A legal nurse consultant serves as a connection between legal and health care personnel. It is they who provide medical consulting services to attorneys or businesses regarding legal cases with a medical component. They are the ones who assist lawyers and businesses with conducting many different research and presentation duties, including locating and preparing witnesses, researching the validity of psychological or neurological symptoms, developing evidence discovery plans, reviewing and screening cases, preparing opinion reports and summaries of medical records, conducting medical and forensic literature research, and countless more exciting and challenging duties.
In the last three to four decades, an enlarged emphasis on specialty across all jobs has meant that nurses have also evolved from their main caregiving roles into numerous practical roles. These are clearly defined and provide a lot of opportunities for growth and development in the field of healthcare.
LNC professionals work in different environments including law firms, hospitals, insurance companies, consulting firms and related areas. If employed by a hospital, nurse consultants will sometimes take cases in their free time, while continuing nursing careers full time. Others may go to work for an attorney or insurance company, where duties remain strictly in the medical-related legal field. Legal nurse consultants review medical records, conduct research, and prepare reports for attorneys to evaluate standards of care.
Specifically, a legal nurse consultant is a trained nurse who is also qualified to provide advice on the legal aspects of healthcare if there is a need to do so. Its training begins with a diploma from a university.
The first step in becoming a legal nurse consultant is to complete all formal education requirements to work as a Registered Nurse in RN jobs. Available options include a two-year associate’s degree, a three-year diploma from a hospital, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Potential consultants should be detailed-oriented and have good communication skills so that they may provide accurate information to legal professionals. They need to be able to conduct legal research using a variety of manual and computerized methods, and to write up the results. LNCs who work freelance may need to know how to market and sell themselves in order to find positions.
All nurses are required to be licensed by their particular state medical boards before starting a practice in the nursing field. Once licensed, it is recommended that they work toward gaining significant work experience within a variety of nursing roles and specialties before taking on the role of legal nurse consulting professional.
Employment opportunities in the field of legal nurse consulting are increasing, and the demand for legal nurse consultants is rapidly growing. Numerous nurses are developing their occupation by attaining a certification as LNC professionals, but often work freelance. These self-employed consultants work their day as a normal nurse, but sometimes work for hospitals or attorneys on the side as a consultant, as opposed to doing it as a full-time career. Nurses with any certification related to legal consulting are more likely to get hired. Many companies see these skills as a serious advantage, both for them and their patients.