Nurse consulting sounds like an excellent option for nurses looking for something different, but few nurses understand what a consultant really does.
What Does a Nurse Consultant Do?
You love nursing. Or you did, once upon a time. Between the past two years, budget cuts, and the never-ending demands made of nurses in facility settings, you are burned out.
Sound familiar? We’re guessing you’re nodding your head right about now.
Does the idea of leaving nursing altogether give you a pit in your stomach? We get that, too. You’ve studied, you’ve qualified, and you’ve worked hard to gain the knowledge and experience that you have now. Enter, nurse consulting.
Nurse consulting lets you stay connected to a field that you love while giving you more control over your career than you have ever had before.
A nursing consultant is a nurse who uses their own expertise to identify problems in a healthcare setting and provide solutions for long-term success. As for where a nurse consultant works? That’s up to them!
One of the best parts of being a nurse consultant is that when and where they work is at their discretion. Want to travel? Do it! Need to be remote, no problem. You create your business model and communicate it to your clients.
While all nurse consultants provide targeted solutions for expensive problems by partnering and providing support and guidance to organizations and their leadership, this varies greatly based on their own personal experience and passions.
Here is a very high-level snapshot of a few of the major focus areas of nurse consultants. This is not a comprehensive overview. Nurses can actually create a consulting role for any aspect of support and specialization they can offer an organization! The more specific the area, the better.
Clinical Consultants work in partnership in varying healthcare settings to create and implement standards of practice including educational topics, orientation content, infection control, wound care, clinical informatics, and other clinical concepts.
With a focus on care delivery systems and patient outcomes, a clinical nurse consultant may choose to specialize in a specific area of practice like pediatrics, oncology, or cardiology or provide organization-wide support for hospital systems or community-based health. This could include measuring industry quality standards against the organization's outcomes and implementing a plan for improvement.
Regulatory and Compliance Consultants ensure organizations avoid costly penalties or even being closed due to non-compliance with guidelines from governing and regulatory bodies. Compliance can include corporate compliance like HIPPA, fraud and waste, and compliant Medicare and Medicaid billing practices.
Regulatory compliance includes survey readiness preparation and survey recovery when facilities fail to meet required guidelines and incur costly penalties that risk their licensure and reimbursement. Regulatory consultants often perform mock surveys, audits, and education and training to improve compliance and survey outcomes.
Operations or Financial Consultants focus on assessing and analyzing all operational components, working closely alongside senior leaders as well as preparing organizations for mergers and acquisitions.
Operations nurse consultants support the streamlining of processes in all areas of the organization’s financial, administrative, or human resources departments including staffing and organizational stability.
Operations are often centered around utilization and stewardship of resources and can make or break the success of an organization.
Business Development, Sales & Marketing Consultants can help with public relations, customer service, reputation, growth, and creating campaigns for marketing and sales, helping them prepare for successful scaling and executing their goals for improving volume.
Legal Nurse Consultants are the liaison between healthcare staff and lawyers when a patient’s care or injuries are called into question. Legal nurse consulting is a recently popular area of nurse consulting with that has created more competition for this role, a legal nurse consultant gauges and evaluates the presented facts as they relate to nursing and health-related care.
You better believe it!
In fact, Chron estimates that the demand for nurse consultants is expected to grow by a whopping 36% over the next decade.
Due to the shortage of nurses (which grows by the day), the continual drive to find solutions to lower healthcare costs, and the varying environments in which a nurse consultant can work, the demand for qualified nurse consultants will continue to increase.
We thought you’d never ask!
Hart Healthcare Consultants is excited to offer tools and training to have you ready to launch as a consultant in as little as six weeks. Because we believe in comprehensive education, we provide a community for support and collaboration, in addition to coaching calls and self-guided modules.
Check out our group for nurse entrepreneurs to learn more about nursing consulting, what it might look like for you, and changing the trajectory of your career. Don’t miss the free start-up resources in the guides section. You can hop in here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nursesmakingwaves/