How To Become a Clinical Consultant in 7 Steps

Education qualifications to become a clinical consultant vary by state, so research the requirements in the state you wish to work. Many positions require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in management, health care, or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates who are Registered Nurses and have several years of experience in the field. You may also consider earning a Certified Management Consultant certification from the Institute of Management Consultants USA to increase your job opportunities. The best candidates for this position will have strong management skills and the be able to work independently.

How to become a clinical consultant
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. …
  2. Earn a state license. …
  3. Seek an entry-level nursing position. …
  4. Earn a master’s degree in nursing. …
  5. Get Six Sigma certified. …
  6. Build your professional network. …
  7. Determine which consultancy path you want to take.

What Degree or Certification Do I Need To Become A Healthcare Consultant

What does a clinical consultant do?

Clinical consultants can work in a variety of medical facilities, and their duties depend on what the facility needs. Common responsibilities for a clinical consultant include:

What is a clinical consultant?

A clinical consultant is a medical professional who provides guidance to a medical facility and its staff to make constructive operational changes. Though consulting isnt typically a patient-facing role, consultants often have many years of experience in healthcare that allow them to make informed assessments and suggestions. A clinical consultant may work for a consulting company or directly for a medical facility, or they can operate independently.

Clinical consultant skills

Succeeding as a clinical consultant requires a diverse set of technical and interpersonal skills. If youre interested in a career as a clinical consultant, here are some essential skills to develop:

Active listening

A clinical consultant often spends significant portions of their work week meeting with medical staff and discussing their work. Active listening skills allow you to remain focused so you can identify and retain the most important information. This is beneficial during the conversation, where it allows you to ask valuable follow-up questions, and after the conversation because it improves your ability to remember the key points discussed.

Analytical thinking

As a clinical consultant, excelling at analysis allows you to more effectively identify areas for improvement. Beyond that, you can note potential fixes to produce stronger results in those areas. Being able to analyze through both data assessment and firsthand observation can broaden your abilities as a clinical consultant.


The ability to communicate clearly is a crucial skill for a clinical consultant. Much like having strong active listening skills, its vital to communicate in a manner where others understand you. This includes having effective written and in-person communication skills. Being able to communicate properly helps you avoid misunderstandings because youre more capable of explaining a problem you identified or a solution you propose.

Critical thinking

The ability to think critically allows a clinical consultant to assess a situation and make logical extrapolations. Its a key skill, whether youre dealing with numerical or anecdotal data. A clinical consultant capable of interpreting and evaluating information is more likely to find the optimal response to a situation.

Financial management

Strong financial skills, such as budgeting and cost-benefit analysis, allow a clinical consultant to provide financially sound advice to a medical facility. Often a facility may ask a clinical consultant to assist with redistributing or streamlining its budget. Being knowledgeable of financial management strategies allows you to identify areas for cost reduction and how to better optimize how the facility allocates its budget to different departments.


Using rational judgment allows a professional to identify the best option when presented with two or more choices. As a clinical consultant, your judgment plays a key role in identifying the best solution to problems. Strong judgment skills can also help you develop conviction in your choices. This is useful when discussing your suggestions to the medical facilitys top decision-makers.

Mathematical ability

Strong math skills benefit a clinical consultant in a variety of tasks. Theyre important when working on financial assessments, as the ability to calculate budget adjustments accurately is critical. Math skills can also help you make accurate calculations based on collected data, which allows you to provide accurate analysis.

Medical knowledge

As a consultant, its important to have both knowledge of medical care procedures and how medical facilities operate. Most clinical consultants have nursing experience, which allows them to apply their firsthand knowledge to make more informed decisions when advising and suggesting changes.


A persuasive personality allows a clinical consultant to more effectively communicate the value of their solutions. Persuasiveness can help them showcase how they can meet a facilitys needs. Persuasion is highly valuable for independent clinical consultants, as they can use it to promote their services to potential clients.

