Career Spotlight: Legal Nurse Consultant
Are you interesting in being involved in more than just the medical field? Legal nurse consultants work in between the medical field and the judicial system, giving these registered nurses a change of scenery from strictly clinical work.
If you’re looking for a career within nursing outside of the exam room, legal nurse consulting might be for you.
What is a Legal Nurse Consultant?
Legal nurse consultants work as the medical portion of a legal team.
“These nurses serves as the medical expert in legal cases, helping attorneys and other legal professionals interpret records and charts, understand medical terminology and consult with them on healthcare-related topics,” according to Discover Nursing. “As a Legal Nurse Consultant, you can also work with insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, clinics and government agencies either as an employee or on a contractual basis.”1
How do you become a Legal Nurse Consultant?
A legal nurse consultant is required to have a degree in nursing. This can either be an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Once you get your degree, you must work as a registered nurse for at least five years, then get at least two years experience in legal nursing.1
You must also get certified by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board.
How much do Legal Nurse Consultants make?
The average yearly salary for a Legal Nurse Consultant is $72,510.2
This of course is dependent upon the type of degree you have, where you are working and multiple other factors.
What does a normal day look like for a Legal Nurse Consultant?
Like many nursing specialities, there isn’t really a “normal” day for legal nurse consultants. Depending upon whom you work for and what their job entails, the nurse’s days will vary.
All Nursing Schools provides a list of the top five responsibilities of legal nurse consultants:
- Reviewing medical records relevant to the case they’re working on.
- Educating colleagues in the judicial system about relevant healthcare information.
- Investigating cases.
- Preparing for trials and helping attorneys draft questions to use during medical dispositions.
- Testifying as an expert witness at trial.3
Is Legal Nurse Consulting the right choice for me?
Legal nurse consulting is a great option for nurses who have already been in the field for a few years. Because this career requires nurses to have knowledge of the medical field, the more clinical experience you have the better.
Graduate Nursing EDU says “[legal nurse consultants] should possess a sharp, intellectual curiosity and a creative, flexible intellect in order to successfully assist in building legal cases.”4
If you are considering a career in legal nurse consulting, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you a strong inductive and deductive thinker?
- Are you able to handle multiple tasks under pressure?
- Are you able to convey complex medical concepts to laypersons with confidence?
- Are you comfortable questioning the assumptions of medical doctors and lawyers when warranted?4
A “yes” to any of these questions may mean you would make a good legal nurse consultant!
If you already have worked on the clinical side of nursing for quite some time, and you’re looking for a change of scenery and tasks, legal nursing consulting may be for you!
Do you have a suggestion for another nursing career spotlight? Tell us in the comments below!