Nurse Paralegal Career Information

A nurse paralegal is a nurse with momentous legal training, who applies the medical expertise and skills to become an important member of the legal team. A nurse paralegal performs several vital functions while handling both criminal and civil cases. His or her role is critical in the research aspect of a case because of knowing the right questions to pose to the right people. Nurse paralegals do not make use of their registered nurse training in hospitals. Instead they work for law firms, government facilities, health maintenance organizations and insurance agencies which need the opinions of a medical expert.

A nurse paralegal specializes in these tasks:

  • Arranging legal documents
  • Interviewing special witnesses and clients
  • Studying legal issues
  • Researching medical records.

Qualifications

More than a single path may lead someone to become a nurse paralegal; a few of them are listed below:

  • A two-year degree in this specialized field, following a regular nursing course
  • An integrated four-year degree
  • After obtaining a degree in nursing, a certification in nurse paralegal studies.

The companies hiring nurse paralegals are mainly interested in their expertise in the medical field. However, certification obtained from a non-profit organization is often considered a major plus, although it is not compulsory.

Firms hire nurse paralegals especially for these skills:

  • Eye for detail
  • Extraordinary communication skills
  • Proficiency in legal and medical field.

Basic Tasks

These professionals perform a wide array of duties. Everyday tasks of a nurse paralegal may include these:

  • Collecting relevant information regarding cases
  • Cross-checking the facts and verifying the authenticity of the information
  • Interviewing witnesses and collecting as much evidence as possible from the meeting
  • Researching the information obtained from a medical point of view to obtain authentic clues
  • Holding conferences with higher authorities to discuss the case and report the findings
  • Providing assistance in preparation for the trial.

Hours

The schedule of a nurse paralegal depends on the employer. However, you should be prepared to work irregular, long hours as the legal aspect of the profession demands it.

Earnings

Earnings of a nurse paralegal greatly depend on experience in the field of nursing and also as a paralegal. Starting salary of nurse paralegals ranges from $30,000 to $35,000 per year. Nursing jobs at hospitals pay higher as compared to any other kind of firm. The median salary of paralegals employed at hospitals is about $45,000 per year, while those employed at private practices is approximately $41,000. Paralegals working for local or state governments earn about $38,000 a year, and self-employed paralegals can expect to make around $36,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

Nurse paralegal by itself is considered an honored position. When proved efficient, you might receive promotion to supervisory levels. Professionals with rich experience and skills may find success in setting up their own firms.