Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Nursing Specialty Essay
The world of healthcare is one of frequent changes. Those who have dedicated themselves to the nursing profession understand that healthcare is continuously evolving, as it is our responsibility to provide only the highest standard of care to our patients. Each nurse that is certified within a nursing specialty strengthens the entire healthcare team. Those that obtain specialty certifications are seen as the leaders in the field and are strong resources for the team members lacking the specialized education. Among the multiple nursing specialty certifications obtainable, legal nursing is relatively new. For many years registered nurses aided legal teams by providing attorneys with needed medical knowledge without the option of obtaining specialized training, earning specialized certifications and/or having the known support of a specialized national association behind them. Only due to a clear vision and the undying determination of several registered nurses, the not for profit national organization tilted the Ã¢â¬Å"American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) was founded in July of 1989Ã¢â¬ (Ã¢â¬Å"American Association,Ã¢â¬ n. d, para. 1). According to Huff, Costantini, and Mihalich, the driving force behind the birth of this national association was a group of registered nurses that had already been acting as legal consultants and were determined to educate the legal profession about the effectiveness of the nurse consultant as liaison between the legal and medical communities, and to provide a network for members to share expertise. The early pioneers recognized for initiating what now is a powerful specialty within the nursing field are Rosanna Janes, RN, Karen Wetther, RN, Joanne Behymer, RN, Paula Schenck, RN and Kathleen Loeffler, RN. The legal nursing consultant specialty has evolved greatly since its birth and has made several major contributions during its relatively short existence. The first contribution noted within the information provided by the Legal Nurse Consulting Principles states the following: While AALNC has always offered national membership benefits to nurses licensed in any state of the U. S. , it was through the establishment of chartered chapters that AALNC fostered membership growth, networking, and education at the local level. Within 10 years, chapter activity went from the three original local groups to chapters in more than 45 cities in 31 states. The number of chapters continues to increase each year. (Huff, Costantini, & Mihalich, n. d. , p. 27) The association demands that those with accreditation be highly educated along with maintaining current certifications to practice, the AALNC offers multiple resources to achieve these expected standards. The educational opportunities have developed and include an annual educational conference along with numerous educational materials in written, audio, and video formats that are readily available for its members. These are designed to assist nurses at all levels of expertise in legal nurse consulting practice. (Huff, Costantini, & Mihalich, n. d. , p. 30) An additional major contribution the AALNC has provided the nursing profession is Ã¢â¬Å"recognizing the importance of nursing certification that incorporates experiential and educational requirements, AALNC established the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB) in 1997. ALNCCB developed the Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) certification program and credentialÃ¢â¬ (Huff et al. , n. d. , p. 42). As explained above, the specialty of legal nursing has impacted multiple aspects of the healthcare system with the most important aspect being our patients. Legal nursing allows a registered nurse with specialized education to advocate for the patient from the beginning of a legal case to the end. The protection and safety of our patients is the number one responsibility of all healthcare professionals, it is essential that legal nurse consultants continue to work side by side with attorneys to ensure the best outcomes possible for all parties involved. The legal nurse specialty has also impacted multiple other entities including insurance companies and healthcare facilities by providing the essential medical facts needed to prove false claims of malpractice. With the many strengths the legal nurse specialty has brought to the nursing profession, it is evident that this specialty is nothing short of a necessity.