What Education Is Required for a Career in Legal Nurse Consulting?
Beyond a nursing degree, little education is needed to become a legal nurse consultant. However, post-graduate certificate programs in legal nurse consulting are readily available for those seeking to broaden their legal knowledge. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Legal Nurse Consulting Work Overview
A legal nurse consultant is a registered nurse with special training in legal matters. Legal nurse consultants work with lawyers and other legal professionals to interpret and analyze complicated medical information. They act as advisers, and sometimes they serve as expert witnesses for cases in medical malpractice, worker's compensation, product liability, wrongful death and personal injury.
Education and Professional Requirements
Generally, a legal nurse consultant has a bachelor or master's degree in nursing, a registered nursing license and at least three to five years of experience in a nursing specialty area. Although no additional formal training is required, many legal nurse consultants choose to complete post-graduate training courses or certificate programs in this discipline. Topics in a legal nurse consulting program might include litigation, torts, legal writing and research, courtroom preparation, medical malpractice, administrative law and risk management.
The American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board offers optional certification for legal nurse consultants. To be eligible to take the LNCC (Legal Nurse Consultant Certified) examination, one must show proof of the following:
- Current registered nurse licensure
- Five years or more of registered nursing experience
- At least 2,000 hours of work as a legal nurse consultant in the five years prior
Legal nurse consultants are often self-employed. The rest typically are employed by law firms, insurance companies or other private establishments. Earning potential varies by the type of practice an individual works in, specialty area and the particular task at hand. All legal nurse consultants typically charge more to give depositions or testimony. Payscale.com reported that the majority of legal nurse consultants earned between $52,976 and $217,190 per year as of January 2014, and the median salary was $78,852.
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