A legal nurse consultant (LNC) is a registered nurse with specialized training in matters of law. LNCs are invaluable assets to attorneys because LNCs can interpret medical records and provide expert opinions. These expert opinions can be wide-ranging but are only a small part of the array of skills a LNC brings to the legal process. Legal nurse consultants often partner with attorneys in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Their knowledge helps attorneys build sound cases for their clients. Besides reviewing medical records, LNCs can evaluate and prepare expert witness testimony, conduct medically oriented research and even testify at trial if necessary.
While working with attorneys is the mainstay of an LNC’s career, private corporations and insurance companies can also seek their services. LNCs also find work as consultants to government entities, both state and local, that are seeking to identify and reduce risk and avoid litigation. Regardless of the setting, LNCs earn highly competitive fees and salaries. One of the most important services provided by LNCs constructing a time line for the case that highlights both medical and legal milestones or issues. A time line identifies critical events in a case, putting them in a structured yet easy-to-understand format for judges, juries and other attorneys. The expertise of LNCs often helps prevent litigation failure and wins positive outcomes for clients and attorneys.
The job and salary outlook for LNCs in New York State divides neatly into two geographical areas – New York City metropolitan and nearby suburbs and upstate areas centering on cities like Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse and Binghamton. While LNCs are in demand in all these areas, the salaries can vary substantially. Here are some examples of annual salaries in New York State for LNCs:
Albany – 64,000.00
Binghamton – 66,000.00
Buffalo – 58.000.00
New York City – 89,000.00
While the salary in New York City may seem attractive, remember that New York State ranks among the top 10 in highest cost of living, most expensive housing and most expensive cost of food. Property and sales taxes are particularly high. With a median property tax of over $3000.00 per year, New York State’s property taxes are the 4th highest in the United States. Wikipedia notes that New York State has a 4% state sales tax and that all counties and some cities add local taxes ranging from 3% to 4.75%. The combined sales tax in Utica, for example, is 8.75%. In New York City, total sales tax is 8.375%. Even Buffalo, an area with a depressed economy, has a sales tax rate of 8.75%.
New York State has many recreational opportunities. The Adirondack, Berkshire and Catskill mountains are scenic and dotted with innumerable lakes, streams and rivers. The scenic Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley regions also offer recreational opportunities like hiking, skiing and camping. In the New York City area, you’ll find over 18,000 restaurants and 150 museums. Despite all these attractions, the prohibitive tax structure and cost of living make New York State a poor choice for LNCs, whether they are residents or are considering relocation to New York. States like Texas, New Hampshire and Minnesota offer lower costs and are attractive alternatives that LNCs should explore.
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All software consultants should provide a contract document to be executed before performance of any services. While these contracts can be long, it is crucial that they are read beforehand, as there are some very important provisions which need to be understood by both parties.
While it is important to read the entire contract with each transaction, there are certain key sections in a typical software consulting contract upon which you will want to focus special attention.
Performance of Services
Some basic guidelines for the performance of the Consulting Services should also be established. Where will the consulting services be performed? Who can request consulting services? Who is responsible for travel and other ancillary expenses?
Ownership of Intellectual Property and/or License
It is important that you, as the client, know that by default, all Copyright is property of the Author. This means that absent any language to the contrary, all source code and documentation developed by the Software Consulting firm belongs to them. For this reason, it is critical that IP Ownership be established by any contract you execute with your vendor.
Language regarding the handling of information which is confidential to your business is also vital to include in your contract. This language should be written so as to incorporate your data as well as your processes.
Limitation of Liability
Most software consulting vendors will not warrantee any and all damages to you and/or your customers who are using the custom solution that the vendor is developing for you. It’s important that you understand the limits of such liabilities and that you are comfortable with them before engaging the vendor.
It is also common practice to limit the contractual liability to “the value of the delivered services or $X, whichever is greater”, so that there is a limit to the financial impact of a failed project.
Billing and Payment Terms
It is a good idea to establish expectations for both billing and payment as well. Some important questions regarding billing and payment terms to consider include: Will purchase orders be issued or required? How often will bills be issued? In what format and where will invoices be sent? How soon must they be paid? What forms of payment are acceptable? Are there any discounts for prompt payment? Are there any penalties for late payments?
