What is a Legal Nurse Consultant?
A legal nurse consultant is a practicing registered nurse, who through training and experience is able to offer medical expertise in the context of litigation and other legal cases. They act as consultants to help lawyers and clients understand medical terminology, specific health conditions, medical treatments and issues revolving around healthcare. Presently high in demand, legal nurse consultants may work for legal offices, insurance companies, hospitals and other healthcare facilities as well as corporate entities and governmental departments. Legal nurse consultant training will help you raise your nursing career to a new and refined level.
The AALNC recommends selecting an LNC certification program that is taught by both reputable nursing and legal instructors. When going through university course catalogues, select a legal nurse consultant training curriculum that will help you reach your professional goals. Whether the course is one day or 365, the AALNC states that the curriculum should be based on the text, Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles and Practice edited by Ann M. Peterson and Lynda Kopishke.
If you wish to become a Legal Nurse Consultant, an assortment of colleges and universities offer LNC training within their faculties of continuing education, nursing, law and healthcare; many offer online courses so that you can study at a time and place that is convenient to your lifestyle. Before taking legal nurse consultant training, the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) recommends having practiced as a Registered Nurse for at least five years; you must also have an up-to-date nursing license. To become a certified legal nurse consultant through the AALNC, you must pass the Association's credential exam, have five years of practice as a Registered Nurse and previous legal nurse consulting experience. While an LNC training program is not mandatory, it will equip you with the skills and practice to merge the medical and legal worlds and pass the certification exam with flying colors.
About the AALNC
The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC), for all intents and purposes, is the official certification board for Legal Nurse Consultants. To be eligible to take the certification exam, you must currently be a Registered Nurse and have five years practice as an RN; in the last three years leading up to the LNC credential examination you must have 2000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience.
The AALNC is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1989 by registered nurses who took the initiative to start acting as legal consultants due to their medical expertise and initiative to learn about the legal system. Through collaboration with attorneys and other legal entities, they experientially learned how to act as informed consultants on the stand and in other legal matters. Today, AALNC has brought a standard of care and proficiency across the United States and now offers professional development, training and LNC certification.
Legal nurse consulting certificate programs range between a day and one to two years, depending on how extensive you wish your studies to be before taking the AALNC certification exam. In order to qualify for a program you must be a Registered Nurse with an up-to-date license; most institutions also recommend a certain amount of previous nursing work experience. Typical LNC training programs include six or more modules. Coursework includes an introduction to legal nurse consulting, risk management, a study of different types of law, research of standard care case law, jurisdictional demands, presentation of evidence, acting as an expert witness, personal injury claims and marketing yourself as an LNC.
- MS in Legal Studies - Healthcare Delivery (Online)
- BS in Legal Studies(Online)
- Click Here to learn more about Kaplan's Legal Studies Degree with a focus in Healthcare.
- BS in Criminal Justice Administration - Institutional Healthcare (Online)
- BS in Health Administration (Online)
- Click Here to learn more about University of Phoenix's CJ programs that specialize in Institutional Healthcare.
ACCREDITATION: University of Phoenix is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. University of Phoenix was placed on Notice by The Higher Learning Commission, effective June 27, 2013. For additional information, contact The Higher Learning Commission, ncahlc.org.
What is the demand for Legal Nurse Consultants?
The demand for Legal Nurse Consultants continues to rise. Approximately 25 percent of legal cases in the United States center on medical issues and require the expertise of LNCs. As a legal nurse consultant, you can either work for insurance companies, corporations, industries, law offices, hospitals or work as a freelance consultant.
Do I need to be a Registered Nurse to become a Legal Nurse Consultant?
To complete the AALNC's Legal Nurse Consultant certification exam, you must be a registered nurse with at least five years experience. While you do not officially need to be granted certification through the AALNC to practice as an LNC, nowadays law offices, hospitals, clients and corporations will most likely only trust the expertise and experience ensured by certification through the Association.
What is the salary for Legal Nurse Consultants on average?
Legal nurse consultants who work independently as freelance consultants generally make an hourly wage, which can range from $75 to $150/hour. LNCs working for a company or institution are typically on salary and make an average of $67,000 per year with the potential for growth to over $90,000 per year.
Edited By Aaron Heyntsen