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- by myladeybugg Sep 9, '11Hi everyone,
I just recently passed my boards and am now officially an RN! I am not a bedside nurse and have never wanted to do bedside nursing. I really want to do legal nurse consulting. I am currently working at a hospital in the NICU as a secretary and previously worked on a telemetry floor as a secretary for 3 years. I have almost 5 years total of hospital secretary work. Do you think I will be able to become a successful legal nurse consultant without do any bedside nursing prior?
- Sep 9, '11 by tnbutterflyCongratulations on passing NCLEX.
To be a credible legal nurse consultant, you should have at least 3-5 years of nursing experience. Although your experience as a hospital secretary gives you some knowledge of the hospital environment, it is not the same as nursing experience. As a legal nurse consultant, you will need to look at cases through a nurse's eyes.......thinking and knowing how a competent nurse should act in situations under litigation. The attorneys will be relying on your nursing experience and knowledge of standards of care, scope of practice, etc.
- Sep 9, '11 by myladeybuggThank you so much!
Well it doesn't sound impossible! I do want to get certified in legal nurse consulting. I obviously do not meet the qualifications for the AALNC so do you think the basic package through Vickie Milazzo will be ok for me? The basic package is already so expensive and I cannot upgrade to anything else.
- Sep 9, '11 by tnbutterflyYou do not need to be "certified" to work as an LNC. In fact, in order to be certified through AALNC (the only legal nurse consulting credential recognized by AALNC and accredited by ABNS), you may sit for the certification exam only after meeting the following criteria:
- a minimum of five years of experience practicing as a registered nurse
- evidence of 2000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience within the past three years.
But, as I said, you do not need to do this in order to practice as an LNC.
You may want to look at the AALNC online program as it is more affordable than some other programs. You can do as many of the modules as you want and can purchase them individually if you desire.
You will find in the LNC educational materials, that it is important to have a good foundation in nursing. Professional nursing education and healthcare experience make LNCs unique and valuable partners in legal processes.
- Sep 11, '11 by legalnurse001I hope you will soon start working as an RN and get some nursing experience! I have been working as a legal nurse consultant since 1995, after 17 years of varied hospital clinical experience. The more experience you can obtain the better prepared you will be to be a successful consultant. While you are clinically active, after you have several years experience under your belt, you might consider work as a testifying expert. Good way to break into the field of legal nurse consulting. Remember, your skill and EXPERIENCE is what makes you valuable to attnys....not just having your RN license. When I use subcontractors, I prefer a minimum of 10 yrs nsg experience. GOOD LUCK!
- Sep 12, '11 by juschillinI am also seeking employment in the legal field as a nurse. I have MSN with psych as specialty. I took a "certificate" course online and it was really interesting. This is only minimal education. One must be credentialed to have any credibility and to make any money. Credentially exams are held only a few if not 2 times a year, all over the country. Study materials come from AALNC I believe. The course that Vicky does I'm sure is great but I can't fork out 12k!! There are other ways to get the education in order to sit for the exam. I have been a registered nurse since 1998 and picked up my MSN in 2003. So I have the experience--basic experience. I am looking for a position somewhere in the country that will lead me to doing strictly LNC work...
- Sep 14, '11 by Professor_MikeOne other consideration is that by working in the highly specialized field of NICU nursing, a great deal of what you do, procedures, medications, dosages, etc are only applicable to the NICU world. Consider how well qualified you will be to evaluate the chart of an 85 year old that sufferred an injury while hospitalized because of inappropriate treatment for postoperative sepsis. For example, the adult nurse would be looking for fluid resusitation of 20-40 ml/kg, which may mean 2 to 4 liters for a good sized adult. Your experience in NICU would be entirely focused on microscopic dosages and medications in comparison.
In summary, if legal nurse consulting is what you want to do, a NICU may not be the best place to obtain that all important experience.