Certificate of Achievement in Nurse Paralegal

Division of Social Sciences — Curriculum Code: 3210

Will Earn Upon Program Completion: Certificate of Completion
Why major in Nurse Paralegal?

Corporations, law firms, insurance companies, HMOs, risk management groups, government agencies, and hospitals are seeking qualified personnel trained in medicine and the law. This program offers paralegal education and training to nurses who are RNs and wish to be involved in the legal profession as legal nurse consultants or nurse paralegals.

If I major in Nurse Paralegal, can I transfer to an upper-division college or university?

The Nurse Paralegal certificate program is career-oriented and not designed for transfer to a bachelor’s degree program, however courses earned upon program completion may be applied to an associate’s degree program at ECC. Most or all credits earned in certificate programs that are applied to associate’s degree programs transfer to four-year institutions. See a Social Sciences Division academic advisor (faculty member) for more information.

Are there any requirements I must satisfy before I start taking courses in my major?

This certificate program is open to registered nurses with an associate’s degree who have at least two years of nursing experience. Diploma school nurses must also have two years of nursing experience and may be admitted to this certificate of achievement program upon review of transcripts.

How long will it take for me to complete this program?

You may complete the certificate of achievement on a part-time basis in three semesters by registering for an average of 7 credits each semester.

Where should I direct specific questions about this program?

Call the Division at (973) 877-3250.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
    • Explain the history, evolution, and current role of a nurse paralegal in the legal environment;
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the American legal system, substantive legal principles, and the litigation process;
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of medical/legal ethics and of the Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Guidelines for Enforcement of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.;
    • Proficiently access, locate, and research the law by both traditional and electronic methods;
    • Demonstrate problem-solving and critical, analytical thinking skills within the context of evaluating legal issues; and
    • Communicate effectively with accurate legal terminology in written and/or oral form, with a demonstrated proficiency in the use of technology.

MAJOR COURSE REQUIREMENTS (21 credits)

PLS 102 Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 105 Torts (3 credits)
PLS 108 Introduction to Nurse Paralegalism (3 credits)
PLS 202 Advanced Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 205 Administrative Law (3 credits)
PLS 206 Litigation Procedures (3 credits)
PLS 211 Medical Legal Ethics (3 credits)

Note: To enter this program, you need at least an associate's degree in Nursing, and you must also be able to demonstrate that you have met the general education requirements of Essex County College. In addition, you must show evidence of at least two years of nursing experience.

RECOMMENDED SEQUENCE OF COURSES

Total Credits Required for Certificate of Achievement: 21

First Semester
PLS 102 Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 105 Torts (3 credits)
PLS 108 Introduction to Nurse Paralegalism (3 credits)

Second Semester
PLS 202 Advanced Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 205 Administrative Law (3 credits)

Third Semester
PLS 206 Litigation Procedures (3 credits)
PLS 211 Medical Legal Ethics (3 credits)

ADDITIONAL NOTE

The Nurse Paralegal program prepares students to work under the supervision of an attorney. A paralegal shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law. Only attorneys can provide legal services directly to the public.


 

NOTE: This plan assumes the completion of all required developmental courses in reading, English, and mathematics as well as other pre-requisites and co-requisites for some of the courses, as listed in the Course Descriptions section.

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