Legal nurse consultant is one of the careers that are often overlooked by nurses. This exciting and challenging field allows you to provide advice to legal experts, attorneys, and paralegals as related to medicine-related legal cases. Legal nurse consultants must have special clinical expertise and education that allows them to analyze complicated medical information and to provide expert opinions as related to the law. These highly trained professionals may assist attorneys in cases regarding product liability, medical malpractice, nursing liability, worker’s compensation, wrongful death, sexual assault, toxic tort, personal injury, criminal defense, and more.
Legal nurse consultants find and interview experts in the medical field, screen cases for merit, formulate case theories, liaise between medical experts, lawyers, and other concerned parties, identify deviations in medical care, coordinate medical examinations, and conduct medical research.
Many times, the LNC manages and analyzes the medical records of the plaintiff, assist in the analysis of medical records, prepare medical chronologies, charts, diagrams and timelines, and interpret physician notes.
In addition to consulting services, LNCs are often called upon to serve as expert witnesses. This may require appearing to give testimony at depositions, trials, arbitrations, and hearings as well as preparing reports for trial use.
In order to work as a LNC, you must be a registered nurse with at least five years of experience in any specialty of the nursing field. Since most LNCs have a bachelor’s degree or higher, it is a good idea to pursue an advanced degree for the best employment options in the field. In addition, nurses typically take the legal nurse consulting training and get certification as a legal nurse consultant.
Salary and Outlook
This amazing career provides an excellent salary. LNCs working for legal firms can expect to earn between $60 and $100 per hour, while those who work independently can earn between $65 and $200 per hour. The salary, of course, varies based on the particular job and the nursing speciality. The outlook for this career field is excellent, and is expected to see a much faster than average growth.
If you are looking for a nursing job that is a bit out of the ordinary, becoming a legal nurse consultant can provide you with everything you need and more.