Ask the Right Questions!

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LNCtips.com: Ask the Right Questions!


So you're thinking about legal nurse consulting as a career. Most prospective LNCs ask, "What's the best LNC program to take? In my opinion, this is the wrong question to ask. Let me tell you why, and explain what I think the right questions are.

When you ask other LNCs what course they took, you're asking for testimonials. Testimonials can be very powerful because we put ourselves in the place of the persons giving the course recommendation. We think that if the recommenders became successful after taking the course, we will too. Here's the problem with testimonials: you don't know if the LNCs giving you advice are successful. They may enthusiastically recommend a program even though they have never reviewed a case outside the classroom setting.

Here are the questions that you need to ask to ensure your success as an LNC.

What's my motive for becoming a legal nurse consultant? If you're enticed by the ads that suggest you'll make "x" amount per hour, then money is probably your motive. If that's the case, you may be disappointed, because few nurses become independently wealthy as LNCs.

What skills do I have? Some programs exaggerate the fact that nurses have the skills they need to become LNCs just by being nurses. Unfortunately, nursing experience is the BASELINE for legal nurse consulting. There are other skills and qualities that you'll need to become successful as an LNC. The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants has a good self-assessment tool to determine if you have the right skill set to become a legal nurse consultant.

How do I learn best? Some nurses love online courses because of the convenience of fitting the courses into their lifestyles. Other nurses prefer in-person classes due to the camaraderie with other students and immediate access to the instructors.

What is the cost? Some LNCs swear by the high-cost programs they attended, telling themselves it was worth every penny. Other LNCs swear by the low-cost programs they attended, telling themselves they got the information they needed for a bargain. Who's right? The answer is that you should choose the program that's right for you financially. If you have to take out a loan to attend a program, it may not be the right program for you. On the other hand, if the course is a bargain, but its information is sparse or outdated, it's probably not the right program for you either.

Are there any negatives associated with the program? The best way to investigate negatives is to type the name of the course into Google, and then type words such as "complaints," "scam," or "fraud."

Who teaches the course? The program you choose should have at least some LNCs who are currently practicing in the field. My personal gripe is that some courses are taught by instructors who once were LNCs but who left the field long ago. They've found that it's much more lucrative to TEACH prospective LNCs than it is to PRACTICE as a legal nurse consultant. Meanwhile, the way that LNCs work is much different now than it was for these instructors.

Have you noticed that all of these questions are queries that you ask yourself? That's because the answers are going to be unique to you and your personal situation. Answering the questions should lead you to the course that's right for you.

Want to learn more about LNC skills for legal nurse consultants?  Check out the Archives.

...Katy Jones