Should you get a certification or a certificate as a legal nurse consultant? They are different!
One of my colleagues Carol Alvin prepared this guest post.
There are many different types of educations available for nurses who are interested in pursuing a career as a Legal Nurse Consultant. There are online courses, a university based courses, the courses made available by different organizations, self-learning courses, and then the courses advertised by the big marketing companies.
The focus of these different courses is going to be different so nurses should do their research to see what course fits their needs the best. In terms of price the cost varies significantly.
You might think that the course that costs the most will give you the best content but you really should consider what your personal needs might be.
I took my legal nurse consulting course from one of the big marketing companies. If I had known somebody in the field I would have done things differently but that is not to say that I did not learn something from the course.
The big draw for me in the course that I chose is that the class size was small and I knew that I would not learn or feel comfortable in an environment where the class had a hundred or more people packed into the room. The class size also afforded the instructor the ability to give each student one on one attention.
When I completed the course I was awarded a certificate and initials to put after my name. And later after I had actually done my first case I was told that I was indeed an Advanced Legal Nurse and that I now had earned my certificate.
The concept that I was now an Advanced Legal Nurse seemed quite ludicrous to me and to be honest I have stopped using the initials after my name.
Unfortunately they are still on my business card but I am in the process of changing my website and will be making new business cards. My business cards will simply say Carol L. Alvin RN, BSN.
I am first and foremost a registered nurse who assists attorneys with the medical aspects of their legal cases.
A certificate means I completed a course of study. A certification means I met the criteria to sit for an exam after completing thousands of hours of cases.
This concept is important to me because I did have my certification as a critical care nurse for 30 years and now have my Alumnus CCRN. A certification is something you EARN with knowledge and experience. These are the initials that belong after one’s name. The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants has a path through which you can obtain a legal nurse certification that includes knowledge and experience. The LNCC certification is the only one that meets rigorous standards and is recognized by the American Board of Nursing Specialties.
Alvin & Associates, Legal Nurse Consultants