I am an RN, and I am also interested in the legal side of nursing. I am going for my RN to BSN this Fall. (I know a BSN is not needed for legal nursing.) I would like to go into legal nursing, perhaps consulting for lawyers. Do you think that this is a good field to go into, with steady pay? Ive been researching this field, and the course is really expensive. I would become disheartened if I paid this heavy price for this course and never got a decent job/salary. Can you give me some advice?
Dear Donna replies:
Most legal nurse consultants are self-employed although some work as employees in law offices. Make an effort to understand the specialty and the local job market if employment is what youre seeking. You can do that by contacting the local chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (http://www.aalnc.org). Get out to some local meetings as a guest and do some informational interviewing (http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/thescoop.html) with those already working in the specialty. See the article How to Change Specialties at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/changespecial.html.
So much has been written about this specialty in my column and in Nursing Spectrum and NurseWeek. If you use the article search feature at www.nurse.com and insert as a search term legal nurse consultant, youll come up with considerable information about the specialty, whether or not you need any additional education at all, how to get started, and more.
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeeks Dear Donna and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a Dear Donna seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.