The paralegal industry is one of the most interesting throughout all legal professions as it allows the marriage between multiple professional disciplines. If you’re a registered nurse, but wish to delve into the complexities and rewards of the paralegal industry, then you may be interested in becoming a certified nurse paralegal. Certified nurse paralegals are experienced RN’s who have a genuine interest nit he legal process. If you’re interested in transforming your career into a new profession, then continue reading to uncover the unique processes involved in becoming a certified nurse paralegal.
Certified Nurse Paralegal Job Duties and Functions
A certified nurse paralegal, which is also referred to as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC), call upon their legal and medical training to offer high-level support to lawyers during medical-related trials and litigation. These professionals differ from a traditional paralegal because of the vast amount of educational and work experience required. Therefore, these professionals are often given greater responsibilities and higher average salaries.
Although the exact job requirements for a certified nurse paralegal can slightly vary based upon the state where they work as well as the law firm their employed by, there are several universal job duties, which include:
- Detailing relevant medical practices to lawyers and clients
2. Analyzing various medical documents relevant to a case
3. Locating and interviewing experts that are relevant to a case
4. Writing and editing documents that are to be used by lawyers during a trial or litigation
5. Calling upon their medical expertise to project the various medical costs of a case
Certified nurse paralegals can work in a wide variety of settings. It’s not uncommon for a certified nurse paralegal to be employed by law firms, insurance companies, government agencies and hospitals. They may also work as freelance legal consultants, which typically offers greater work and salary flexibility.
Educational Requirements for a Certified Nurse Paralegal
Unlike a traditional paralegal, the educational and work requirements are far more strict for certified nurse paralegals. While the state you work in may feature unique requirements, in general you’ll be required to earn a Registered Nurse designation by satisfying the eligibility requirements for your state, which typically requires a two or four-year degree in nursing. Many certified nurse paralegals earn a certificate in paralegal studies to prepare them for this dynamic role.
Generally speaking, a certified nurse paralegal must work for a minimum of five years as a Registered Nurse and must hold an active RN license by their state. In order to earn the Certified designation, you must complete an examination by a national certifying organizations, such as the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board. Along with the five year nursing requirement, you must also have at least 2,000 hours of legal nurse consulting within the previous three years.