Nurse liaisons are required to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN). They need a minimum of a certificate in nursing and their nursing license. A bachelor's degree in nursing is recommended for those interested in pursuing a career as a nurse liaison.
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Nurse liaisons advocate for patients in a health care facility beginning with the pre-admission process and following through their release. Nurse liaisons are registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who often possess some professional experience in the field.
|Required Education||LPN certificate|
|Other Requirements||Nursing license|
|Projected Job Growth* (2014-2024)||16% for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses|
|Median Salary* (2015)||$43,170 annually for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
As the job title implies, a nurse liaison fosters the relationship between patients and the facilities providing their care. Nurse liaisons establish patients' eligibility for care, communicating with families, and interacting with a wide range of staff members, from admissions coordinators to case managers to physicians. They work in acute care, long-term acute care, hospice, and rehabilitation environments.
Nurse liaisons are often the first to assess patients, review their medical records, and determine whether they should be admitted for care. They explain the types of care and services their facility offers to patients and their families. A nurse liaison also works with the facility to schedule therapy sessions and doctor visits. Coordinating with other staff members to ensure smooth patient discharge is also among a nurse liaison's duties.
Nurse liaisons may also verify health insurance and its coverage, interacting with the providers and the facility. Other duties might include training other staff members and consulting with the facility's sales division.
A nurse liaison must be an RN or LPN. Since nurse liaisons can work in a variety of patient-care facilities, nursing experience in the specific desired setting is beneficial and may be required by some employers.
LPN programs generally take one full year to complete and may lead to a credential such as a certificate. Aspiring RNs can enter an associate's degree program, a bachelor's degree program, or a hospital program, though the latter is becoming less common; the practical and clinical learning is very similar among the programs, although the degree programs require additional training and general education. Upon completion of programs, both aspiring LPNs and RNs must pass a national licensing examination.
A number of professional nursing organizations today recommend that aspiring nurses pursue a bachelor's degree in the field. The four-year program gives graduates greater potential for advancement, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide information specific to nurse liaisons, it does for both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. The BLS reported in 2015 that the median annual salaries earned by RNs and LPNs were $67,490 and $43,170, respectively. The employment of RNs, LPNs and licensed vocational nurses may see job opportunities increase by 16% from 2014-2024. This is faster than average growth compared to all occupations.
A nurse liaison is involved with patient care from their arrival at a medical facility to their release. They check in patients, may be responsible for verifying health insurance coverage, assess patients, review the patient's medical history, determine if they should be admitted and where they should be referred to for treatment. They communicate with medical staff, the patient, and the patient's family as needed and play a vital role in the patient's care.