Do you know of any nurses going back for law degree? - page 2

I'm interested in having a law degree with nursing background. Do you know anyone who went this route? Give me your thoughts and comments, please!... Read More

  1. by   hollyvk
    Dear labbio,

    Please allow me to share with you the downsides to the RN--->JD path as I also have "done that, been there."

    I advise that the only folks who should attend law school are those who have wanted to do it for a LONG time. Don't do it as a career whim. Getting an MSN or MBA is a much more cost-efficient alternative. Here are some of the realities of working in the law after working in healthcare:

    1. Pay cut--it may well take you some years to reach the same income level you had as an RN. If you've taken out student loans for law school, this can really put you in a financial bind.

    2. Job competition--Unlike nursing, there are more attorneys than there are jobs available.

    3. Job benefits--chances are you'll be working for youself or in a small law firm. Your job benefits will not be nearly as generous as if you work for a large hospital or one that is a part of a large healthcare organization.

    4. Jobs available--the most readily available jobs in the law are those in litigation. Do you want to work in that area? Do you like conflict? Do you want to deal with obnoxious opposing counsel? :smiley_ab Are you going to have to work with that self-selecting group of clients who have brought their problems to your firm? (Remember the dysfunctional pts who were a pain in the butt at the hospital--those are the folks you'll be dealing with in litigation). :trout:

    5. Working conditions--do you want to be working 50 or 60 hours per week? If you work for a private law firm, that will be the norm. It will take years (7 or 8) to make partner, assuming they deign to "let you in." There's still plenty of "old boy network" stuff going on in the law. :angryfire

    6. Attorneys vs Nurses--Attorneys have to take yearly ethics education. The law attracts a lot of very questionable people who are either patently dishonest or have few concerns about crossing the line of ethical and legal behavior. There's a reason why they're rated down there with used car salesmen for public esteem. Do you want to have to work with such people on a regular basis?

    If you want to work with legal aspects of healthcare, explore healthcare risk management. Go to the website for the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management--plenty of jobs availble there once you manage to get your foot in the door.

    I worked as an RN for 7 years, then an attorney for 4 years, and then went back to healthcare. I now work in healthcare publishing--which I love. Good luck to you.

    Quote from labbio
    I'm interested in having a law degree with nursing background. Do you know anyone who went this route? Give me your thoughts and comments, please!
    Hollyvk, RN, BSN, JD
  2. by   labbio

    Thank you VERY MUCH for your inputs. What a wonderful response!