$100-$150 per hour...too good to be true? - page 2
comments, information, personal experiences...anyone?... Read More
Jul 22, '08Quote from BinkieRNAgain, not true.I think the only one's making $100 - $150 an hour are the one's selling the online course. JIMHO
It's not the norm (the upper level of this amount), but many of us command and receive, fees that are inline with those ranges.
Jul 22, '08If you take a look at some attorneys fee schedules, you will find that they even bill out their paralegals, legal assistants, and law student interns in the $50-100 range. I don't know about you guys, but I have many years and a lot of money invested in becoming a competent, educated nurse and I believe my services are worth more than what a law student would make.
Anytime you set your fee schedule, you need to be aware of the going rate for attorneys and their staff in your area if you are planning on getting business locally.
If you want work as an LNC, you will find work. And if you do quality work, you will get the fees you desire. But it takes a lot more dedication and sweat than most people are willing to put out.
Jul 22, '08An LNC who is a testifying expert can only testify within her area of expertise. So, testifying to the facts as to nursing practice standards and deviations would be appropriate.
So when you say an LNC who is a testifying expert only testifies against nurses, this is actually as it should be. He or she would most likely be qualified to testify to nursing issues.Last edit by KLKRN on Jul 22, '08
Jul 24, '08I have to disagree sort of with a couple of people. I get $100.00 and hour to review medical records so the salary is not unrealistic for someone just starting out. Additionally while a course is not required it is strongly recomended. Most nurses understand nursing practice, but may not have a grasp of legal principles as they apply to malpractice. There are courses out there that you do not have to pay an arm and a leg for. The courses provide you with a foundation of the law and how to market yourself as an LNC. I think many will find the courses very useful.
Sep 4, '08I think $100-150 is reasonable if, as sirI says, you apply yourself, work hard, understand the medical malpractice law in your jurisdiction, and can produce a quality work product. If you can learn the elements of negligence (especially the concept of causation) and the other aspects of health law claims without a formal course, then you have saved yourself a lot of money. What attorneys want is a succinct summary that gives them the relevant details of the case without all the fluff. Do they have a case? Are their client's actions defensible? But to get there, you need to understand a lot about the medicine and a lot about the law. Regarding expert witnessing, I totally agree that you are more credible if you have testified for both sides. Otherwise, you look like a hired gun for one side or the other.
Sep 4, '08Quote from ONC-RNThere is no reason to pay big $$$$ to learn what you already know- how to read medical charts with a critical eye and find mistakes, and know how a disease process is managed. Most of these courses are more hype and selling marketing materials than anything else. For example, if you have never worked in OB, no amount of overpriced materials that you buy from the "Amway of Legal Nurse Consulting", will buy you credibility with an attorney if you cannot decipher the stips from the fetal monitor. Same with cardiac and ICU cases. If you have never worked in ICU you have no business reviewing records for an ICU case just because you spent alot of money on the "Cardiac Cases Chart Review" from one of these programs. $$$ paid out does not buy you credibility with attorneys. JMHO and my NY$0.02.Hogan4736, that's exactly what I've heard and my husband is health insurance broker and lawyer so he knows. No expensive courses required, just experience and the ability to critical think and be articulate.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Sep 4, '08I agree with Lindarn. If you have the ability to read a chart (or series of charts) and figure out where there may be breaches of the standard of care, then you could probably do without formal LNC training. I myself never had formal LNC training but I knew what the issues were and I could extract the information from the chart, explain it, and timeline it out to show the attorney what should have happened when, and the result of it not happening. In my role as a med-mal attorney, I use several nurse experts, but I don't believe that any of them have formal LNC training. All that is required in Texas is that you are actively practicing in the field that you are giving an opinion about, or were at the time the lawsuit arose. If I get a report from opposing counsel's nurse and (s)he has been in academia for 20 years and not at the bedside at all, I'm going to ask the court to strike that expert as unqualified.
Sep 5, '08Quote from rnpractOne can take paralegal classes at a local community college for a very reasonable cost. You can get to know the paralegals who work in law offices and make connections there.I have to disagree sort of with a couple of people. I get $100.00 and hour to review medical records so the salary is not unrealistic for someone just starting out. Additionally while a course is not required it is strongly recomended. Most nurses understand nursing practice, but may not have a grasp of legal principles as they apply to malpractice. There are courses out there that you do not have to pay an arm and a leg for. The courses provide you with a foundation of the law and how to market yourself as an LNC. I think many will find the courses very useful.
I went this route, and took:
Torts, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Insurance Law, Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Computers and E commerce, Evidence, Law of Business Organizations, Employment Law, Trial Prep I, II and III, Introduction to Law, and several others that I can't remember off the top of my head.
They helped me understand the legal process, and lingo, and I know where the attorneys are coming from. Tests are structured like they are in law school. You are given a scenario, and you have to apply the law based on this information. We had to do legal research, and quote case law and statutes that supported your answers. Again, these classes can be had for a fraction of the cost of the overpriced classes being offered. I enjoyed these classes and highly recommend them to anyone.
I attended Spokane Community College in the Paralegal/Legal Nurse Program. You can look them up on the Internet and check out the program yourself.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Sep 5, '08I went through the Vickie Milazzo Instutute and received large amounts of useful information. The $100-$150 is realistic and appropriate. As RN1989 stated:
[QUOTE]If you take a look at some attorneys fee schedules, you will find that they even bill out their paralegals, legal assistants, and law student interns in the $50-100 range. [/QUOTE]
Why should you get paid at your hospital RN rate when you are in a specialized field of nursing?
Why do we, as nurses, always downgrade our expertise and professionalism? It makes me angry.
If you are a consulting expert, you can charge $100-$150 per hour. If you are a testifying expert, you can charge $150-$250 per hour. There is a difference with that.
As far as the paralegal thing goes, if you take LNC courses and get certified, you do not need to get paralegal cert. Even if you are not LNC cert., you still don't need a paralegal cert.
Here's why: you are a nurse - you have the expertise and the professionalism as a nurse. If you get certification to be a paralegal, that's all any lawyer is going to expect from you - not your nursing expertise. A lawyer will hire you as a paralegal and pay you as a paralegal when you should be getting paid $100-$150 per hour.
Please, I hope I have not offended anyone, and if I have, I greatly apologize. But please, please, please, please, treat yourself like a professional that you are or no one else will.
Sep 6, '08I agree wholeheartedly with lecavalier4. The expertise of a paralegal is in the legal arena. The expertise of a legal nurse consultant is nursing. The paralegal can assist the attorney with the legal process - that's what they are trained to do. But only a nurse with a solid background in nursing can do what a legal nurse consultant can do - which is use their professional judgment and expertise in reviewing medical records and the situation involved, then rendering an informed, educated opinion about the medical and nursing issues in the case. We render an expert opinion regarding the medical care or other medical issues involved.
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