Combining the Doctor of Jurisprudence - the Legal Nurse Consultant

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    The RN who is interested in becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant may decide to become a Nurse Attorney, a JD. Also, a JD may have dual interests in medicine (nursing) and the Law. Both of these career paths can be combined. These are all-important career choices and people ask almost everyday, "Is there a Lawyer who specializes in Nursing"? The answer is yes. Many individuals find themselves in situations where their nursing license is on the line and require someone who specializes in the Law and Nursing. The Attorney (JD) who has dual specialties as an RN is the answer. The problem is they are hard to find. This Article will discuss what the role of the Nurse Attorney is and how it coincides with being and RN (LNC). Some have asked about this very important role and how the client can seek out, secure, and benefit from an Attorney who is also an RN.

    Combining the Doctor of Jurisprudence - the Legal Nurse Consultant

    Those who have a doctorate (JD) and passed the Bar, I suggest you enter an RN program immediately. No need to start at ADN and can by-pass the BSN. Go straight from MSN to RN and should be completed in approximately 18 months.

    You will need to seriously decide what type of Nurse Attorney you want to be. People are crying out for help from Attorneys who are also RNs to help them in litigious situations. The LPN and the RN are lacking in any type of advocacy even from their own BON.

    Nurse Attorneys have earned both their nursing and law degrees, and can represent medical professionals in court.

    Nurse Attorneys who choose to represent in the courtroom can:
    • Assist doctors or nurses involved in malpractice suits
    • Consult with insurance companies about legal disputes
    • Advocate as lobbyists for the numerous nursing associations

    The Nurse Attorney
    • Represents all healthcare professionals in court especially nurses. There is a high demand for this type of Nurse Attorney
    • Analyze personal injury
    • Serve as expert witness in medical legal cases

    The Nurse Attorney must be:
    • Structured
    • Serve as a strong patient advocate
    • Possess strong managerial qualities
    • Most of all, be very independent

    The Nurse Attorney must be proficient in several areas of nursing including OB-GYN, the Newborn, Pediatrics, Adolescents, ICU, CCU, Trauma, geritrics as well as a host of other areas. The client(s) depend upon the Nurses expertise in a multitude of areas of nursing. The experience necessary need not be lengthy. Just remember the clients' lives, livelihood, and their future as a nurse depend upon the expertise of the Attorney who is proficient as a nurse.

    Nursing before becoming an Attorney

    Many Nurses decide after several years of bedside nursing and/or specialty nursing that they have much more to offer. Many see their fellow colleagues being wrongfully accused of something. Then, they realize the accused Nurse is ostracized and found guilty without a fair hearing. Nurses who are innocent and or wrongfully accused, even those who are at fault have no one who will serve as their advocate. I've personally seen this happen; lives ruined, marriages dissolved, even suicide. Something about this hurts me deeply and I have tried to help as much as possible to enable the "victim" (guilty w/o fair trial) enter into programs that are unsuitable for what they truly need. Many take my advice and seek out an Attorney to help them, but the type of Attorney they secure are not Nurse Attorneys who understand exactly what they need in order to help the Nurse.

    This prompts the experienced nurse to seek out going to Law School and despite years of study, they find they have made the right choice ... advocating for the Nurse.

    It really does not matter what comes first, Law School or Nursing. I do have to say in my opinion, nursing school should be the first step. Get the necessary experience in as many areas of nursing as possible and if the "love of the Law" is still there deep inside you, continue your education and secure a JD. I do not think you will be disappointed in your decision.

    Salaries

    As a dual specialty defense Nurse Attorney/Legal Nurse Consultant, salaries can be extremely profitable and gainfully employed.

