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Legal Nursing Consultant

Legal nurse consultants (LNC) provide guidance to attorneys in analyzing and evaluating whether causes of injuries may be from medical care, nursing care, or both. The LNC is uniquely knowledgeable in multiple aspects of healthcare delivery and legal responsibilities. They review all the case documentation, create chronologies, research additional medical literature, and consult with medical-legal teams to determine whether a lawsuit has merit. 

Legal nurse consultants (LNC) may also work in expanded roles in case management, assisting in trial preparation, attending independent medical exams, and giving expert nurse testimony.

Education Requirements

All nurse specialty areas require an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and successfully pass the state's NCLEX-RN exam. The AALNC recommends you actively practice for five years before becoming a legal nurse consultant.

How to advance/career pathway

Legal nurse consultants may advance their education through several educational programs.

You can apply for Legal Nurse Consultant Certification (LNCC) after working a minimum of five years as a registered nurse and show evidence of 2000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience within the past five years.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Review and analyze medical records and create chronologies
  • Interview clients regarding their medical history
  • Research medical issues and conditions
  • Report relevant findings and interpret medical issues to attorneys
  • Assist in deposition preparation
  • Assist in interviewing and arranging for expert witnesses
  • Providing testimony in court as an expert witness

MOST COMMON CASES

  • Medical malpractice
  • Personal injury
  • Elder and long-term care law
  • Workers compensation
  • Forensic or Criminal cases
  • Risk management
  • Product liability
  • Medicare-related

How to become a

Legal Nursing Consultant

  1. Complete an ADN or BSN program in nursing
  2. Pass the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for your RN license
  3. Have five years of experience working as an RN
  4. Complete a LNC program
  5. Take the LNC exam after meeting prerequisites
  6. Apply to work in the Legal Nurse field

Specialty Groups and Communities

American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC)

  • Mission: "The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants promotes the professional advancement of registered nurses consulting within the legal arena by providing a forum for education, research and exchange of information."
  • Cost: $250.00, annually.
  • Perks: Free access to all ten webinars presented yearly in both live and on-demand formats. Free access to their foundational resource, The Legal Nurse Consulting: Scope and Standards of Practice. Career Support, Exclusive Member Discounts, and Member Affinity Program Discounts.

National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants

  • (Vickie Milazzo Institute, a division of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. trained LNC)
  • Perks: NACLNC directory.org includes a listing of every member of the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC®) trained by Vickie Milazzo Institute at no additional cost.

International & American Association of the Legal Nurse Industry

  • Cost: $250.00, annually.
  • Perks: You receive a link on the IAALNI.org Directory listing Legal Nurses in the United States and countries worldwide, free referral service, newsletters, use of their logo for self-promotion, and access to upcoming legal and medical conferences.

The Pros

  • Ability to design an independent practice in a diverse growing field
  • Become an expert resource in areas of medical-legal knowledge
  • Work collaboratively with clients, attorneys, and medical professionals

The Cons

  • Focus on reviewing charts and documentation without much direct patient care
  • Must dedicate time to self-promotion through marketing if self-employed
  • Much of the work is paperwork and research, focused on whether Scope of Practice (SOP) and Standard of Care (SOC) was met.
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Personality Traits

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Dedicated and thorough
  • Enjoys researching and reviewing medical documentation
  • Ability to be objective
  • Acts independently
  • Calm demeanor with patients and families
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Average Salary

On average, Legal Nurse Consultants salaries range typically falls between $68,760 and $88,492.

For the most up-to-date salary information, check out Salary Explorer.

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Certifications

The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) offers a 17 module self-paced program to obtain LNCC certification. The only legal nurse consulting credential approved by the American Board of Nursing Specialties.

Member rate: $2291
Non-member rate: $4273

Vickie Milazzo Institute for Medical-Legal Consulting offers an online program with four levels of certification:

Regular price: $4,997, currently on sale for $3,197.

LNC STAT
LNC STAT is accredited by the Boards of Nursing. Certification programs include:

  • Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant (ALNC) Certification
  • Expert of Medical-Legal Specialties (EMLS) Certification

Packages Costs: $3,995 to $14,495

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Work Setting

Found in insurance companies, independent consulting practices, risk management departments in hospitals, law firms, forensic environments, and government agencies. 

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Interested in learning more about what it's like to be a Legal Nurse Consultant? We spoke to one to find out. Read What Does a Legal Nurse Consultant Do?