meet with some attorneys but I don't know how to set up one and since I haven't worked as an LNC yet I don't have an actual one. I would love for some advice on if I am going about this the right way and maybe an internship with some one close by, lower coastal NC, Thank you in advance

    Lisa Simpson RN, LNC
  10. 0
    If your training course had you do a sample chronology, demand letter, or list of questions to ask an expert at depo, bring those. I have some sample cases on my iPad and the attys love to fool around with that. I do cold calls now and then and have gotten work from them; your first job is to make great friends with the office manager, and then make an appt to speak to one of the attys. Most work comes form word-of-mouth, though.


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