Several of my colleagues are considering attending a class to become Legal Nurse Consultants. They are under the impression that they can make a very large salary doing part time work screening/reviewing charts for attorneys.
They discussed this class with the doctors on the unit. The doctors stated they know attorneys who are having a hard time making a living/obtaining a job and that the legal market is saturated at all levels.
The doctors did not believe that a decent salary could be made by the nurses after attending a quick class on chart reviewing/summarizing and self marketing. The doctors stated the legal field is very credential oriented and status driven so nurses with quick training are low in the prestige factor that dominates in the legal field.
I heard the nurses discuss this training as a way to leave the hospital and start a new glamorous life. I feel they are wasting their money on a get rich quick scheme.
When I went to several job boards to see what jobs are posted for legal nurse consultants, nurse paralegals, nurse chart reviewers, etc, I did not see much out there. My assumption is that this is a for profit business being marketed to eager but naive nurses who can sign up for a student loan to attend this class. Beside wasting time, this course is very expensive.
I asked our hospital lawyer if he knows anything about Legal Nurse Consulting and he said it is a small niche market for nurses who have very good communication and computer skills who just want "a little" pocket money ($15-20 an hour) for once in awhile work-senior nurses who are at the end of their career.
My question is:
Is this training worth attending?
The class is over $6000 plus travel and lodging expenses. The doctors said it was too good to be true and that this class is not reimbursed by the hospital or the nurses union. I am also concerned that it does not give recognized CEU credits. The class offers it own certification but it is not accredited by the American Nurses Association nor is this certification recognized by the hospital for a wage increase. They were told by the school that a lot of students take the class for fun and to network with other students.
Colleagues, your ideas and suggestions are needed. Should they take this class?
Getting Starting in Legal Consulting?
Attorneys View of Legal Nurse Consultants...
Unfortunately, the Legal Nurse Consulting field has become saturated with LNCs, due to the heavy marketing by the, "Amway of Legal Nurse Consulting" program. And all the other programs that have jumped on the bandwagon.
You see the ads in nursing magazines all the time-"Make $150 and hour and kiss those 12 hour shifts good by!!"
It used to be a lucrative profession, and many nurses did make a good living at it. All I hear now is, "Legal Nurse are a dime a dozen". And they are right.
You do not need to spend $6000+ to "learn how to be a Legal Nurse Consultant". You can read medical records, you know if something is not right. Why do you need to spend $6000+ to learn what you already know.
If you have never worked in Critical Care, or as an OR nurse, you have no business reviewing those cases. All of the overpriced legal nurse programs, will not buy credibility with attorneys.
As stated above, the AALNC has a wonderful on-line program, and they have great and very useful books. They are ALL very reasonably proced. There is no need to promise your firstborn child, or take out loans, to purchase a Legal Nurse Program. That should be a red flag.
Most of the program you are considering taking is really marketing, not legal nursing. Legal Nursing is reading medical records for an attorney. You can take marketing and business classes at a local community college, for far less money. You can also contact the local Small Business Organization in your community, and ask to meet with them. They are very helpful, and they are FREE!
You can contact a Paralegal Program at a Community College, and ask about taking some classes, to learn about the law. I recommend Torts, Administrative Law, Insurance Law, The Law of Business Organizations, Environmental Law, Evidence, Legal Writing, Legal Research, to name a few. It was a little overwhelming at first, because it was something new, but once I got the hang of it, they were easy.
Save your money for purchasing business letterhead, business cards, marketing, and setting up a business. JMHO and my NY $0.02.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Somewhere in the PACNW
PM me and I can tell you what other classes I have taken. It is late, and I am tired. I hope that helps.
Last edit by lindarn on Dec 6, '10