    Another Article I've written, The Legal Nurse Consultant, overlaps the Forensic Nurse Specialty career. You might find this interesting as you consider a dual career in both areas of nursing. The title of my blog is Medical-Legal Argot.
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 28, '16
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    About sirI, MSN, APRN, NP Admin

    About sirI sirI is an APRN with many years experience as OB-GYN NP - BC, (Emeritus), FNP - BC, and Legal Nurse Consulting. Her specialty areas include OB-GYN, trauma, education, and medical-legal education. She conducts seminars for nursing students, nurses, Residents, and other healthcare providers educating them on how to avoid litigation, assisting them with depositions, and conducting "Mock Trials" where the students are the players in the court proceedings. sirI is a Senior Administrator for allnurses.com. sirI has been a member since Jun '05 - from 'allnurses.com'. sirI has 'many' year(s) of nursing experience and specializes in 'APRN, LNC, Forensics, OB, ED, Education'. Posts: 84,669 Likes: 20,935

    sirI has 'many' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB'. From 'USA'; Joined Jun '05; Posts: 105,708; Likes: 27,458.

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    4 Comments

  3. by   maxvoca
    Thank you very much for this post, full of excellent suggestions I had not even considered. Pardon my ignorance, but I am confused by this paragraph:

    Those who have a doctorate (JD) and passed the Bar, I suggest you enter an RN program immediately. No need to start at ADN and can by-pass the BSN. Go straight from MSN to RN and should be completed in approximately 18 months.

    Specifically, which program would you suggest a person already holding an JD and Bar certification enter? Not an accelerated BSN? Or one of the accelerated BSN/MSN programs?

    Also, while experience in a particular area 'need not be lengthy', how long would you roughly suggest it be? Not that if I obtained my RN I think I'd be in a rush to get my foot back in the legal arena (a tad burnt out/disinterested in law at this point), but I was just curious as I try to gather as much knowledge as possible.

    Thank you very much for the information!
  4. by   sirI
    I might not have been quite clear enough on what I said here.




    5:42 pm by maxvoca

    Thank you very much for this post, full of excellent suggestions I had not even considered. Pardon my ignorance, but I am confused by this paragraph:

    Those who have a doctorate (JD) and passed the Bar, I suggest you enter an RN program immediately. No need to start at ADN and can by-pass the BSN. Go straight from MSN to RN and should be completed in approximately 18 months.

    Specifically, which program would you suggest a person already holding an JD and Bar certification enter? Not an accelerated BSN? Or one of the accelerated BSN/MSN programs?

    I would choose an MSN to RN program. Much shorter and you have pretty much all done except the nursing courses. BSN to RN would be longer with courses that you really do not need. In fact, I would look into a DNP program since you already have a doctorate. A lot will be online except your clinical portions of the program and you might need to spend some time on site depending on which program you choose.

    Also, while experience in a particular area 'need not be lengthy', how long would you roughly suggest it be? Not that if I obtained my RN I think I'd be in a rush to get my foot back in the legal arena (a tad burnt out/disinterested in law at this point), but I was just curious as I try to gather as much knowledge as possible.

    Thank you very much for the information!

    It really depends on the specialty area. ICU/CCU and or ED, you would want to spend several months to a couple years. Especially since you are not eager to return working as an Attorney, you can utilize that time gaining experience in several areas of nursing. In the beginning of your work as JD/LNC, your main focus will be applying SOP/NPA to the medical record to ensure the nurse adhered to SOC. Your experience as an RN will be more and more valuable as you continue to work in the different areas of nursing.
    Last edit by sirI on Oct 16, '14
  5. by   SarahMaria
    I earned my JD in 2007, but did not take the Bar Exam. So I am not an attorney. I received my RN in 2012. I currently work in forensic psychiatry in a maximum security state hospital. Are there still opportunities for me in legal nursing, even though I did not take the Bar?
  6. by   HonestyAlways
    I am very intrigued by this article. I currently have an MSN with Leadership and Management. I am finding large amounts of information regarding JD obtaining a nursing degree but nothing related to the path from MSN to JD. Does anyone happen to know if there is an accelerated path to obtain the JD or would I have to start at ground zero, so to speak? I am sure that law school would be a huge commitment and would like to make a well-informed decision. I find this discussion board offers so much information from people that have been through similar experiences and I would love to hear from you. Thanks, in advance, for any information you can provide.

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