Other than AALNC and VM, what is there?

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    It seems like I receive an envelope every other week from the VM program, and I just can't stomach to pay those fees or the roughly $2000 through AALNC. Are there any other more affordable programs out there? (Or, are there any $1200-2000 programs that actually teach in a college-type 8-16 week format?)

    What type of education is actually required to work as an LNC? Do you HAVE to have training through one of those programs, or if you have the knowledge and ability required, do some practice as an LNC without an actual "certification"?

    Thanks - I know I've been asking a lot of questions!

    -A
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  3. 19 Comments so far...

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    hello, alkaleidi,

    yes, there are other programs out there. several. and, some community colleges will offer courses as lnc, too. just do some research in your local area for the latter.

    other programs (not all inclusive):

    kaplan

    keiser college lnc program

    lnc center

    lnc stat

    legal nurse consulting institute


    no, as of right now, formal education as lnc is not required to practice as such. (however, i always advise formal education). and, certification is not required if you are formally educated or not. i look for that to change one day. right now, the only requirements are unencumbered and valid rn licensure.

    and, no problem. keep on asking your questions. you should be totally informed before making a decision.
    Jolly Nurse, RN1989, and lindarn like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from sirI
    No, as of right now, formal education as LNC is not required to practice as such. (However, I always advise formal education). And, certification is not required if you are formally educated or not. I look for that to change one day. Right now, the only requirements are unencumbered and valid RN licensure.

    And, no problem. Keep on asking your questions. You should be totally informed before making a decision.
    Thank you so much. I have many more questions, and more developing the more I read the older posts on this part of allnurses. You have spent an awful lot of time helping myself and other interested nurses out - I appreciate you taking time out of your day to do this!
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    OK, sirI, one more round of questioning and I'll go to bed.

    Aside from the marketing aspect, what would the difference between an RN taking the required courses to become a paralegal vs. taking a legal nurse consultant course? Do you think that an experienced nurse would benefit from the paralegal courses in terms of goal being practicing as an LNC?

    Not asking for advice, just your opinion, considering you are more the expert than I on the topic. I also welcome anyone else's responses who practice as LNCs either with or without LNC education!
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    Alkaleidi, thanks for asking your questions. It benefits all of us who are looking into the various programs.

    I have made my decision, but as sirI said, do your research and find out what will be best for you. A lot depends on knowing yourself and how you learn, how you work, whether you do well with online alone or require the group experience.

    I would also really scour these forums to see what others have had to say, as it sounds like you've been doing.

    In the end, the decision must be yours because you are the one who has to live with it. One question I asked myself, having looked at the various programs, was: if I go this - or that - direction, will I regret not taking the alternate route?

    Good luck in your decision-making. You'll find lots of support here.
    sirI likes this.
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    Quote from alkaleidi
    OK, sirI, one more round of questioning and I'll go to bed.

    Aside from the marketing aspect, what would the difference between an RN taking the required courses to become a paralegal vs. taking a legal nurse consultant course? Do you think that an experienced nurse would benefit from the paralegal courses in terms of goal being practicing as an LNC?

    Not asking for advice, just your opinion, considering you are more the expert than I on the topic. I also welcome anyone else's responses who practice as LNCs either with or without LNC education!

    It's been said that these courses really relegate the RN to the role of legal assistant and not legal nurse consultant. These paralegal courses (for nurses) are normally taught by attorneys (not really a bad thing) and non-nurse paralegals. And, these courses cover real estate, probate, marital property, legal research writing, or other fields of law unrelated to healthcare issues.

    As an LNC, you are still practicing Nursing, not Law. 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.

    So, once again, do more research into what avenue you wish to seek for LNC education.

    Keep up the questions.
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    Thanks, KLKRN, for you input. Very valuable advice.
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    Quote from alkaleidi
    OK, sirI, one more round of questioning and I'll go to bed.

    Aside from the marketing aspect, what would the difference between an RN taking the required courses to become a paralegal vs. taking a legal nurse consultant course? Do you think that an experienced nurse would benefit from the paralegal courses in terms of goal being practicing as an LNC?

