“I’ve heard the term before, but what does it take to be a nurse consultant?”
Well, I talk quite a bit about entrepreneurship on these shows (of course that is the point of the show), and I’ve often tossed around the concept of consulting as a career path. Being a nurse consultant doesn’t actually have to occur only as an entrepreneur, but it is often a position that is contracted out for many companies.
Let’s define this role a little further, but as always, listen to the podcast where I offer a bit more detail.
The definition of a consultant can be a bit of a nebulous term, but essentially this is an individual who is perceived as “an expert in a particular field who works as an advisor either to a company or to another individual.”
These positions seem to be popping up all over in various fields and there may be no specific formula to become one, however I discuss some of the criteria is takes to set yourself apart as a good nurse consultant with marketable skills.
Whether consulting as an employee at another organization or as a self-employed professional, consulting may either involve working on a team project or working directly with clients 1:1. Some nurse consultants work locally, while others spend quite a bit of time on the road traveling from one location to the next providing consulting services.
Again, as stated on the podcast, this is just a general overview of nurse consulting as I’ll save some of the specific areas of consulting for other shows. So, what’s it take to be a nurse consultant?
- You’re knowledgeable about the topic that allows you the opportunity to be considered an expert in a specific market or sub-specialty
- You’re also a well-connected professional in your industry
- You’ve been building your reputation and personal brand
- You know the right things to say, and how to communicate to individuals and teams
- You can identify problems
- And, you’re able to help assess for and implement a solution
- You’re helping generate success of the business or the individual client
What To Consider Before You Become a Nurse Consultant
- Check your state board’s nurse practice act and determine what certifications and special licensing you might need, if any. In many situations this isn’t the case that you’ll need these additional certifications, however depending on your subspecialty area, there may be some additional certification requirements.
- Of course before you even think about those certification requirements, what are you actually qualified to do consult on based on your previous experience. Make sure you feel well versed in the area that you will be practicing, and regardless of certification, education is ongoing for consultants. Your personal and professional growth potential never ends.
- Being organized is a pretty big deal here because if you’re good at what you do, then your consulting opportunities will grow. You could find yourself consulting with multiple clients/organizations and working on multiple projects at the same time. NOTHING should ever be de-prioritized when working on multiple projects. Time management is Queen (or King) when it comes to being a great consultant.
- Networking is going to be critical to your success as a nurse consultant. If you’re even thinking about becoming a consultant, start building that network of contacts immediately and continue to grow them. These connections will help you tap into needed resources on certain cases you’re working on and will only reaffirm your expert status as a consultant.
- Goal setting is also a major player here not only for your own business, but obviously for those you’re consulting for. You should be able to assess a situation and establish both short term and long term goals. Continue to reassess these goals and make sure they match what your end goals are. If not, then reconsider those goals and make the necessary changes where needed.
So, are you a savvy nurse consultant, or is this an area you’re interested in pursuing?
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