How Do I Become a Legal Nurse?

Legal nursing is a growing profession that bridges the gap between the legal and medical fields. For those who already hold a registered nurse (RN) license, transitioning to a legal nursing career requires minimal, if any, additional training. Keep reading to learn how to become a legal nurse. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Legal professionals often don't understand the medical information and terminology they encounter in medical-related legal cases, such as medical malpractice, personal injury and wrongful death suits. In these instances, legal nurses can serve as advisers, assisting lawyers, paralegals and other legal workers in interpreting and analyzing complex medical records. Legal nurses can also apply their nursing experience as expert witnesses.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't list any information for legal nurses, but these professionals can be considered legal support workers.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Pay (2014) $53,740 (for legal support workers, all other)
Work Environment Legal nurses can work for organizations including law firms, health care facilities and government agencies.
Key Skills Organizational skills, interpersonal skills, writing abilities, leadership skills, analytical and problem-solving skills
Similar Occupations Paralegal, legal secretary

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Requirements

To enter this profession, you first must complete a registered nurse (RN) training program and earn a license from your state board of nursing. After working in your chosen nursing specialty for a few years, you may choose to complete additional training in legal nursing. A number of U.S. community colleges and 4-year institutions offer certificate programs in this discipline; however, the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) notes that formal training is not required. Legal nurses also can seek certification through the AALNC.

Job Duties

Legal nurses review medical-related legal cases and evaluate their merit. Other duties may include:

  • Finding and interviewing medical witnesses
  • Organizing independent medical exams
  • Identifying deviation from nursing care standards
  • Researching medical texts

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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