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Paralegal Nursing Practice in the US

Paralegal Nursing Practice in the US

Paralegal nurses also called legal nurse consultants are certifies registered nurses who enroll in a law school to train on legal issues relating to health care. To become a paralegal nurse, you must have trained as a nurse and passed NCLEX exam to be a registered nurse before enrolling for the paralegal program.

Duties of paralegal nurses

Because of the multiple talents that come with successful completing of paralegal studies, nurses graduate from doing the regular RN functions to new roles requiring knowledge in the unique background. Nurse paralegals work with attorneys assisting them with medical related cases.

Their work entails:

Providing testimony: A nurse paralegal might appear as an expert witness in a legal case about medical the field. In cases such as malpractice suits, workman’s compensation claims, injury claims involving one or more persons through accidents or negligence. A nurse paralegal is beneficial in such situations because they answer medical questions and make clarifications in a way that judges or legal teams understand.

Participate in medical and legal negotiations: Nurse Paralegal’s presence is essential during medical, legal negotiations to explain data in terminology that all the concerned parties can understand and become fully involved. They also conduct research before the consultation day to get a better insight into the matter.

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Consultancy for medical writing:

Nursing paralegals can be consultants during the development of medical journals. The role of nurse paralegal here is to offer advice to editorial team as they write and edit articles to ensure that the information they carry is fully accurate. A nurse paralegal consulting for a journal is responsible for research of accurate and extensive data. Translating data into legal and easy to understand information is also the work of nurse paralegal consultancy.

Nursing itself is physically demanding. Nurses spend many hours on their feet and occasionally have to lift or move patients. Paralegal work is also challenging, but it involves many hours of research in law libraries and offices as well as traveling.

Pathway to become a nurse paralegal: An ideal candidate for nurse paralegal role is somebody with a Bachelor's degree in nursing and several years of hands-on experience preferably around five. It is also a requirement to complete a paralegal certification program especially one that is approved by American Bar Association. A possession of these credentials almost guarantees anyone planning a transition from nursing to nursing paralegal of immediate hiring.

You can find many nursing paralegal certificate programs offering legal training to people intending to join the practice. The requirement for applicants is that they should have an Associate’s or a Bachelor's degree in nursing. There are also diploma programs training individuals to be RNs, but they are rare to find.

Nursing paralegal curriculum

Nursing paralegal curriculum is not as wide as studying for an ADN or BSN.A nurse paralegal program is similar to the regular paralegal programs as they all comprise of courses in torts, contracts, legal terminology, and writing. The only difference of nurse paralegal programs is that they lay a lot of emphasis on issues relating to healthcare. It includes coursework in medical, legal ethics, healthcare, health insurance, and malpractice law. The program consists around 25 coursework hours.

Certification with National Association of Legal Studies (NALA) is essential if you plan to pursue a career as a nurse paralegal whether you possess an ADN or BSN degree. It is necessary to note that if you possess the minimum requirement, it will be tougher to find a position within nursing nurse paralegal field especially if you compete for a job with those who already have BSN degrees and more experience in nursing field.