Legal nurse consultants (LNCs) are registered nurses who offer medical consulting to legal professionals. Think of LNC’s as the bridge between legal professionals and health care. You would usually find nurses in a hospital, rather than a courtroom. And while these two are different fields, they often times mix in a court of law.

What An LNC Does

LNC’s don’t just provide their services during a trial in open court though, they can sometimes help educate prosecutors so they can determine whether to press charges. An LNC can also aid a defense attorney by familiarizing him with medical terminology to help defend their client.

Legal nurse consultants can help not only in criminal cases, but civil ones as well. Examples of civil cases where LNC’s would be useful would be in workers compensation claims, where a legal nurse consultant would examine medical documents. An example of a criminal case would be a medical malpractice case where an LNC would help lawyers determine whether malpractice has occurred.

Becoming An LNC

The way to become an LNC is to first become an RN. You can do this by enrolling in a nursing school and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Afterward, you will need to be certified by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB).

Salary

Most LNC’s do not work a regular 9 to 5 job. The reason is that their services are not required the whole time. Since it’s a job as a consultant, you would charge your clients by the hour. The amounts charged range from $70 to $250 per hour. Many legal nurses continue to work their regular full time job at a hospital while doing their consultant gigs on the side.

Job Prospects

Nurses and attorneys are always going to be in need, so you can see how a legal nurse consultant would be a job that will always be in need too. There is a big demand for these types of nurses not only because of their skills and expertise, but because LNC’s have experience and firsthand knowledge that nobody other than a doctor has. Lawyers will always need the help of LNC’s to help them win their medical related cases, so LNC’s can expect a steady flow of work.

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