LNCtips.com: Subcontractor LNC
Subcontractor work can be a great way to start out as a new legal nurse consultant. A subcontractor is an LNC who obtains temporary work from a firm or from another independent LNC. Typically the work is episodic and limited in scope. For example, an independent LNC might hire you to review records and create a medical chronology on a one-time basis for a specific case.
Many employers need subcontracting help quickly. Because of this, some employers don't have stringent requirements for legal nurse consultant experience. Other subcontractor requirements will vary, depending on who hires you and the project for which you are hired.
The best way to obtain subcontractor opportunities is to network. Personal networking, such as interacting with others at a local AALNC meeting, and electronic networking, such as with LinkedIn, are good places to start. Potential employers frequently use these routes to announce subcontractor opportunities. In addition, as you personally network or join legal nurse consultant groups on LinkedIn, you can briefly describe your experience and inform group members that you're available to work as a subcontractor.
Respond quickly to subcontractor opportunities. Because of impending deadlines or an increased workload, employers hire subcontractors quickly.
Because you may be hired quickly, keep your resume updated and maintain a portfolio of work product samples. Employers frequently ask for a sample medical chronology or medical summary to determine the quality of your work.
Don't expect to make the same rate of pay that independent LNCs make. After all, you didn't expend any time or money to obtain the client. But don't do subcontractor work for peanuts, either. Independent LNCs typically make 50% or more of their usual independent charges. However, if the employer is a defense firm, the pay may be less because the firm is paid less by their clients, insurance companies.
Expect to sign a contract that outlines the project and your rate of pay. Contracts may also contain a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement specifies that you can't become a competitor of your employer for a period of time. For example, the contract might say that, in exchange for the subcontracting work, you agree to refrain from marketing to any of attorneys involved in the case for a period of one to two years. Make sure that you review the non-compete agreement for reasonableness. Examples of unreasonable contracts are those that prohibit you from marketing to anyone at all and those that have no time limit to the non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements aren't enforceable in every state.
If there is no contract, request that the employer send you a letter of understanding describing the work to be performed, payment terms, and deadlines.
This is also the time to request if you can use your employer's name as a reference in your own marketing efforts. This suggests to employers that they will be satisfied that you will meet the terms of the contract or letter of understanding to their satisfaction.
Thank you, Dana Bissontz of Camdan Consulting, for your help with this topic.