Healthcare law & nursing

  1. 1
    Hello,
    I'm not sure which way I should go - maybe someone could help me.
    I'm an RN w/ a Masters in Healthcare Admin & I want to specialize in corporate compliance - HIPAA, EMTALA all that stuff.

    I dont know if I shout take a Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate, Paralegal Certificate, Masters in Paralegal studies, or take the big expensive plunge & go to Law School?

    Anyone have any advice? I'd love to hear from you!

    Thanks
    lindarn likes this.

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  2. 8 Comments...

  3. 2
    Quote from riekee
    questions about healthcare law
    permalink
    hello,
    i'm not sure which way i should go - maybe someone could help me.
    i'm an rn w/ a masters in healthcare admin & i want to specialize in corporate compliance - hipaa, emtala all that stuff.

    i dont know if i shout take a legal nurse consulting course (i dont want to start my own business), paralegal certificate, masters in paralegal studies, or take the big expensive plunge & go to law school?

    anyone have any advice? i'd love to hear from you!

    thanks
    if you already have a masters degree, i would go to law school. take the plunge. paralegal studies is a dead end degree. so is a paralegal certificate.

    linda g.
    spokane, washington
    riekee and RN1989 like this.
  4. 0
    Exactly what duties are you wanting to perform? I don't see that you would need a law degree to do anything with corporate compliance, etc. unless you were going to be prosecuting violators.

    Most hospitals have a designated corporate compliance officer and much of that, including EMTALA is done by risk management - and most risk managers I know are nurses.

    If you wanted to be a consultant to facilities to help them develop corporate compliance/EMTALA/HIPAA programs, all you need to do is know how all that works and demonstrate your abilities.

    I say decide what duties you are interested in performing and see if another degree is really needed. No need to waste time and money on law school if you don't have to.
  5. 1
    Thanks, Linda

    After a long conversation with my family last night - I think Law school is the way to go - they agree with me. I want to litigate for healthcare law - I might as well get the JD before my kids go to college!

    Marie
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 1
    Hi there,
    Your enthusiasm is great; however, the road to attaining a JD is long and riddled with family and personal sacrifice. In May of this year, I graduated from law school and sat for the bar a few days ago. If I did not pass, I am now over $100,000 in debt (student loans) and absolutely without hopes of joining a law firm. Believe me when I tell you that it is nothing like nursing school or boards. Think carefully about this choice. Law firms are not enthusiastic about JD RN's unless they carry a high gpa. Carrying a high gpa in law school is no easy task because you among the best of the best. If you have question about what you are getting into, I am happy to share what I know.
    Good Luck to you - Micah
    lindarn likes this.
  7. 2
    I think it is great that you want to go to law school. Yes, it is challenging, but anything worth doing is challenging. As for expenses, I recommend checking out public law schools first. Compare by their bar passage rates for one factor, cost, location, etc. But the bar pass rate is very telling. Study hard for the LSAT before taking it. I didn't take a formal LSAT prep course because I was in the Army deployed in Haiti while I was getting ready, so I used a prep book and did just fine. And when you get to law school, just keep on studying because it is a LOT of material. Take the classes that are tested on the bar so you don't have to cram for the bar-that is no fun! Best of luck and let me know if you need any more information.
    anggelRN and lindarn like this.
  8. 1
    I just wanted to offer an additional piece of advice - don't go to law school unless you can get into a top 25 school. We're talking 164+ on the LSAT. I made the mistake of taking the LSAT on a "dry run" and scored a 157, and I went to the only school I applied to. It happened to be a third tier law school (there are 4 tiers for law schools). I spent over $200K when all was said in done (tuition 43K per year, and NYC rent for three years, plus other living costs, books, supplies, etc.). In the end, I cannot find a job to save my life! I recently interviewed to be a sales associate at a local shoe store....and frankly, I don't have a single friend from law school who has a job either. The only saving grace for attending a lower ranked law school is if you finish in the top 5-10%. Everyone thinks that all attorneys are rich, but that is absolutely not the case. There are thousands of poor solo practitioners out there. Others work like dogs in law firm basements doing crap document review. Since I dislike either of those options, I'm now looking into yet more schooling! Still, I'd have to say I'm in good spirits, because I found myself bored with legal studies....so this is just a good chance for me to start over. I'm interested in either becoming a teacher or a nurse.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 1
    I agree.The ranking and reputation of the law school you attend is key. There is a saying that the ranking of your law school gets you your first job-after that it is up to you. I think this is true. Many law schools combine your LSAT score with your overall GPA for an overall score. So if you do well in your BSN and your LSAT it will be easier for you to get admitted to a "good" law school. But make no mistake-not all people with a law degree are rich. Like nursing, if you are going into law solely to make money, do something else. Good luck!
    lindarn likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from TXJDRN
    I agree.The ranking and reputation of the law school you attend is key. There is a saying that the ranking of your law school gets you your first job-after that it is up to you. I think this is true. Many law schools combine your LSAT score with your overall GPA for an overall score. So if you do well in your BSN and your LSAT it will be easier for you to get admitted to a "good" law school. But make no mistake-not all people with a law degree are rich. Like nursing, if you are going into law solely to make money, do something else. Good luck!

    That's a very true quote! I wish I had heard it sooner. I should have mentioned in my original post that I majored in biology in college. I wanted to practice health law or possibly do advocacy work. I think the reason I was ultimately dissatisfied with the legal atmosphere was because I didn't genuinely feel like I could make a difference. With teaching or nursing I'd be directly working with my students or patients. That's the big difference :-)
    lindarn likes this.


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