When I asked legal nurse consultants what they would have done differently if they were starting their businesses today, here is what I learned from these legal nurse consultants’ words of wisdom. Get more great tips in the second edition of The Path to Legal Nurse Consulting, now available.
I would develop underpinnings for my business more quickly. Six years into my business I am still operating off of Word ® invoices and Excel ® spreadsheets for accounting although I do have a CPA for my taxes. Coaching with Pat Iyer (www.LNCAcademyinc.com) has helped me begin to change that. When you start a business from nothing, you are elated to just get one case. But as your business grows and one case becomes two and two cases becomes three law firms, it can become overwhelming. Then you have to invoice and keep up with expenses and accounts receivable, pay experts etc. Using software and or enlisting someone proficient in accounting can go a long way in helping you organize your cases, contacts, experts and accounting as your business grows and develops.
I would have found a mentor and participated in professional groups sooner. I floundered trying to do it on my own for almost a year. It was valuable time that could have been spent more wisely.
I would make myself be more active in in-person marketing and networking. Audrey Friedman
I would remain clinically active in my favorite nursing specialty so I can render opinions on standard of nursing care.
I would have pursued a Masters in Health Law. I would have taken my LNCC certification exam shortly after graduating from Widener’s LNC program.
Paula Deaun Jackson
I would never discount my rate.
If I was marketing myself as an independent LNC today, I would do 4 differently.
1. I would send my brochures periodically to my target audience to keep my name fresh in their minds.
2. I would follow up consistently with the attorneys on my mailing list.
3. I would use social media and inbound marketing techniques such as LinkedIn, a website, and Facebook.
4. I would be sure to differentiate my area of expertise. When I first started, I lost a potential client because I did not have a way to differentiate myself from other LNCs or demonstrate my skill set. Once I developed work product samples, that problem was solved. Therefore, if I was starting over, I would create work product samples that were beautifully formatted, grammatically correct, and available as hard copies and electronically. I would then incorporate the samples as part of my initial and subsequent marketing campaigns.
If I were looking for a law firm position today, I would do so through internet job boards, such as CareerBuilder or SimplyHired, and through networking contacts.
I would never write a report without the attorney’s permission, unless I decided to do it for free. Lisa Kuipers
I would not give my opinion until I had ALL the medical records. Now some attorneys want me to give them an opinion and after that hard first lesson, I stand strong. I say I am unable to even guess unless I have everything I need on which to base my opinion.
If I were advising a nurse starting today I would say to do your due diligence before committing yourself to any one path or program. Understand what programs, companies and organizations are available before choosing any of them. Get a good understanding of how others have fared as LNCs in your location. Contact LNCs and discuss their experiences and ask for advice. Go on the AALNC website (www.aalnc.org) to find out everything you can about the LNC field. Assess your own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Join free LNC listservs to obtain as sense of this specialty area.
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Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC is the president of the Pat Iyer Group, and founder of a successful LNC business she sold in 2015.