IT'S ALL FREE! 4 Reasons Independent LNCs Fail

New independent legal nurse consultants are enthusiastic and positive that they're going succeed in their new field.  Unfortunately, many of them fail to achieve their objectives.  In fact, I know LNCs who dropped out of the field because they never reviewed a single case.  I know four reasons why independent LNCs fail and some ways to help them succeed.

The first reason that RNs fail the transition from nurse to legal nurse consultant is because they're uncomfortable with the marketing aspects of the role. It doesn't take long for new LNCs to realize that attorneys aren't going to flock to the LNCs' doors.  It's discouraging for new LNCs when their initial marketing efforts don't produce results.  What do many LNCs do?  They join support groups, LinkedIn groups, and/or listserves.  There's nothing wrong with joining these groups - they can be very helpful and educational.  The problem is that many of the LNCs are joining and participating in these groups INSTEAD of marketing.  Marketing has to be top of mind for new LNCs.  By that I mean that new LNCs have to take every opportunity to market their new businesses.  Each person the LNC interacts with is a potential client or may know a potential client.  If you're an LNC who's struggling and finds groups helpful, try to spend at least as much time marketing as you're spending on the groups.  Try to market every day.  If you don't market, you won't make it.

A second reason that LNCs fail is because they're uncomfortable with the business aspects of the role.  Equipping an office, creating business forms and invoices, billing, budgeting, and banking practices - most of these skills are foreign to RNs.  RNs who don't know how to keyboard or use word processing or PDF software are also at a disadvantage.  The solution for lack of business knowledge is to learn as much as possible.  There are books, courses, coaches, and business development services available (such as Pat Iyer's LNC Academy) to help new LNCs master the business aspects of the role.  Another option is for LNCs to hire someone to perform some of the business services.  For example, there are secretaries, bookkeepers, and accountants who can perform some business services for new LNCs.

A third reason that new legal nurses fail is because they have no idea what being an LNC entails.  LNCs do more than review medical records.  They write reports, which need to be grammatically correct and easy to read.  LNCs verbally communicate with attorneys, law firm staff, and experts so LNCs need excellent communication skills.  In addition, LNCs need to have exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail, internet research skills, and analytic ability.  Without these skills, it's difficult to succeed.  I always recommend that RNs thinking about legal nurse consulting as a career volunteer for a quality review committee where they work.  Analyzing medical records for a quality review committee is much like analyzing records for attorneys, and communicating the results of the review is much like communicating with attorneys and experts. It's a good way for RNs to develop some basic LNC skills.

A fourth reason that new LNCs fail is they have the wrong motive for becoming an LNC.  Their wrong motive might be greed (Make $125 an hour!), disgruntlement (Work less!), or inability to work well with others (Be your own boss!).  There's nothing wrong with wanting to make money, have a stable work life, or be in charge.  However, those motives shouldn't be the only reason that RNs choose legal nurse consulting as a career.  When they are, and new LNCs realize that the career isn't as lucrative or attractive as they thought it would be, it's a recipe for failure.

...Katy Jones