How to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant and Legal Nurse Consultant Salary, Training and Careers Introduction

27 Sep

How to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant and Legal Nurse Consultant Salary, Training and Careers Introduction


Legal Nurse Consultant’s Scope of Work
According to the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC), the premier industry body for LNCs working in the US, the main function of Legal Nurse Consultant is to “evaluate, analyze and render informed opinions on the delivery of healthcare and its outcomes.”
LNCs work with all matters where there is a medical/legal angle in the following areas:
Healthcare licensure and related investigations
Medical malpractice
Personal injury
Product liability
Risk management
Toxic torts
Workers’ compensation
Day-to-day activities include but are not limited to:
Reviewing medical records and other documentation where legal complications or difficulties are discovered.
Applying relevant standards, policies, rules and regulations to provide advice on medical-legal matters.
Providing input on possible liabilities and damages.
Interacting with legal professionals, healthcare personnel, insurance companies and subject-matter experts in resolving issues.
Preparing reports, analyses and other required documentation for or against legal claims and suits.
Attending court to provide testimony or appear as expert witness, work with attorneys on taking their own and other parties’ depositions.
Advising healthcare and allied services professionals on the possible legal implications, liability and causation aspects of situations encountered in the course of healthcare practice.
Legal Nurse Consultant Salary, Training and Careers
Legal nurse consultants (LNCs) provide medical consulting services to attorneys or businesses regarding legal cases with a medical component.
A legal nurse consultant serves as the liaison between legal and health care personnel.
Many legal nurses review medical records for attorneys to help them decide whether medical malpractice occurred in a given case. Disability or workers’ compensation cases may require a similar review.

Nurse consultants might help attorneys prepare for a deposition, perhaps by familiarizing them with medical or nursing terminology. LNCs also testify as expert witnesses at trial.
Since LNCs have firsthand knowledge and are less expensive than doctors, lawyers will often use them as expert witnesses, so they are in high demand. Legal nurse consultants can use this to their advantage and increase their salary.
Learn more about the legal nurse consultant profession to see if this career path is right for you.
Workplaces for Legal Nurse Consultants
Many legal nurse consultants work as independent contractors, while others are employed by law firms, health care organizations and insurance companies. Like paralegals, legal nurse consultants are not licensed as attorneys and may not give legal advice.
Legal Nurse Consultant Education and Training
In addition to being a registered nurse and having at least three years of nursing experience, you’ll need to take a 1-to-2 semester certificate program. Most legal nurse consultant programs cover legal terminology, civil litigation, torts and medical liability, medical records summary and review, and health care risk management.
Become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant
While certification for legal nurses is optional, it’s highly recommended. LNC certification is evidence that you have mastered a complex body of specialized knowledge and will give you a competitive edge in the job market. Certification also bolsters your credibility with attorneys and helps you build a profitable practice more quickly. The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) offers certification through the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board.

Legal Nurse Consultant Salary
According to the Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, legal nurse consultant salary can be as high as $125 to $150 per hour. Legal nurses often do consulting work part time to supplement their income. Those who work full-time make salaries comparable to registered nurses. Below are the top ten states for average registered nurse salaries in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
California – $85,080
Massachusetts – $81,780
Hawaii – $80,020
Maryland – $76,330
New Jersey – $74,990
Alaska – $74,970
District of Columbia – $74,040
Oregon – $73,300
Nevada – $72,940
New York – $72,790
For more information on becoming a legal nurse consultant, you can contact us for help


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