The Medical-Legal News has been asking questions about the www.nalnc.org web site and its corresponding legal nurse consulting certification, offered by the National Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. The inquiries have yielded few answers, and raised many questions.
The www.nalnc.org web site was off the internet for a while in mid-August. The site went down on or about Aug. 12 and reappeared on about Aug. 16.
The NALNC and its site have been something of a puzzler in the legal nurse consulting (LNC) industry for years. Debate on a popular LNC listserve about what NALNC is, and who is behind it, is lengthy.
The M-L News sent questions to NALNC via the “contact” link on the site, but received no reply.
The M-L News contacted several nurses listed as NALNC members. Almost none contacted had given consent for his or her “membership” status.
An LNC in Pennsylvania said, “I am in this directory, but I never actually joined this organization, never paid any dues or have any sort of membership card or number. I can’t even get into the membership section though it lists me as a member in the directory.”
On Aug. 10 the NALNC sent out a marketing e-mail that said, “The NALNC Certification Course is the most comprehensive and affordable online certification course available today. Your NALNC membership offers excellent benefits and national exposure offered only to NALNC Members. Visit our website for more details.”
Membership prices ranged from $450 to $1,250 per year.
A nurse consultant in Iowa took the NALNC certification course and felt the material was very instructive. She said, “The course material was better than [another LNC course’s] material and I learned a lot more! Weird, wonder why this [site] is in question….”
Course material content from the NALNC begs questions, though. Much of it appears copied from government and private sources. For example, Section 1 Chapter 1 of the course appears to be copied fromwww.quickmba.com/law/sys. Another section is from Wikipedia.
Most LNC comments ran along the lines of the one offered by an LNC in Ohio, who said, “Yes, I fell for that hoax — hook, line and sinker. I learned too late that it was bogus. They took my money and ran.”
Another LNC in southern California said, “There are about 14 names [on the site] from the San Diego Chapter [of AALNC] that are listed without permission. My name is listed and my credentials are wrong. Needless to say I did not give permission to use my name.”
A Riverside, Calif., LNC recently filed a complaint with the FTC over the name-listing issue.
In documented e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org, several attempts were made over the years to determine who was on the board of directors, and who was the American Board of Licensed Nurse Consultants, the organization named as NALNC’s “sanctioning” body. No ABLNC has been found to exist, and as of Aug. 17, NALNC was seeking to fill openings for all five of its board member positions.
Other web sites believed, via LNC listserve comments and internet research, to be related to nalnc.org, and which were also down at the same time as nalnc.org, are:www.lncmarket.com, www.lncnetwork.com,www.lncmessageboard.com, www.lncnet.com,www.lncdirectory.com and www.lncresources.com.
A former staffer at LNCResource.com [no S] said that the company was once considering taking legal action against the owner of LNCResources.com [with an S] for defamation and trademark infringement. The staffer confirmed that the owner of LNCResources.com was the same person who owned NALNC’s site, and said that the person had a criminal record.
The NALNC site has a job postings page, and 66 jobs were listed on Aug. 17. Of the 65 jobs that had a posting date, 42 were from 2006. An interviewed recruiter said that his LNC jobs are filled quickly. Of the 23 postings from 2007, none was newer than April 6. Some of the postings allow an applicant to apply on the web site by clicking on an “apply here” link. Seven of these links were tested and all said the job had “expired” or “filled.”
On Aug. 17, a woman with the credentials “RN, MSN, CLNC” and representing herself as being “new here” with the NALNC posted replies to listserve questions. The woman was contacted and had no idea her name was being used without her permission. Though she was an MSN, she had never been through the Vikie Milazzo Institute of Texas to have the CLNC® credentials behind her name.
Editor’s note: Sources have been reported anonymously to protect them from possible “squatting” retaliation.