RN Accepted into (JD-LAW) Program & NEED ADVICE.

  1. Hi ALLNURSES,

    I am a 41 y/o RN who has recently been accepted into JD program for 2007.

    I plan to use my earned RN/MBA and future Juris Doctorate degree to boost my future career plans and switch from General Nursing to Strategic Marketing/Risk Management arena.


    A) Average starting salary for newly minted RN/JD's?

    B) Best career options for RN's in the legal field (Healthcare law, Risk Management, Healthcare Administration, and/or Malpractice)?

    C) Suggestions on law student internships for RN's?

    D) What type of VOLUNTEER experience should I seek?

    E) Any additional advice???


    Best regards,

    jek2839, RN/LPN-USA Licensed:
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   lynnep
    Just curious what happened after you posted? I notice no one responded before. I am graduating with a JD in 6 weeks and am thinking about getting an RN degree and doing nursing for a few years, then trying to transition into administration and risk management. I'm wondering if RNs are in demand? I keep hearing that nurses are in demand, but then I looked at these boards and noticed a lot of people with RN degrees said they can't get hired without experience. hmph.??
  4. by   jek2839
    Quote from lynnep
    Just curious what happened after you posted? I notice no one responded before. I am graduating with a JD in 6 weeks and am thinking about getting an RN degree and doing nursing for a few years, then trying to transition into administration and risk management. I'm wondering if RNs are in demand? I keep hearing that nurses are in demand, but then I looked at these boards and noticed a lot of people with RN degrees said they can't get hired without experience. hmph.??

    Hi Lynnep (Esq - soon-to-be)

    Congratulations, 6 weeks and your done with law school.

    I received several private message (PM) responses from several RN/JDs and RN/Paralegals.

    I have since completed a paralegal program and truly appreciate the private advice that I received. I have already completed several graduate degree programs and just wanted some basic knowledge on "Law" and the Paralegal program satisfied that need.

    The nursing shortage is only in smaller cities, because in bigger cities, bonuses are being offered to RNs and LPNs. Do a Monster.com, Careerbuilders.com, or any U.S government website search and you will find out their is indeed a need for RNs and LPNs in all 50 states.

    Risk management and health care administration are great fields for RNs with experience or RNs with a JD or paralegal degree, but it is dependent upon location (i.e. Dallas-TX, LA, Chicago-IL, New York).

    You can never go wrong by completing a RN program and getting several years of nursing experience "under your belt", and because you possess a JD degree you would be able to do some part-time legal work, to keep your JD skills intact while working as an RN.

    Good luck on passing the Bar exam.

    What state are you located in?

    Regards,

    Jim, RN
  5. by   lynnep
    Thanks so much for the reply. I am currently in NYC, but quite honestly I can't get out of here fast enough. I have loved living here, but the cost of living is extraordinary (I pay $1725 for a 375 sq ft studio). As for the RN degree, I have always thought of being a nurse. I majored in biology in undergrad, so I probably have at least half the pre-reqs fulfilled that any nursing program requires. I never took anatomy/physiology though, I notice most programs require two semesters of it, and then the RN itself takes 2 years, correct? I am also looking for the most cost effective way to do this, and it looks like community school is the way to go. Do you have an opinion on that? (community college vs. university). I am thinking I will just get the RN, and possibly an MSN later on, but that's a long ways off. I looked into doing a BSN accelerated program, but they seem incredibly expensive. As far as pay is concerned, is there a big difference between pay rates of RNs and pay rates of BSNs?? Sorry for the loaded questions!
  6. by   PacoUSA
    Congrats lynnep on your imminent JD!

    Good job Jek on gaining some legal coursework to annex your RN!

    Just wanted to pipe in to your conversation. I'm a lawyer looking to start an accelerated BSN program next year. Graduated with my JD in 1997 and practiced in NYC for about 9 years before heading south to Florida. Been working in education since that time and am now gung-ho to pursue nursing (which in hindsight I should have done long ago, but oh well) ... the accelerated BSN program I am looking into is @ U Florida, which is essentially 13 months long, straight through. I need to take 4 prereqs + the GRE before I apply, starting with all that this summer. U Florida tuition is really cheap for FL residents so I want to really take advantage of that.

    If cost is an issue, I recommend the state schools but I understand in the NY area the competition is tight. Have you considered establishing residency in another state where you will be able to take advantage of low tuition at the state schools?

