If your Nikon body support TTL flash metering, you're in with ease. Just get a cord to move the flash off of the body (make sure it's a cord that carries all of the signals...the Nikon cords are by far the best for this) and use the flash to illuminate your subject. No need for exposure compensation...just set up the light where you want it, set up any reflectors you want, focus, and shoot.
My FE2 can actually be used for 1:1 macro work hand-held with the flash off-camera. (I have an old Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 lens that doesn't need an extension tube to reach 1:1 as well as a Nikkor 105mm f/4 macro that goes to 1:2 without a tube.) I just get the flash where I want it (with a bracket or a willing friend), focus the lens all of the way "in", and slowly move towards my subject until I find the focus point. With good reactions you can fire off the camera at this point and the short duration of the flash will give you deadly sharp pictures.
Now, if your body doesn't do TTL flash metering, you have some math ahead of you.