Certified Legal Assistant v. Legal Nurse Consultant

  1. 0
    The legal definition of "competence" includes appropriate training, experience, and the "tools" requisite to accomplish the professional task.
    To that end, licensed nurses who have attended and graduated from ABA accredited paralegal schools and who have successfuly passed paralegal accrediting exams such as the Certified Legal Assistant Exam (a two day exam which includes objective questions and writing both a legal brief and a memorandum of law) have demonstrably significantly more competence than Legal Nurse Consultants whose training consists of informal training and testing which last several days to less than two weeks.
    The wide spread useage of the "Legal Nurse Consultant" certificate and the wide spread useage of nurses within the legal and related professions who have not demonstrated true "competence" as delineated above clearly disserves the public's interest to competent legal representation, advice, and care.
    Given the aforementioned, I believe that it is both ethical and practical, that all paralegals should be licensed, whether nurses or not, such that competent and ethical legal representation, as a nurse paralegal or simply as a paralegal, should be maintained.
    I am a Registered Nurse and a Certified Legal Assistant.
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  4. 13 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Quote from Demonsthenes
    The legal definition of "competence" includes appropriate training, experience, and the "tools" requisite to accomplish the professional task.
    To that end, licensed nurses who have attended and graduated from ABA accredited paralegal schools and who have successfuly passed paralegal accrediting exams such as the Certified Legal Assistant Exam (a two day exam which includes objective questions and writing both a legal brief and a memorandum of law) have demonstrably significantly more competence than Legal Nurse Consultants whose training consists of informal training and testing which last several days to less than two weeks.
    The wide spread useage of the "Legal Nurse Consultant" certificate and the wide spread useage of nurses within the legal and related professions who have not demonstrated true "competence" as delineated above clearly disserves the public's interest to competent legal representation, advice, and care.
    Given the aforementioned, I believe that it is both ethical and practical, that all paralegals should be licensed, whether nurses or not, such that competent and ethical legal representation, as a nurse paralegal or simply as a paralegal, should be maintained.
    I am a Registered Nurse and a Certified Legal Assistant.
    Interesting, Demonsthenes,

    I would like to see your cited sources for the "demonstrably significant competenc(y) (differences)".

    So, do you work in an attorney's office?
  6. 0
    what is informal learning?

    most learning doesn't occur during formal training programs. it happens through processes not structured or sponsored by an employer or a school. informal learning is the term i use to describe what happens the rest of the time. in order to truly differentiate between formal and informal, i also find it valuable to examine what is learned intentionally or accidentally.



    formal learning includes the hierarchically structured school system that runs from primary school through the university and organized school-like programs created in business for technical and professional training.

    informal learning describes a lifelong process whereby individuals acquire attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment, from family and neighbors, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media.

    intentional learning is the process whereby an individual aims to learn something and goes about achieving that objective.

    accidental learning happens when in everyday activities an individual learns something that he or she had not intended or expected.

    i also sometimes refer to one more category: non-formal learning. i define it is any organized educational activity outside the established formal system whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity intended to serve identifiable learning objectives.

    the distinctions between formal, informal, and non-formal were first developed in the 1950s by people working in the area of international development. in my experience and from the work we have done with organizations, there are far more opportunities for informal accidental learning than any other single type of learning.
    http://agelesslearner.com/intros/informal.html
    --------------

    what is certification?


    people often ask, "what is the difference between certification and a certificate?" to assist you in communicating with your colleagues and clients and to help avoid confusion in the marketplace, we have provided you with a detailed comparison. [color=#006666]click here for more information!



    legal nurse consultant certified (lncc) examination: certification

    certified legal nurse consultant http://www.legalnurse.com/cer/cer_01.html


    versus:



    certified legal assistant: professional certification
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 18, '05
  7. 0
    Dem -- What are we really addressing here? Seems like apples to kiwis.