    I originally was going to go for an ADN which would have been a similar timeframe but the local college here that offers that program has an instructional break in the summer and I don't like that. I want to get it done and over with! I'm almost 40 and despite people's claims that I am still young I'm just a little impatient when it comes to getting schooling done now!

    Doesnt look like there is much of a pay difference between BSN and ADN RNs but the big difference is the advancement potential. I have been looking at job ads just to get an idea and a lot of them tend to prefer the BSNs.
  7. by   lynnep
    Ooh! Another wonderful response! I, too, feel that I should have done nursing a long time ago. But, I didn't realize until recently that I was passionate about it. (Nor did I know of healthcare admin and risk/loss management as a future interest of mine). This is all very much to my mother's dismay; she knew what she wanted to do ever since she was 8 years old. Anyway, I have to do what makes me happy, right? I think I would really enjoy being a nurse! Later, I can use my law degree to transition to management (I hope).

    I found out that SUNY Downstate has a 15 month program and costs roughly $8,000 - not bad. But, they require a ton of pre-req's. My B.S. is in Biology, so I do have quite a few science and math courses under my belt. Still, I'd need to take quite a few classes to meet SUNY's guidelines. Looks like all nursing schools require anatomy/physiology I and II. Unfortunately, I didn't happen to take them as a bio major, so it'll take a year to do those classes. At the very least, I could probably work full time and take classes at a community school part time. However....what if you don't get into a certain nursing program, and you've gone out of your way to take the pre-req's? The pre-req's can vary widely from one school to another (some require child psychology, anthropology, literature, etc).

    Florida --> Interesting that you mentioned Florida. My plan is to take the NY/NJ bar (possibly doing Fla later on in February) and move to Florida. I have a home in Bradenton that I own as a tenant in common (you probably know the terminology). I'm wondering, if Florida requires the typical 12 month residency...would I be a resident so long as I have been part owner (and thus, part taxpayer) for a year? Despite not actually living there? hmmm. If so, it'd be totally worth it for me to do the program and rent an apartment near UF for the year!!
  8. by   PacoUSA
    The thing with UF's ABSN is that they require your 4 prereqs (A&P I & II, Microbio, and Stats) to have been completed within the last 7 years. I completed 3 out of these 4 courses well over 7 years ago, so essentially I will have to retake them all, which is fine with me if that means a refresher will benefit me for the rigorous program. Interestingly enough, they don't require the other courses that most other BSNs do, like psych and nutrition - I guess they just assume that you have this background in your 1st bachelors. I noticed also that most ABSN programs that require the slew of prereqs don't require the GRE, whereas UF does. I'd rather tackle the GRE than try to fit in several more prereqs. Some other BSNs don't care how long it's been since you took your prereqs as long as you got C or better. I know BSNs have all different requirements, but I'm going to take my chances and bank on UF only for next year, hope for the best and go from there. It's a bold move, I know.

    I've seen several posts on here about SUNY Downstate, interesting reading - do a search to read up on it. It sounds like a very competitive program!

    As far as residency goes, I found the following link that might help you determine whether your home ownership in FL qualifies you for the residency (I could not tell right away from reading it): http://www.registrar.ufl.edu/pdf/residencyreclass.pdf ... since you're planning to move back to FL anyway if I were you I would start establishing definite residency NOW so that if you intend to start the program in May 2010 you will have taken care of that minimal 12 month window. Perhaps you should switch your driver's license/voter's registration/etc. to FL so that it's clear that this is your permanent domicile (oh, memories of civ pro, LOL).

    Then there is the issue of taking courses in a NY public college as a resident there for the lower tuition. Perhaps you can enroll there for prereqs before you start switching over to FL? Sounds like this will take some planning if you want to save some $.

    Good luck on the bar exams!! NY is all I took (twice) and I swore I would never go through that again (especially since when I took it there was no performance section, just essays and MBE)!! I hate the fact that you have to retake a bar to practice in another state that has no reciprocity. No way I was gonna do that in FL which is why I started working in another field. At least as an RN you pass the NCLEX one time and you can transfer your license anywhere.
  9. by   lynnep
    Yep, the fact that the license can be used anywhere is yet another reason why I want to get an RN or BSN. I think I am on the verge of going crazy with all the thoughts that are racing through my mind- how to do it, where to do it, how to deal with the turbulence this will create with my family, and - oh yeah - still having to take that little thing called the bar exam. I realized last night that I needed to make a plan in order to stop freaking out.

