I'm researching new career options to transition out of the hospital. I have over seven years of critical care experience but I'm ready to try something new and have recently went to part time in my unit. Ideally I would work part time or PRN in a new field either indefinitely or until I feel confident it could support our household as a replacement income.
I am researching legal nursing as an option and I have requested information from LegalNurse.com. I understand that I would need to obtain a certification and that there are numerous courses to achieve this at a range of cost.
I guess my questions are: Is this a realistic possibility worth pursuing? Should I guarantee an actual job market prior to spending money on a certification?
I have heard through the 'grapevine' about nurses pursuing legal nursing, obtaining their certification, only to have no luck securing actual work or employment. I have been told that I need to know an attorney that would actually hire me to get any work and that most attorneys use the same consultant.
Any advice or information would be appreciated. If it helps, I currently live in Central Florida.
Jul 6, '14
I have checked into this area also. Similar to a diabetes educator certification you have to be working in the role in order to take the certification exam. I concluded from my research into the area that LNC's gather data for the attorney's cases. My interest was working for RN's and their specific legal concerns. I thought consultant would be similar to a patient case manager....one who can be the central point of contact and coordinate resources for the particular RN's concerns. Another aspect I was not fond of was the lack of explicit assistance to RN's. Nurses should be able to access a human being that is concerned with and understands the complexities they face.
Jul 7, '14
At this time, no certification is required to practice as a Legal Nurse. Formal education is not required either, but strongly recommended.
The certificate received via the course offered by LegalNurse.com is just a certificate of completion. It is not certification. The exam offered by AALNC is the only certification examination in the field endorsed by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) and accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).
I suggest that you go to the AALNC site and look around. AALNC offers an affordable online option for Legal Nurse training. If you are looking for a good source of information on legal nurse consulting, you might want to consider purchasing the current LNC text that is utilized in the AALNC classes. Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles & Practice - found on the AALNC site.
There are free webinars and DVD's that help you explore whether Legal Nursing is right for you. Good luck!
Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jul 21, '14
Aug 12, '14
I recently completed the program and passed the AALNC exam. I believe that being successful in this field requires marketing your skills to potential clients. The program through LegalNurse.com offers different packages to be purchased with your training courses. Many law firms also hire in-house consultants if you are not interested in developing your own business.