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I'm an RN who is physically no longer capable of doing bedside nursing. I'm looking into Patient Advocate Programs, both general and RN specific.  The cost of these Certificate courses varies from $900.00 up to $7000.00. I'm currently on SSDI, so money is very, very tight.  The program I'd like to go to is around 5K, directed at RN's.  It has an excellent reputation plus has a built in network of alumni.

The $900.00 course is a generalist program.  It's on line, no face to face, while the RN course is 8 weeks of intensive on line study, culminating in a 6 day face to face intensive. 

The program descriptions from every program I've looked at is a bit on the vague side.  The U of Miami, FL, offers two semesters for the certificate, with Academic sounding names.

There isn't a standardized national certification exam at this point.  There are a number of programs that insist that "our program and structure will become THE national standard".

 Patient Advocacy is a relatively new area in nursing.  It combines a number of other areas, such as Case Management, Utilization Review, and Navigation.  I am drawn to the Independent Patient Advocate, who works for the patient, rather than for the hospital or insurance.  My vested interest is getting the patient what the patient wants/needs, rather than having the doctors, hospital or insurance TELL the patient what he/she wants.

I have no background in business whatsoever, so any class I pay for MUST address itself to the details of lifting theory off the ground into a soaring business venture.

Since I'm on a fixed income, the only way to afford the more expensive programs is to raid my almost non-existent 401k.  The cheaper on line course I can probably pull some money together (in a few months) and pay cash.

Any ideas floating around out there?

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