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LNCtips.com: Developing a Portfolio

In the past, only graphic artists and other creative-type job seekers used portfolios to demonstrate samples of their work. But legal nurse consultants can use portfolios to showcase the quality of their work - even if they have never worked with attorneys before.  In fact, as a new LNC, it's even more important to show potential clients or employers the quality of the work that you are capable of producing. A new legal nurse consultant with a portfolio has an edge over one who does not.

What should the contents of a portfolio contain? At a minimum, your portfolio should include a resume and work samples. The resume should highlight qualities and experiences valued by attorneys. Work samples should include at least one medical chronology and one medical summary.  Add other types of work samples if you wish to. Place the contents of your portfolio in a 3-ring binder so that the binder can be easily displayed during an interview or an initial client meeting. 

How can you create the contents of a portfolio if you've never analyzed a case? You can use the free formats for a medical chronology (shown in the video) and medical summary from this website or you can buy samples from AALNC or other websites. But you shouldn't use the CONTENT from anyone else's samples.  Copying someone else's work, even if the dates and names are changed, is plagiarism. You need to use examples from your own nursing experiences. And it's better to struggle now creating these types of reports than it would be when you have real clients.

To create your reports, think of situations in your work setting that were ripe for malpractice, such as deviations from standards of care.  Imagine the last time that you came on duty and found mistakes made by the last shift's nursing staff.  Or think of a patient that had a really bad outcome, even if the bad outcome was no one's fault.  Those are situations that cause patients and families to sue.

After you think of a situation or two, develop a scenario around each situation and draft your reports based on your scenarios. Change identifying details and names of staff, patients and organizations to protect confidentiality. The reports don't have to be elaborate but they should show your ability to analyze a case. You should not tell potential clients or employers that the reports are from real cases. Simply inform them that you wrote the reports as examples to show the type of work that you can create for them.

...Katy Jones