    Not asking for advice, just your opinion, considering you are more the expert than I on the topic. I also welcome anyone else's responses who practice as LNCs either with or without LNC education!
    The role of the Legal Nurse Consultant is different from that of the paralegal and/or legal assistant. In 1999, AALNC published a statement on the Role of the LNC as distinct from the role of the paralegal and legal assistant. Paralegal programs focus entirely on legal aspects. You need to remember that the primary role of the LNC is to evaluate, analyze, and render informed opinions on the delivery of health care and the resulting outcomes. Attorneys consult LNC's because of their expertise in nursing and healthcare, not because of their legal knowledge. Whereas legal education is frequently a prerequisite for paralegals, professional nursing education and healthcare experience make LNC's unique and valuable partners in the legal process.

    AALNC has defined legal nurse consulting as a specialty practice of nursing. Their position, therefore, is that LNC education should be developed and presented as specialty nursing curricula by nurse educators in partnership with legal educators.
    RN1989, sirI, and KLKRN like this.
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    Seeing the ad below your post for University of Phoenix reminded me of a coworker who went through that program for her MSN to be a nurse educator. She's $60,000 in debt.

    Has nothing to do with LNC, just a thought that came to mind as alkaleidi mentioned the cost of educational programs.
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    One thing that I have noticed about persons looking into being an LNC is that the cost of things overwhelms them. Clinical nurses get a paycheck and most do not have to worry about all the business issues that their employers must do in order to keep a business viable. Thus most nurses don't really have an idea of all the work and small things that a business owner must know,do and pay for in order to keep a business running in the black while still paying out salaries and keeping on the good side of the law and government not to mention clients. That being said, I believe that nurses who do not have a clear concept of good business practices are not fully prepared to make an informed choice needed to become a SUCCESSFUL LNC.

    Yes, I am like most nurses in that money is always at the forefront of my mind. However, I grew up in a family business and learned early on that 1. You get what you pay for. and 2. You have to spend money to make money when you have your own business. If you are unable or unwilling to invest money in order to get the tools you need, not only will you have much more work to do, but you will also be more frustrated. This can lead to a bigger risk of business failure.

    I believe that education is a tool just like a computer and software are business tools. It is very important that you give yourself the best opportunity of success if you are serious about being an LNC. If that means that the LNC program that is the most expensive is the one that can meet your needs and help you in your weakest areas, then you should go with that more expensive program. If a less expensive course can meet the needs that you have in certain areas, choose that one. But if you choose your educational tools simply by cost alone, you are setting yourself up for more problems. I know many LNCs who have taken courses but they become so focused on the cost of the program plus the cost of business taxes/fees, equipment costs, marketing costs, etc. that they ended up keeping their clinical jobs because they were unable to meet the demands of running their own business and actually wasted their money on a course.

    I recommend that anyone who thinks that they want to become an LNC stop and become knowledgeable about business practices first. The Small Business Association and the numerous state business development centers have free online and in-person courses designed to assess your level of knowledge regarding business practices. They also help teach you what you need to know to become self employed. Get this knowledge first and find out if you have what it takes to be "self-employed".

    Although there are LNCs that work for others and do not have the responsibilities of a business owner, the majority of LNCs still end up doing work for themselves or are involved in sub-contracting in which you still need to understand basic business practices, and contract and tax issues. If you find that the business end is not something you can handle or want to deal with, it would be better to know that BEFORE you spend the money on any LNC course.

    You technically do not have to spend a dime to be an LNC. As an RN, you have the knowledge to read and review a medical record. However, if you shortchange yourself on tools, in this day and age of technology and the public's desire to see people with "certifications" as proof of ability, you will likely have a much harder time getting the jobs and being "successful" enough to leave clinical work and work as a FT LNC if that is your goal. If you cannot make the monetary sacrifice needed, then rethink your time period goals and work towards setting yourself up to be in a better position to be able to spend the money needed to get what you want. Making the choice to be an LNC shouldn't be made just because you hate your job and want something that you think is easier.
    KeniRN, cocohontez, KLKRN, and 1 other like this.


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