CHICOPEE – Elms College has introduced an online program for candidates to earn a paralegal studies certificate in legal nurse consulting.
The 18-credit program may be done in less than one year by completing three, 8-week sessions online. Courses include health law, principles of litigation and tort and personal injury.
Candidates must hold an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree as well as a current license to practice as a registered nurse. They must have completed 2,000 hours of clinical practice as a registered nurse.
“The best candidates for the legal nurse consulting track are licensed nurses who are looking to move into consulting with attorneys who practice medical malpractice, personal injury, or insurance law,” said Kurt Ward in a statement.
Ward, who holds a law degree from Western New England University and a doctorate from Northeastern University, is the college’s director of the criminal justice and legal studies programs.
Services provided by a legal nurse consultant include interviewing clients, evaluating cases for merit and analyzing and summarizing medical records and other evidence.
The college is also introducing an online certificate program in advanced paralegal studies that can also be completed in less than a year.
Candidates should have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. No specific major area of study is required.
Elms has a number of American Bar Association approved paralegal programs.
In Massachusetts, paralegals are considered paraprofessionals and work under a supervising attorney. Certification is said to be voluntary in the United States.
According to government data, the median pay for paralegals and legal assistants is around $50,000 annually with an associate’s degree the typical entry level education. Hourly median wage is said to be around $25, though considerably higher for legal nurse consultants.
For more information on the Elms program, contact Donna Harvey in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (413) 265-2445.