    THE PLAN: I'm going to take the NY/NJ bar exam in July (I've been learning NY law for 3 years, might as well take it...and it will be the saving grace with my family) and then move to Florida shortly afterwards. I am in a lease until Sept.15, but I need to take Anatomy I and II, so if I want to be able to apply to Florida schools for the BSN the following year then I'll need to start Anatomy I this fall. I will take it at Manatee County College (so I'll have to move to Fla by mid August, as classes will be starting up then). I am going to apply to as many of the Florida BSN programs as possible. UF, Central Fla, South Fla, North Fla, Florida Atlantic and Florida International all look reasonable! I just hope I can get in to one of them. My undergrad GPA was a 2.8 at Rutgers, but I took some classes at community college and got B/B+ in all of them, and I'll have the pre-reqs from Manatee too (and I'll be working hard to get As in them!). So, I'm hoping they will average ALL of my course work and not just look at the Rutgers GPA. I guess it'd be smart to call and ask about it...hey, at the very least I can do the ASN at manatee county, it'll take longer and will be a lower degree, but if nursing is what I really see myself doing, then I have to go for it.

    I'd love to hear how things work out for you, so keep me posted. I am thinking of making a file for each school and listing their pre-reqs, and I will take the GRE as well. I'll try to cover as much ground as I can with pre-req's. I may even be able to take some online. Then I'll apply to all of the BSN programs whose req's I have met. Man, I never knew it was such a process!! It's like you said - you really have to bank on one school letting you in, otherwise you have to take more pre-req's and wait a semester, if not a whole year, before you can apply again. I wish there was some data on applications vs acceptance rate, but I haven't found that info for Fla schools. Have you?
  10. by   PacoUSA
    Have not found much on application/acceptance data either, it's very strange considering how widely available it is for law schools. I seem to see mostly blanket statements from the schools themselves stating that they are selective, but most of the raw data I see about selectivity has been from message boards. I see instances of 200 applicants for a BSN program and about 40 getting in. Of course, that is depending on the capacity of the program. I have also seen higher acceptance numbers at the ADN level, again depending on the capacity of the program.

    You might want to bookmark this site for info on the UF program, it gives you details on what is required: http://www.nursing.ufl.edu/prospecti...bsn_home.shtml. They only accept students for the summer so if you're looking to start your prereqs this fall you'll likely not make the deadline for next year's class (see admission critieria in link above). But you're right, A&P is required in every program, as is microbiology so your best best is to get those done first. BTW, UF considers the last 60 credits of your undergrad GPA or the cum GPA of your grad degree. Not sure what that would be in your case. In my case, my law school did not use a GPA (that's a long story in itself) so it does not really say much quantitatively where I stood. That said, I hope they use the last "60 credits GPA" instead, especially considering that my first semester undergrad I was on academic probation.

    Your plan sounds great, things work out better when you do have one. Definitely take the bar exams and get them over with. It's a good fallback plan in the event your plans change. I have not practiced law in 3 years but I still renew my license every 2 years. The good thing is that I do not have to do CLEs as long as I don't practice, though my legal skills have gone stale
  11. by   lynnep
    Oh good! I know some programs look at the last 60 credits rather than the whole cum. My last 60 must have been better than the first, b/c I brought my GPA up towards the end. It's hard to remember the grades, or even the classes I took, since I now have 3 years of law school in my mind, hmph. I took microbio as an undergrad, so at least that one is out of the way. I'm going to take AP1/lab and developmental psych this fall, then AP2 and some other pre-req that can be applied to either the ASN at county college or a BSN somewhere else, I'll have to see what else is popular in the Florida schools. I found an AP class that is offered in fall from 7:30-8:50am, I guess it's so that you can get to work on time. Man, I can't believe I'm going to pursue yet another degree.
  12. by   PacoUSA
    Quote from lynnep
    Man, I can't believe I'm going to pursue yet another degree.
    Your quote = the story of my life. I have literally wondered sometimes when this would all end where I would end up in a career where I would not wake up mornings still wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I hope to God that nursing means that I have finally arrived, but it does feel SO right ... I am looking forward to it and I think law school gave me the tools I need to really do well in a nursing program. Not necessarily in the science or math sense (fer shur) but in the sense of being prepared to undertake the rigors of an accelerated program that could be like grad school. I believe I could do it.

    I don't regret having done law school, it was quite a learning experience! I just want to shake off the regret of not having identified my interest in nursing sooner. Turning 40 this year now has new meaning for me.
  13. by   Agrippa
  14. by   lynnep
    nice links, thanks. Some of the info certainly rings clearly, though quite honestly I couldn't be talked out of law school 3 years ago. Stubborn me!

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