LNCtips.com: The 5 Cs, a Model for LNC Success
What does success as a legal nurse consultant look like? My concept of LNC success includes a visual model that includes five words that start with the letter "C." These five words are requirements to make a successful transition from RN to LNC.
As seen on the model above, the five elements of LNC success are Cases, Community, Clients, Competence, and Confidence. Let's look at each of the five Cs needed to achieve LNC success.
1) Cases. Many RNs strive to become legal nurse consultants. However, RNs don't really practice legal nurse consulting until they've analyzed a case or two. Cases reviewed in LNC class don't count. Reviewing a real case is nothing like reviewing a case in class. In class, information about the case is very limited. In the trenches, there is often so much information about the case that LNCs get analysis paralysis. Knowledgeable analysis of cases is one of the tenets of LNC success.
2) Clients. It goes without saying that legal nurse consultants need clients (or an insurance company, law firm, or other employer) to get those cases. For LNCs, one client can contribute to success. However, it's always better to have more than one client. With just one client, it's possible for LNCs to lose their entire consulting practice if the client decides to use another legal nurse consultant. LNC success can't occur unless there are clients.
3) Community. Community refers to the people with whom legal nurse consultants interact. Community refers not just to attorneys but also to their staffs. It also refers to interactions with other legal nurse consultants through networking, membership in organizations such as AALNC, and participation in social media such as LinkedIn. Without this community, there are no clients and no cases. Without this community, legal nurse consultants cannot be successful.
4) Competence. New legal nurse consultants are usually surprised at the huge learning curve that's involved in legal nurse consulting. LNCs need to be competent not just in case analysis, but in communicating with attorneys, creating reports, conducting internet research, and demonstrating a variety of other skills. Without this expertise, legal nurse consultants can stumble. LNCs may be slow and may have difficulty meeting deadlines or producing high-quality work product. In turn, those problems may cause attorneys to drop them or fire them. Achieving competency in legal nurse consulting skills is crucial to LNC success.
5) Confidence. Confidence occurs when legal nurse consultants know that they are able to produce high quality case analysis and work product for their clients in an efficient and knowledgeable way. Self-doubt is common with new legal nurse consultants. Without confidence, legal nurse consultants fail to market themselves to clients and therefore obtain no cases. Without confidence, LNCs don't interact within the community. They shy away from learning the skills needed to fulfill the LNC role successively. They may wait until they're in midst of their first case and then panic when they realize they're ill prepared. Confidence is the final requirement for LNC success.
As you can see, each element of the model is interconnected. And each of the five Cs are requirements for registered nurses to successfully transition to the legal nurse consultant role.