Legal Nurse Consultants: Where the Road Starts

Legal ConsultantNurses are in demand in the U.S., so finding work is not a problem for them. The rise in medical malpractice lawsuits has opened up an interesting branch of nursing: legal nurse consulting. Programs are available that can help a nurse interested in law to become a legal nurse consultant (LNC).

Definition

Medical jargon is often as perplexing to lawyers as legal lingo is for medical professionals. An LNC serves as the medical expert in a legal team. They read medical charts and records so that lawyers understand them.

They also explain medical terms that may come their way. This helps lawyers prepare for medical malpractice and drug liability cases. An LNC serves as the bridge to close the gap in communication.

Requirements

The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) does not require formal legal training for its members. Many of its founding members are self-taught, as legal training for nurses was not yet available back in the day.

As long as the nurses are able to get their certification, it does not matter where they got their legal knowledge. However, applicants for AALNC certification should have a nursing degree and be a licensed nurse. They should also have at least two years’ experience as a legal nurse.

Education

Nurses today have it easy. They have quite a few options when it comes to getting the proper legal training. Many universities and colleges offer both diploma and certificate legal nurse consulting programs.

RNs may also choose to train in non-formal settings with practicing LNCs. This gives them the benefit of getting practical tips and advice. They also get helpful insights into the world of LNCs. RNs may not have the time to get their training in the conventional manner. The Center For Legal Studies says nurses can choose online courses, which they can complete in seven weeks.

Becoming a legal nurse consultant is a good opportunity for licensed nurses. It gives them a chance to branch out into the legal field. It gives them more interesting career options outside of the traditional healthcare settings.