    The functions / roles of paralegals and LNCs are totally different.
  8. 0
    Demonsthenes,
    "Legal Nurse Consultants utilize different skills than paralegals and nurse-paralegals, skills we already possess from our nursing education and experience. We participate in cases where health, illness or injury is at issue. We do not delve into real estate, probate, marital property, real property or other fields of law unrelated to a specific health issue. Nor do we do legal research and writing. A nurse who enters the legal field as a legal nurse consultant is still practicing nursing. We have not changed careers; we've only changed our practice area. We are not legal experts, nor do we 'perform specifically delegated substantive legal work' (which, according to the ABA, is what a paralegal/legal assistant does)." This quote was taken from a LNC that I respect very much. She taught me and thousands of other CLNCs around the country. I'm not an expert on legal matters, I'm an expert on nursing. My "competence" is my 27 years of clinical nursing experience and "to utilize a RN as a paralegal/legal assistant is to pull her away from her CORE strengths". I have what I need to get the job done. I do not need additional training as a paralegal. My role is clear. I am a LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT.

    legalnurse22
  9. 0
    Quote from legalnurse22
    demonsthenes,
    "legal nurse consultants utilize different skills than paralegals and nurse-paralegals, skills we already possess from our nursing education and experience. we participate in cases where health, illness or injury is at issue. we do not delve into real estate, probate, marital property, real property or other fields of law unrelated to a specific health issue. nor do we do legal research and writing. a nurse who enters the legal field as a legal nurse consultant is still practicing nursing. we have not changed careers; we've only changed our practice area. we are not legal experts, nor do we 'perform specifically delegated substantive legal work' (which, according to the aba, is what a paralegal/legal assistant does)." this quote was taken from a lnc that i respect very much. she taught me and thousands of other clncs around the country. i'm not an expert on legal matters, i'm an expert on nursing. my "competence" is my 27 years of clinical nursing experience and "to utilize a rn as a paralegal/legal assistant is to pull her away from her core strengths". i have what i need to get the job done. i do not need additional training as a paralegal. my role is clear. i am a legal nurse consultant.

    legalnurse22
    i could not have said it better myself, legalnurse22. excellent post.

    we as lncs are a compliment to the legal profession. we also know that we do not nor should we ever provide legal advice and/or legal writings for anyone. the paralegal is in no way prepared to offer medical-legal consulting services to anyone. the nurse paralegal is an excellent resource and much like the lnc. but, an rn who has demonstrated strong ability to practice as an lnc is equally important and really the better choice of the two professions, imho.

    finally, the lnc is better prepared to offer services to the attorney-client than the the legal assistant for the latter has no clue of the ins and outs of nursing and/or medicine. not that the assistant is not necessary in the attorney office. they are. they can "assist" the attorney in preparations of the case, do research, file important documents for later retrieval, etc. they have no clue how to assist in the preparation of an expert medical witness for deposition. the legal assistant has no clue how to review the medical record and determine whether the case has merit. the legal assistant has no clue how to conduct in depth research regarding the myriad medical/nursing diagnoses. the legal assistant really has no business offering any type of service as a medical-legal consultant.
  10. 0
    Quote from siri
    ... lnc... really the better choice of the two professions, imho.

    ... lnc is better prepared to offer services to the attorney-client than the the legal assistant for the latter has no clue of the ins and outs of nursing and/or medicine...
    think both roles / functions are valuable. which is the "better" choice as a profession is totally subjective. what's a better profession, medicine or law? culinary arts or engineering? tons of variables involved there.

    but both lncs and paras can be equally prepared to assist attorneys. it's just that each will cover different client needs.

    everyone have a great holiday(s)!
  11. 0
    I am confused. Paralegals and consultants are two totally different paths!! Why compare them? Personally, I would rather be a consultant, but that's just me.
  12. 0
    I know I would rather be a consutant. I know what a legal assistant does all too well. LOL
  13. 0
    I've always been interested in what legal assistants do...since there seem to be a couple of you on here...can you tell me more about being a paralegal (not legal nurse consultant, just paralegal)? How is the demand? Pay? Benefits? If you just have an associates in legal assisting, can you still find a job? Off topic, I know...


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