I am considering taking a certified legal nurse consultant course and wonder if you have any knowledge of the success or demand for this specialty, particularly in New England?
Dear Donna replies:
Before investing time and money in anything, its always a good idea to speak with others in your geographic area currently doing that thing. You should contact your local chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (http://www.aalnc.org) and do an informational interview (http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/thescoop.html) with some of the members and officers. You can also get out to local meetings as a guest. Read the article How to Change Specialties at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/changespecial.html.
There are many nurses across the country who are successfully self-employed in this specialty. But it does take time to build a consulting practice, and you have to learn to be a businessperson, including how to market the business. Business does not just come to you. You have to work for it on an ongoing basis. Many nurses dont realize this when they sign up for one of these courses. There are also some limited employment opportunities.
Also, it is important to note that certification is not required to work in this specialty. There are also various education options available to learn the specialty, including books, one-day courses, and other educational events and resources offered by AALNC and other entities. Be sure to explore all of your options and talk to experienced LNCs before taking the plunge.
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeeks Dear Donna and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a Dear Donna seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.