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Considering the cost and my age, which is 60+, is becoming a legal consultant really as good as they make it sound?

Wednesday September 26, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I have been an RN for the past 35 years. I see ads for programs to become legal consultants, but they are expensive. I would like to supplement my income with something I can do from home. Considering the cost and my age, which is 60+, is becoming a legal consultant really as good as they make it sound?

Considering legal nurse consulting

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Considering legal nurse consulting,

For starters, legal nurse consulting can and does offer good earning potential for many nurses. About half of all LNCs are self-employed, while the other half are employed by law offices, insurance companies, hospital risk management departments, etc. If you choose to start your own practice, it does take time to build a consulting business.

It is very important to note that as an experienced RN, you do not need to take any courses to start doing LNC work — nor do you need to be certified. That being said, there are many, many resources available for LNCs with varying pricing, length of time and commitment. Many successful LNCs offer video and audio products, manuals and books that are very reasonably priced (do an Internet search).

The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (www.aalnc.org) is your best starting point. See what they have to offer in terms of books and educational resources. Attend local chapter meetings of AALNC, as a guest for now to meet other nurses successfully working in this specialty and get advice, information and insights. Do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with members, officers and any other LNCs you meet. When there’s something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. You always should talk to others in another specialty before embarking into it yourself.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.