What is a nurse paralegal, and what do they do?
These questions must have come to your mind when you read about the term ‘nurse paralegal’. Let’s answer that.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Nurse Paralegal, you will be glad to know that this industry has been recently on the rise, and job growth is expected to only rise further in the coming years.
Nurses are healthcare workers that tend to the sick, and they are usually found in healthcare settings such as private practice offices, hospitals, etc., but apart from these, there are other evolving career options as well, such as Nurse Paralegals.
Let’s read more about Nurse Paralegals in the following article.
What is a Nurse Paralegal?
A nurse paralegal can be defined as a person who is well-versed in both fields, i.e. medical and legal.
Nurse Paralegals are reliable in both fields; they generally complete their medical degree first and then get started with a paralegal certification.
As both the medical and legal fields are fast-growing, having one foot in both industries can be highly beneficial for you and expand your job opportunities.
More: What is a Paralegal?
What does a Nurse Paralegal do?
A nurse paralegal is usually actively involved in appearing as an expert witness related to a medical field within any legal case. This can include dealing with malpractice suits, workman’s compensation claims, or injuries to one or more persons.
Other examples of a Nurse Paralegal’s duties include working on different sets of legal and medical negotiations and helping in research. They can also be found organizing medical-based journals, wherein a nurse paralegal usually gives guidance on articles and their accuracy.
To conclude, it can be said that nurse paralegals are responsible for researching medical data and translating that data into understandable legal terms.
Read More: What do paralegals do?
Educational Opportunities for Nurse Paralegals
For Nurse Paralegals, it is required for them to have an associate nurse’s degree, two years of work experience, and a paralegal certification program.
As a Nurse Paralegal, you would also be expected to pass the NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants) certification exam and get certified thereafter.
How to Become a Nurse Paralegal?
To become a nurse paralegal, you need to first have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, two or more years of experience working as a nurse, and a paralegal certification approved by ABA (American Bar Association).
If you want more information on schooling for paralegals, check out our in-depth guides:-
- Paralegal Schools
- How Long Does it Take to Become a Paralegal
- Paralegal Requirements
- Paralegal Degree
- Online Paralegal Programs
- Paralegal Certificate Online
- Paralegal Studies
Where can nurse paralegals work?
Nurse Paralegals usually work in health maintenance organizations (HMOs), insurance companies, hospitals, private practices, or law firms. While freshers also get opportunities, employers usually prefer candidates with some form of experience.
Also see: Where Do Paralegals Work
Salary of a Nurse Paralegal
The average annual salary for a registered nurse is around $65,000. On the other hand, the paralegal salary, it’s $46,000.
The salary for a nurse paralegal can differ depending on the type of industry, i.e. law firms, hospitals, etc. Some factors that lead to differentiation in salary can also be years of experience and the time spent in the paralegal field.
According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the average salary for paralegals was recorded as $56,610 in May 2020. This unique blend of nursing and law can make a professional’s role more valuable in any industry they opt to work in.
Certification for Nurse Paralegals
For certifications, there is LNCC, i.e. Legal Nurse Consultant Certification offered by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board. This certification is further accredited by the American Board of Nurse Specialties.
Aspiring Nurse Paralegals should have a current license as a Registered Nurse and about five years of experience, and they also need to show 2000 working hours as a legal nurse consultant.
Nurse Paralegal vs Legal Nurse Consultant
Legal Nurse Consultants provide supportive roles to lawyers or organizations on a variety of matters, such as medical standards. They, however, learn most of the legal paralegal skills on the job without having any such work experience.
Unlike Legal Nurse Consultants, Nurse Paralegals have dedicated criteria of legal education and years of experience working in different capacities.
LNCs are required to maintain their registered nurse license, while on the other hand, Nurse Paralegals are expected to focus on legal.
The role of a nurse paralegal bridges two worlds—healthcare and the legal system. Combining medical expertise with legal acumen, nurse paralegals play a vital role in ensuring accuracy, clarity, and integrity in legal cases involving medical issues.
Their unique skill set and invaluable contributions facilitate the pursuit of justice while upholding the highest standards of patient care. As the demand for their specialized knowledge grows, nurse paralegals continue to be integral in navigating the complexities where healthcare and law intersect, making a lasting impact in both fields.
Here are a few Paralegal careers you can consider:
- Immigration Paralegal
- Real Estate Paralegal
- Litigation Paralegal
- Remote Paralegal
- Corporate Paralegal
- Criminal Law Paralegal
- Family Law Paralegal
- Divorce Paralegal
- Intellectual Property Paralegal
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