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Is there a need for nurses in the areas of law and ethics?


Dear Donna,

I have been a labor and delivery nurse for 14 years. Recently I had a major back injury. I have been doing plenty of soul searching about my career path. I am fairly sure that I can’t continue lifting patients and running down halls during emergencies. I was wondering if there is a need for nurses in the areas of law and ethics. If there is, what are the requirements for such a job and are those jobs in demand?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Teri,

Fortunately, nursing offers many different opportunities and some of those opportunities are related to law and ethics. In the legal field there’s legal nurse consulting, risk management, fraud investigation, and many aspects of forensic nursing. Some nurses even go on to law school to become nurse attorneys, although that is not necessary to work within the specialty. Your RN degree is sufficient to work in any of these areas (except the latter) but a higher degree and specialized knowledge will only enhance your opportunities.

In the field of ethics, nurses work primarily as teachers and consultants. It is possible to get a degree in nursing ethics or with an emphasis in ethics but you also can take individual courses and engage in self-study.

There is so much to tell you about these specialties and how to break into them, that I can hardly cover the subject in this forum. You will find some additional information at Also, do an article search at for both topics to see what’s already been said in my column and in past articles.

You would benefit greatly from my Career Alternatives for Nurses® seminar. See where I’ll be at The program also is available in a home study version at

Best wishes, Donna

By | 2009-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 August 11th, 2009|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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