Legal Nurse Consultant
A legal nurse consultant (LNC) is a registered nurse who is an expert health care provider and is trained to consult on legal cases in regard to medical information. Your work as an LNC is actually part of a legal team. An LNC is called upon to give opinions and background in legal medical cases or claims. The legal nurse consultant job description is comprised of preparing timelines or documentation of medical records, drafting medical portions of legal documents, attending medical exams, and participating in client interviews. Legal Nurse Consultants must have the clinical experience necessary to make proper evaluations of causation, damages, and standard care.
How to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant
Legal Nurse Consultant jobs generally go to registered nurses who have in-depth experience in the nursing field as well as the proper education and certification. To start your education pathway to this career you’ll need to start by obtaining a nursing diploma either through an ASN (associate of science in nursing) or BSN (bachelor of science in nursing). Then, you’ll need to pass your NCLEX-RN exam (National Council Licensure Examiniation) to get your first RN job. At this point, you’re ready to start your nursing experience as well as the hours you’ll need for consultant certification. 5 years nursing experience plus 2 years in legal nursing is the requirement for your LNCC (Legal Nurse Consultant Certification). With this certification, which is recognized by the American Association of legal Nursing Consultants) you may find legal nurse consultant jobs dealing with issues such as personal injury, workers’ compensation, administrative health law, medical malpractice, and more.
Education or Legal Nurse Consultants
Online RN programs are widely available. Even the best nursing schools in the country now offer programs online. Some of the best online graduate nursing programs include Yale University, Idaho State University, University of West Georgia, American Sentinel University, Kaplan University, Delta State University, Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Mississippi medical Center, just to name a few!
Online nursing school is a great way to start or continue your education. If you have already obtained your ASN and wish to continue into a legal nurse consultant degree, you can continue through a bridge degree program. The RN-to-BSN allows you to obtain your bachelors and an RN-to-MSN allows you to obtain your nursing masters. These programs apply whatever credits you’ve already obtained toward your next degree. In an RN to MSN programs you’ll obtain your bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) while getting your masters.
Legal Nurse Consultant Salary
Nurse consultant salary is often determined by the hours that you set for yourself. The pay can be determined by the case or hourly. Because this career is based upon your expertise and expert advice, it pays well… better than most registered nurse salary. The median income for a legal nurse consultant is around $80,000 but they can make up to $200,000 per year or more depending on their working network, number of cases annually, and level of experience.