Success is measured very differently by each individual. I have had quite a few people approach me recently asking for advice and guidance in the world of Legal Nurse Consulting. Questions range from is this a realistic field to pursue; is there enough work out there; in what areas can a legal nurse work. I have now been a Legal Nurse Consultant for a little over two years and thought that it might help to put some thoughts in my blog for this post.
I retired officially from bedside nursing, after 30 years at the same hospital, on January 6, 2011. I then immersed myself into the world of animal rescue as this is a passion of mine. Even though I love helping animals it just was not enough stimulation for me and I looked into the field of Legal Nurse Consulting. There are many different avenues that one can take to become a Legal Nurse Consultant and that is not the focus of this blog post.
I did take a course in Legal Nurse Consulting in July of 2011 and wound up with my first case in November of that same year. For me the marketing of my legal nurse business was an uphill battle. The positive thing for me was once I was able to get my foot in the door of an attorney I always received ongoing, additional work from them. Even though the person that I took my Legal Nurse course from discouraged networking I did begin networking the following May after going to the National Teaching Institute for Critical Care Nurses. Things then started to happen for me. In October of 2012 I went to a conference for legal nurses, The JERK Conference, and met many wonderful people. At this conference I was introduced to Pat Iyer and this one introduction has made all of the difference in my Legal Nurse Career. Due to my association with Pat my writing skills significantly improved, I wrote my first blog post which she posted on her blog, I was motivated to build my own website that I could control and on which I was able to have a blog, and I wrote my first book, An Introduction to Heart Failure. Networking and accepting guidance from others is so important.
So what is SUCCESS? For some people success is measured monetarily. The Legal Nurse course that I took focused on making $100,000 in a year with the business; that this was what success was. Well I have not yet made $100,000 in a year with my business but today I believe I can say that I am successful at what I do. I have reviewed 11 different cases this month, written one expert report, and 2 chronologies. These cases came from 4 different sources. The attorneys I have now continue to send me cases and we have a very respectful relationship. My blog is read by many and one of the people I am subcontracting with now mentioned my writing ability, from reading my blog posts, when we talked about my working for her. SUCCESS for me has been having a mutual, respectful relationship with attorneys that I work with, being able to provide attorneys with a work product that can be beneficial to their case, having the respect of my peers, and last (but not least), being able to donate to organizations that help dogs
I would be remiss to not mention the unbelievable clinical experience I received while working in various intensive care environments at University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. For me this experience has had a major impact on the success I have had being a Legal Nurse Consultant.
In closing I just want to say if you want to be a successful Legal Nurse Consultant you need to make sure that you have the clinical experience with which to review cases; network, network, network; and find someone that will help mentor you. Without my mentor I would not be where I am today.
I would like to finish with saying that I still have a passion for animal rescue and a percentage of my business income is donated to rescue organizations. I have also recently been somewhat housebound due to fracturing my ankle and spent this time to finish my second book which has nothing to do with medicine or law. The name of the book is Shasta’s Gift to Shelter Dogs and is picture journey of many of the dogs I have transported over the last 1 ½ years from shelters to rescues or forever homes. 20% of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Angels Rest Sanctuary in New Richmond, Ohio. They specialize in saving adoptable dogs, older dogs, and sick animals.