These terms should be set forth in the contract so that expectations are established from the beginning of the relationship and there are no surprises.
Nate Richards is Founder and CEO of Entrance Software, a Custom Software Development and Consulting Company. With nearly a decade of professional software development experience, he has developed a breadth of knowledge of numerous technologies and the role of custom software in the business world.
Every organization has personnel issues that require an immediate and accurate response. Employment regulations can be confusing and change constantly, making it nearly impossible for employers to stay informed.
There are often peaks in recruiting activities that require immediate attention, but the cost of hiring additional personnel to meet only today’s needs places small businesses in a serious dilemma. Such commitments to these short-term needs require expertise, but hiring experienced personnel is expensive. Hiring inexperienced personnel results in lost time due to the level of research required before the inexperienced personnel are properly prepared to meet the immediate demands.
What is a company to do?
Consider using a seasoned HR Consultant to help you. With an experienced HR Consultant, there is little to no time required for researching what to do or what best practices to incorporate into the current circumstance. HR Consulting professionals often cost less than hiring administrative support staff full time and are often able to commit to your company for longer periods of time.
Let’s look at these advantages closer.
Commitment: A good HR Professional is often sought after within any growing job market. Therefore, your experienced HR Professional is subjected to several job offers because of the high demand of this stressful career path. When faced with significant pay increases and possible circumstances better than currently experiencing, they often owe it to their families to consider other offers, even if they are content where they are.
Most HR Consultants have already been through this struggle and are seeking to be more devoted to one or two loyal clients that need their help getting the company established or to fill in for key personnel during absences. This kind of mutual commitment is beneficial to the business and also to the consultant.
Cost Considerations: This one is easy! Hiring any full time employee is expensive regardless of their experience level. You must consider the total fringe cost, which can often range from 30% to more than 50% of additional expenses for medical insurance and other insurance plans, worker’s compensation, social security, taxes, medicare, unemployment insurance, etc.
Aside from these expenses, you also have to factor what level of experience you are paying for when hiring a full time employee. Less experienced employees often spend such exorbitant amounts of time trying to learn the job that productivity of their time suffers. Their lack of experience ultimately costs the company more money. When employees have the extra time to improve their career skills, some employees choose to surf the internet or use their time for personal interests rather than preparing to be more successful the next time they are required to stretch outside their knowledge comfort zone.
An HR Consultant is often a seasoned professional that can perform a variety of functions with minimal research and often without needing guidance. HR Consultants can be utilized for short projects, start up phases, during absences of other full time staff or even by the hour if you simply need professional council. HR Consultants are in business to help save you money!
For many people, the idea of getting away from their day job is one that is tempting but that they never really look at twice. They are concerned about losing their steady income or their insurance, and they are certain that they simply do not know enough to be their own boss. The truth of the matter is, if you are ambitious enough and have the drive, there is a good chance that you can make your money consulting and that you can do it completely on your own!
If you are in a situation where you are tired of making money for someone else, you will find that consultation is something that you should take a look at. Chances are, you are already an expert on your field; the problem is that your employer has taken pains to make sure that you don’t know it! If you are in a situation where you are considering consulting, take a look at your resources. Think about the training that you have undergone in the past few years and think about what you can do to translate that training and that experience into a field where you will be making lots of money by telling people all about it.
When you take a look at the idea of consulting, you will find that while you may need a discipline and organization to get it it off the ground that it is completely attainable. For many people, consulting is simply them doing their jobs, but on their own terms. Some people even find that their own firms will hire them back to consult and that they will make double the money that they had, or even more. So very often, it is a matter of initiative and drive, rather than anything else.
If you are considering the idea of changing careers, becoming a consultant and running your own business, you’ll find that one of the most important things that you should think about is your time management at work. Are you someone who is organized at work? Do you understand the idea of structure and how it pertains to career development? You will find that organization is something that is crucial when you are looking to make sure that you can make it on your own.
Don’t launch into you career as a consultant unprepared; make sure that you have what it takes when it comes to your own readiness and development!