pros and cons of nurse paralegal jobs

  1. 0
    I just started working a few weeks ago as a nurse paralegal - so far, I like it, although there are days when I just feel completely dumb when confronted with some of the attorneys' questions (I'm told that's normal).

    I have some problems with anxiety related to some fairly drastic life events, and I need to have a career with a manageable stress level. I like my job much better than I ever liked patient care - although it was rewarding at times, I was a bit of a basket case from all the pressure.

    Can anyone tell me whether it would help later on if I wanted to become an LNC, to have some experience working as a paralegal in a law firm full time first?

    The way the LNC training programs talk, they make it sound like I'm wasting my time. It's kind of discouraging as an LNC career isn't something I feel I could handle just yet.

    I'd like a little hope that this nurse paralegal thing, which doesn't pay megabucks but does have some nice perks, is not a dead end job.

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 1
    Definitely not a dead-end job. You are already a nurse and you are working in an attorney's practice. Believe me, do not listen to the naysayers that you cannot excel with this experience.

    Good luck with your future career plans as an LNC!!!! If you have any specific questions about the career, please post here. We are here to assist you.
    BulkyMonster likes this.
  4. 1
    How do you know if you're smart enough to actually do the job? And where would you find all of the resources for the nurses that they have to follow and that you would have to show documentation that the rules are what they are? I know we (most of us) practice the rules, but where are they actually written?
    BulkyMonster likes this.
  5. 0
    Thank you!

    I just get a little uneasy because I was only able to get a few years' clinical experience, and none of it in ICU or critical care. On top of that, it was military nursing, which I find a lot of people don't see as applicable to the civilian world. It is, of course, the same job. It's just a matter of convincing people of that.

    I know I'm smart enough to do this job, but I don't think I'm emotionally equipped to work in patient care. It's very reassuring to hear someone say I can grow in this specialty and make something of myself.
  6. 0
    Quote from ninasnr
    How do you know if you're smart enough to actually do the job? And where would you find all of the resources for the nurses that they have to follow and that you would have to show documentation that the rules are what they are? I know we (most of us) practice the rules, but where are they actually written?


    It's something I'm learning as I go. There's another nurse paralegal there who is giving me much appreciated guidance, without which I'd have really struggled. I told the attorney I'd be willing to take paralegal or legal nurse certification, but she shrugged and said not to bother, it was something I could learn on the job.

    I still think I will get LNC certification in the future, though.
  7. 0
    Is there a particular place to find sources for reference for different types of information if you're going to work on a case?
    I'm not sure this is the right place for asking this question. If it isn't, can someone direct me to the right place? I'm not even sure I'm on the right type of forum for this question.
  8. 0
    Quote from ninasnr
    Is there a particular place to find sources for reference for different types of information if you're going to work on a case?
    I'm not sure this is the right place for asking this question. If it isn't, can someone direct me to the right place? I'm not even sure I'm on the right type of forum for this question.
    Hello, ninasnr

    What exactly are you asking here? Are you working as a legal nurse consultant? What "sources for reference" and/or "different types of information if working on a case" do you need?
  9. 0
    Quote from ninasnr
    Is there a particular place to find sources for reference for different types of information if you're going to work on a case?
    I'm not sure this is the right place for asking this question. If it isn't, can someone direct me to the right place? I'm not even sure I'm on the right type of forum for this question.

    Where I work, we mainly rely on the internet and journal articles. UptoDate medical database, RXlist, and emedicine are frequent first stops of mine when I'm researching. Even wikipedia can help if you are starting out with absolute basics. From there you look at the source material, textbooks, organizations. For OB-GYN I try to rely on ACOG standards. We check meds in the PDR and the FDA website.

    Of course, I'm not formally trained, and am still new at my job. More experienced/knowledgeable legal nurses may tell you something different.
  10. 0
    I'm not working as a LNC, but my question is for example: Where would you find rules/regs for different individual issues? All disciplines follow certain rules that are standard for their discipline. For a nurse, one would look at BON at the scope of practice, what about say a pharmacist, I guess I'm asking where you would find the standards for each discipline? I'm uncomfortable not knowing where I would look for different things, especially if I don't work in a specific area. How would one know what is the standard in an area that they have never worked? Also in different departments that you have never worked in.
    Last edit by ninasnr on Feb 3, '08
  11. 0
    Quote from ninasnr
    I'm not working as a LNC, but my question is for example: Where would you find rules/regs for different individual issues? All disciplines follow certain rules that are standard for their discipline. For a nurse, one would look at BON at the scope of practice, what about say a pharmacist, I guess I'm asking where you would find the standards for each discipline? I'm uncomfortable not knowing where I would look for different things, especially if I don't work in a specific area. How would one know what is the standard in an area that they have never worked? Also in different departments that you have never worked in.


    Like I said, I just look on the internet to begin with... you start learning little bits and pieces and often it's a clue to go on to the next thing.

    If it's really and truly beyond your ability to interpret, you can talk to other nurses, or consult an expert (though the latter costs $$$).


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