Legal Nurse Consultant Career Profile

A legal nurse consultant (LNC) is a registered nurse who uses his or her medical knowledge to help with legal issues. Legal nurse consultants are very valuable when, for instance, a legal case requires medical explanations about certain health issues raised in the defense of suspects. There are insurance legal nurse consultants, hospital legal nurse consultants and law firm legal nurse consultants.

Their main role is to facilitate law enforcement agencies by resolving health care- and medical care-related issues.

Work Environment

They are generally employed in lawyers’ offices, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies and hospitals. They have to work as an intermediary between the legal and medical experts and other concerned parties.

Tasks

They can work in a variety of realms and on many kinds of cases, such as medical malpractice, product or nursing liability, personal injury, worker’s compensation, toxic tort, sexual attacks and suspicious death.

  • LNCs have to investigate and review cases to find the worthiness of the medical claims made by the clients and the quality of service provided to them.
  • They have to interpret physicians' notes and prepare chronological records.
  • They have to explain health-care practices to the attorneys concerned.
  • LNCs might have to evaluate and detect if there was any malpractice of any type for insurance claims and submit reports to claims departments.
  • LNCs have to find the merits and demerits of medical cases so that lawyers can produce their reports for the support of suspects or against witnesses.
  • They have to review medical records and legal papers and analyze them to make decisions.
  • They have to appear in court to testify for the health-care or medical claims in question.
  • LNCs have to do research inside the deepest areas of medical literature to identify deviations from standard procedures and to formulate legal and medical theories.

Skills Set

To become an LNC, a person should be a registered and licensed nurse. He or she should have at least two years of experience as a practicing nurse and a wide knowledge of legal practices.

It is better if you finish some training programs like the one run by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. To become a qualified forensic nurse, you can also acquire a license issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

LNCs must be capable of performing multiple tasks at a time. Supreme communication skills, critical thinking capability, tremendous research abilities and sharp writing skills are integral components of this position. LNCs must keep up to date on evolving legal and nursing procedures and vernacular.

Income

LNCs are generally paid on an hourly basis, and their rate is between $90 and $250, as per the survey made by "Legal Nurse Consulting Ezine." Their average annual income range is $50,000 to $75,000. They are paid more--anywhere from $150 to $200 per hour--when they are called forth to be expert witnesses.