Tips On How To Become a Legal Nurse Consultant
If you have passion for both medicine and law, then becoming a legal nurse consultant is best for you. The medical and legal fields are closely connected, as there are vast legal cases that are also linked to medical issues.
Legal nurse consultants are registered nurses that make use of their healthcare expertise in order to provide assistance with medical-related legal cases.
Job Description of Legal Nurse Consultants
According to AALNC (American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants), Legal Nurse Consultants or LNCs practice a specialize program in the nursing career. Legal professionals and attorneys consult with these for their experience and proficiency in healthcare and nursing. They analyze, evaluate and give opinion on how healthcare is being delivered and how results are rendered. These nurses work along with attorneys regarding medical-related claims and cases
Legal nurse consultants function as a liaison between legal and healthcare fields. They assist businesses and lawyers with reviewing and reading medical records, preparing and locating evidence, understanding medical terminology, and provide education pertaining to various medical issues. They help prepare trials, conduct research, review cases, identify standards of healthcare, create summaries and reports on medical conditions and examine medical records. They also interview and locate witnesses and patients. In some cases, they testify in court as expert witnesses. These nurses assist lawyers in determining merits of a certain case and analyze documents so as to compare them with allegations.
How to become a Legal Nurse Consultant
Aspiring candidates should become a registered nurse by obtaining an associate degree, diploma or bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Some nurse consultants hold various certificate programs. These certificate programs cover courses in civil litigation, summary and review of medical records, legal terminology, healthcare risk management, medical liability and torts. Many employers prefer nurses with a minimum of three years work experience.
All RNs should have a license by successfully passing the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse).
Most legal nurse consultants hold a professional certificate from the AALNC (American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants). They must stay abreast on current advancement in the field in order to maintain their certifications.
Job Prospects for Legal Nurse Consultants
Employment for registered nurses is expected to increase about 23 percent from 2006 up to 2016. The increase in healthcare-related legal cases will result to job growth.
Job prospects for LNCs are expected to be great especially those with extensive training and professional certifications. Job openings for legal nurses will continue to rise due to the need to replace nurses that transfer, leave or retire for some other reasons.
Becoming a legal nurse consultant is a perfect choice for persons with strong interest in bridging the gap between the legal system and medical field. They must possess a firm understanding in nursing practice and have a good ability to connect them with a wide variety of healthcare-related legal issues.
Determination, patience, perseverance, critical thinking and detail orientation are essential characteristics. These nurses have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills and feel comfortable testifying and witnesses in court and interviewing patients.