Problem solving

Solving problems for a facility is a primary element of many of a clinical consultants most common duties, so problem-solving is a highly beneficial skill. It allows a consultant to examine and solve operational issues. These skills can also help with making time-sensitive decisions and finding the best solution to complex situations.

How to become a clinical consultant

Working as a clinical consultant can be a rewarding job because it allows you to improve the care available to patients and positively impact their lives. If youre interested in becoming a clinical consultant, these are the steps you will complete as you progress toward your goal:

1. Earn a bachelors degree in nursing

Before you can become a clinical consultant, you must first earn a relevant undergraduate degree. Most consultants study nursing. During a nursing program, students learn about t hings like anatomy, pharmacology and other aspects of patient care through both classroom and practical learning. They also study general education, like science and mathematics, which can benefit a career in clinical consultancy.

2. Earn a state license

To practice medicine, you need to be licensed by your state of employment. A license shows that you have the training to perform your job successfully. This provides a measure of safety for patients and medical facilities by ensuring that all practicing medical professionals meet a minimum standard for competence.

3. Seek an entry-level nursing position

Although not formally required, working in healthcare allows you to be a more effective consultant. By gaining firsthand experience, you can make better, more effective decisions when working as a consultant. Most employers look for clinical consultants with industry experience.

When applying to an open position, make sure your resume matches the job listing. Calling attention to the skills and past responsibilities that make you an ideal candidate can help you make a powerful impression on the hiring professional assessing your resume.

4. Earn a masters degree in nursing

Because a clinical consultant is a senior position at medical facilities that have them, its common for employers to request that candidates possess an advanced degree. The most common advanced degree for a clinical consultant is a masters degree in nursing. Earning your masters usually takes an additional two years of schooling. During your degree program, you take part in advanced study of nursing practices, providing the skills you need to pursue a senior nursing position.

Because having employees with masters degrees in nursing adds value to a medical facility, some may offer to supplement or fully cover the costs of your continued education after you have worked at the facility for a set period.

5. Get Six Sigma certified

Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to business assessment and consulting. Six Sigma programs teach skills that improve students analytical and decision-making abilities, which can apply to various professional fields. As a clinical consultant, earning a Six Sigma certification is optional but can help to distinguish you as a professional.

6. Build your professional network

Growing a professional network in the healthcare industry can be beneficial when seeking work as a clinical consultant. Building a strong network is especially important when working as an independent consulting contractor since you may not rely on an employer to find opportunities for you. Making connections provides you with references, and associates may alert you to an opportunity they identified. There are many excellent ways to grow your professional network, including publishing papers and attending medical conferences.

7. Determine which consultancy path you want to take

When working as a clinical consultant, there are two approaches to pursuing your career: working for a consulting company or being an independent contractor. Working for an employer is a path for consultants who desire career stability. Consultants who work for a firm often receive a salary, which keeps your income steady. Because the firm finds clients, it also ensures consultants have plenty of work.

Working as an independent consulting contractor provides an alternative for professionals who prefer being in charge of their own schedules. As an independent clinical consultant, you may respond to facilities that are actively seeking help or directly contacting facilities to offer your services. When contracting independently, you can increase your income because you receive payment directly from the facility. However, because youre managing your own job acquisition, you may experience time off between jobs.


How do I get started in healthcare consulting?

What Is a Clinical Consultant? Clinical consultants analyze the processes of their health care facilities to determine proper use of resources and to streamline general practices. They also assist sales staff with new software demonstrations, participate in focus groups, and design teams.

How do I become a qualified consultant?

How to Get Into Healthcare Consulting
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. …
  2. Obtain a master’s degree (if you choose). …
  3. Determine which type of healthcare consultant you want to become. …
  4. Gain experience in the field and grow your network. …
  5. Consistently fine-tune your skills and stay up to speed with industry developments.

Are consultant doctors?

How to become a consultant
  1. Complete a degree relevant to your chosen field of work. …
  2. Gain practical experience through schemes or employment. …
  3. Become a certified consultant within your industry. …
  4. Build your network and begin offering consulting services. …
  5. Continue to grow as a consultant and expand your clientele.

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