Summary: The nurse consultant functions as an advisor or a consultant for various institutions, not only in healthcare, but also from industrial companies and other organizations involved in different industries. Nurse consultants advise hospitals, nursing schools, and public health organizations on matters related to nursing responsibilities, activities and other health services. Sometimes, nurse consultants are called legal nurse consultants.
Duties: Besides being a consultant for various industries, a nurse consultant analyzes and gives suggestions or recommendations on proper nursing and administrative methodologies. He/she sometimes develop nursing curricula for healthcare schools, hospitals and institutions. A nurse consultant sets guidelines and proper training for efficient handling and managing of tasks by nursing and healthcare personnel. He/she creates educational programs for all nursing personnel, publishes manuals and educational materials, as well as coordinates planning and guidance of educational programs for communities and industries. Nurse consultants also meet with nursing associations to discuss changes in principles, work ethics and other matters concerning nursing issues. Aside from performing research, nurse consultants prepare data for reading articles and lectures.
Education and Training Requirements: Becoming a registered nurse is a prerequisite for being a nurse consultant. At least two or three years experience in critical care nursing and/or a masters or PhD degree in nursing or public health is sought after by most companies who employ nurse consultants in their staff..
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills are desirable for this job since it entails talking to various people from different sectors of industry, generating reports and publishing guidelines and manuals for medical and non-medical personnel. Other important tasks needed as a nurse consultant include analytical skills, problem solving skills, customer service skills, strong research skills, leadership skills and ability to work independently or as part of a team.
Working Conditions: Many clinical consultants work in hospital settings and health facilities. They are subjected to diseases and illnesses, which is a regular part of nursing life. They often travel to various hospitals and health facilities. They follow a regular work schedule but traveling and meeting with various professionals entail longer working hours, sometimes even working weekends and nights. Project deadlines could require longer work hours and stressful environments.
Salary: A nurse consultant makes $63,000 annually on average. Factors like size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may cause salaries to vary considerably amongst nurse consultants.