Legal nurses, also called legal nurse consultants (LNCs), assist the legal team in analyzing cases potentially involving medical errors. LNCs’ clinical knowledge offers a unique contribution to understanding how situations may occur and provides an insider’s view of the complicated process of healthcare.
Depending on their worksite, legal nurses review and evaluate the documentation surrounding a medical occurrence, interview those involved, and create written chronologies to illustrate the event’s circumstances. Legal nurses help determine whether the actions of others were appropriate or should be called into question. They offer the legal team vital input to decide the case’s direction.
Legal nurses possess the skill to decipher nuances in standards of practice and explain them to the legal team or in the courts as expert witnesses.
Legal nurses often receive advanced training to improve their skills. For example, some start as paralegals and then take classes to become certified legal nurses. Others continue to obtain their master’s or doctoral degrees or become nurse attorneys.