She has found great success as an Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant, but started out like most other nurses.
Learn her story below.
Liz has found great success as an Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant, but started out like most other nurses.
Liz is a REAL LNC STAT Course Graduate
I have been a nurse for 20 years. My first nursing job was in a rural hospital in North West Texas. Forty beds, two physicians, and a CRNA. I had dreams of working in a big city hospital, but a single mom with a two year old needs to stay close to home. I learned more in the four years I worked there than in nursing school, and definitely more than from what "life" I had experienced at that time.
"You knew you were not living your life right if you ended up working the night shift on rodeo night, when the moon was full, in Nocona, Texas."
Being a RN at that little hospital, no matter how green, meant you were over LVNs and other staff that had more than 20 years of experience. Two RNs, three LVN's, three Aides staffed an entire 12 hour shift, for the whole hospital. The LVNs I worked with right out of school taught me so much, and I will forever be thankful. The RNs would float from ER to ICU to Labor and Delivery, OR, PACU, and lead the Code team. The doctors were on call, but not actually at the hospital. You knew you were not living your life right if you ended up working the night shift on rodeo night, when the moon was full, in Nocona, Texas. Crazy.
When I made the move to the Dallas area, I first worked in the operating room at Methodist Dallas, and then later worked at a smaller hospital in a Dallas suburb, in the PACU. While working in PACU I met a group of female OB/GYNs that made me an offer I could not refuse. They sent me to Nurse Practitioner school specializing in Women's Health, and I signed a two-year contract to work for them in their office. After working for them for 6 years, I decided to move on. The demands of a nine to five job, five day a week, being on-call, and having hospital rounds were wearing me thin. The little two year old had turned into a pre-teen and I desired more flexibility.
"Once again, I found myself working long hours without a lot of family time."
I taught OB to LVN students for a while, worked in public health, community health, and at a high-risk OB clinic at a University Hospital, but I still dreamed of more time at home, or at least not at work. I also remarried somewhere in there. In the beginning, each job I took was part time. I honestly do not think a nurse knows how to work part time. Once again, I found myself working long hours without a lot of family time. I loved each job, most of the time, and found that there was always opportunity for advancement, more responsibility, and less time at home.
"I was excited about being a grandmother, but was not ready for the rocking chair and knitting quite yet."
Fast forward to 2013. My "little girl" was married, with a baby on the way. My husband and I were comfortable, and I considered not working or working with him at his business, which by the way, he did not think was a good idea. He is a very smart man. What would I do if I were not a nurse? I was excited about being a grandmother, but was not ready for the rocking chair and knitting quite yet.
I came across an ad for a Legal Nurse Consultant while surfing the "net". What is that? I did some research and discovered it was something I might be interested in trying. I researched the different avenues that lead to becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant. There were many options, including one that had no training at all. I definitely knew I wanted to take some courses, but which ones?
"I made a call to LNC STAT...I started with the online classes."
I made a call to LNC Stat. There was no hard sell. In fact, I wanted to buy the entire package, and was encouraged to start with the middle package, with the option to buy the additional package if I felt I still wanted too. I said I would think about it. To be thorough, I made a call to another certification organization and was bombarded with a sales pitch that turned me off from the start. In fact, I still get emails and mailings from them and a call at least once a month, no matter how many times I tell them I went with LNC Stat.
"Their excitement for my business is amazing and always uplifting."
I started with the online classes. Every time I called RN MARKET's office, the staff knew me by name. They checked on me often, would talk me off the ledge when I would panic, and generally gave me unconditional support. To this day, I love to keep in touch. Their excitement for my business is amazing and always uplifting.
"I secured my first two cases within a month after completing the course!"
I finished the first of the courses and I began the marketing strategies I learned. I secured my first two cases within a month after completing the course! I will always remember the date because it is my daughter's birthday. I knew then I could make this work. That is good luck, right?
"...many LNCs from other courses were having a hard time getting clients"
I spent a lot of time on online forums and joined various organizations in the beginning. I was finding that many LNCs from other courses were having a hard time getting clients. Many had finished their course months to years ago without a case. Apparently, that hard sell from Company X did not include a marketing package, with your very own personalized website, logo, and the resources LNC Stat offered.
I believe marketing is hard for nurses, because with a license and a pulse you can usually land a job somewhere as a nurse. This was very new territory. Having to sell my business and myself was tough. That was definitely my biggest challenge. Now, it is one of my favorite things about my day. I spend an hour every day either making new contacts or following up with prior contacts. Once a month, I take three clients out: one to coffee, one to lunch, and one to happy hour. I love the 3rd Tuesday of the month!
I decided to take the remainder of the LNC Stat courses and become an Expert of Medical Legal Specialties (EMLS). I have always been interested in forensics.
I went to Florida and finally met Veronica in person. What a dynamo! If she cannot motivate you, you might be dead.
"Many attorneys seek me out now."
Many attorneys seek me out now. I always ask how they found me. Many times, it is word of mouth. More often, it is because I am an "Expert of Medical Legal Specialties". That really resonates with everyone I meet "in the business". My business started booming when I was able to add those credentials to my name and the knowledge to my work product. It also opened many other facets of the legal nurse industry.
"In about 15 months, I have handled 31 cases... currently have 22 active..."
In about 15 months, I have handled 31 cases; I currently have 22 active cases, five on the back burner, and three potential cases. I still work with the same attorney that gave me my first case, as well as many others. I have four LNCs that subcontract for me on a regular basis, as I want to keep my schedule flexible. Last month was my largest billing month ever. I love the independence. My husband and I travel a lot. I can work from anywhere. I keep my grandson two days a week while my daughter works as a nurse. I can see my granddaughter, when she has time for me; I believe boys have replaced me for the time being. My mom is getting older and I cherish the extra time I am able to spend with her.
I have since taken a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners course. Education should always be continuous. I am currently working on my clinical. Once completed, I will take call about once a week. I want to have a small part of my life that continues to involve patient care. Since Legal Nurse Consulting is considered a Registered Nurse specialty, I am able to keep them both on active status.
"I am exactly where I want to be right now."
I am exactly where I want to be right now. I hope to grow over the next few years, but right now, I am enjoying every new experience. I have a home office and use four very large computer monitors in order to do my cases. They take up an entire large wall. When you walk into my office, I have been told that it is like walking into a sports bar. Being an EMLS is never boring and always a challenge.