Legal nurse consultants provide expert opinion in courts or help lawyers strengthen their cases and understand the medical information involving their clients.
As a legal nurse consultant, you’ll work away from clinical practice and instead work more as a liaison or in communications to help laypeople understand medical information. You could do tasks such as working with a lawyer to understand charts, researching medical cases, serving as a expert witness in court, preparing findings reports, dealing with informatics issues, and more. In addition, you could work with insurance companies, medical manufacturers, and other companies related to the medical world, but not involved with patient care. Legal nurse consultants often work independently, contracting with clients, so your tasks will change from day to day, depending on the cases you’re handling and your clients at any give time.
Salary and Career Options
Unlike most types of nurses, legal nurse consultants often work on an hourly basis. You can earn $100 to $200 per hour, on average, working in this field, but it depends on your location, the client, and your level of expertise. Almost all legal nurse consultants work for several years in the nursing field and have at least a master’s degree before working as a consultant in the field. The highest-paid consultants are typically specialists in their fields or have additional training in law or forensic nursing.
To become a legal nurse consultant, you need at least an associate’s degree, though most RNs go on to get their bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in this field before becoming certified. Your classes will cover a number of topics outside general nursing, such as malpractice, liability, forensics, elderly care law, and general health law. You can then seek certification through the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB).
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