How to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant
By Nancy Clanton
Registered nurses who wish to use their hard-earned skills in other ways may want to consider legal nurse consulting. Legal nurse consultants (LNC) assess complex information in legal cases, helping to bridge the gap between the legal system, health care science, and patient outcomes. The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) was established in 1989. According to AALNC, practice areas for LNCs include medical malpractice, personal injury, long-term care litigation/elder law, product liability, toxic tort, workers' compensation, risk management, life care planning, regulatory compliance, forensic/criminal, civil rights, employment discrimination, and Medicare set-asides. LNCs work in a number of environments, ranging from government agencies to being self-employed, and their functions include reviewing and analyzing medical records, conducting client interviews, conducting medical literature reviews, identifying medical professional standards of practice, identifying and securing expert witnesses, translating health care language for attorneys and other legal staff, and providing testimony in court as an expert witness. Those seeking to become LNCs should have passed the National Council Licensure Examination after graduating from nursing school and have a solid clinical nursing background, so they can better understand the nuances of medical cases. LNCs may also have advanced degrees. The next step is certification. [More information about becoming an LNC and certification can be found here.]
Read more on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.